Wednesday, February 27, 2013

American Values : Torture The Norm In American Prisons Inside & Outside America Ignored or Defended By The Whitehouse And Saudi Arabia arms, funds Syria militants'


'Saudi Arabia arms, funds Syria militants'

Published on 27 Feb 2013

A political analyst tells Press TV that supplying terrorists with arms in Syria is without doubt a flagrant and a blatant violation of international law.

A new report has revealed that Saudi Arabia has supplied foreign-backed militants in Syria with large cargos of infantry and heavy weapons through Jordan. Citing anonymous American and Western officials, The New York Times newspaper reported on Monday that "the weapons began reaching rebels in December via shipments shuttled through Jordan."

Press TV has conducted an interview with Zayd al-Isa, Middle East expert, to further discuss the issue




The Real Face of America Typified by Torture & Abuse in US Prisons covered up those in authority and the American Main Stream Media. In America even a shop lifter deserves to be tortured and killed.

America's prisons are more akin to those in the 19th century than those in the contemporary world. And Americans are proud of that.

When the citizens do nothing about the criminal acts of their government either at home or abroad all are guilty. As Martin Luther King Jr. said "When silence is betrayal" not something President Obama or his faux Liberal/Progressive followers take to heart since he (and his "True Believers") (are) is out to defend the American way that is the status quo and the Intelligence-military Wall Street Industrial complex. His "True Believers " argue thusly : 'If Bush did it it's bad if Obama does it it must be good???'

Obama has allowed torture to take place throughout the penal system in the USA and defends its use in prisons run or under America's control in foreign countries .

Obama like Bush argues American laws have no weight outside the USA.
Obama also argues as did Bush that International Law and the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg rulings do not apply to America or any individual American.
And any nation considered an ally to the USA is also exempt from International Law ie israel, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, UAE,

Americans think Human Rights and International Laws are for pussies only not "Real Americans"

Abu Ghraib just another example of how Prisoners even in American Prisons are Treated
Does Obama approve? Is this what Obama means by the Rule of Law
And America wants to export this use of torture to a country near you???


Uploaded on 18 Nov 2006

AbuGhuraib wasnt new...Americans are not new to torturing inhumanly....American prisons have a considerable history of such tortures..Lets See





Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons by Deborah Davies , Information Clearing House, republished Feb. 27, 2013

Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Obama To Visit Israel Topics To Address: Israel's Racist Apartheid Policies & Human Rights Violations And Gideon Levy Documenting The Oppression Of The Palestinians


Update Bahrain

Anonymous Fawkes Mask BANNED in Bahrain




Collective Punishment in Bahrain :Nightly Routine across Bahrain

Night after night in villages and towns across Bahrain the people are terrorized by the Obama Supported Bahraini and Saudi police and soldiers . The police use tear gas and flash bang and other ordinance supplied by the USA to show who's in control while the world turns away.

The Regime is punishing all Bahrainis who took part or were friends with or relatives or just neighbors of those who supported the Bahraini pro-reform uprising since the beginning of the Arab Spring Feb. 14, 2011.

But if Israel or the USA can be permitted to collectively punish whole populations (Palestinians, Pakistanis, Afghanistanis, Pushtun, Iraqis,Syrians,Libyans) for the actions of a few civilians or of a an allegedly rogue nation's government then why can't Bahrain.

The USA has helped over the last 12 years to legitimize such forms of collective punishment and now every little despot believes that the Americans by example have given them the Green Light to do as they please.




Today's Topics

* Issues Obama should keep in mind when visiting Israel-the plight of the Palestinians
* Human Rights violations by Israel
* Israel's Apartheid system - reminiscent of Jim Crow & The South African Apartheid system
* Obama's human rights record is pretty abysmal to say the least

Israel asserts its exceptionalism claiming the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council has no jurisdiction over Israel. In other words investigations into human rights record of other nations is fine but no one has the right to investigate the human rights record of Israel.

ISRAEL Walks Out of UN Human Rights Council

Published on 20 Feb 2013

Israel decides it doesn't like the U.N.'s human rights council and boycotts it.



Even the New York Times chastises Israel for this action because it makes Israel look as if it had something to hide . And if Israel can refuse to take part in the Human Rights Council and ignore its recommendations this leaves the door open for other nations to do the same especially those with a dubious human rights record .

Israel Ducks on Human Rights, New York Times editorial ,January 30, 2013


...In May, Israel said it planned to stop participating because the council was a “political tool” for those who wanted to “bash and demonize” Israel. The council, whose 47 members are elected by the United Nations General Assembly, is clearly not without faults. More than half of the resolutions passed by the council since it started work in 2006 have focused on Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and Israel is the only country that is a standing item on the agenda for the council’s biannual meetings.

The council hasn’t always been an effective human rights champion. But its record, including naming human rights rapporteurs for Iran and Sudan and supporting gay and lesbian rights, has improved since President Obama, reversing policy of the George W. Bush administration, had the United States join the council in 2009.

Human rights reviews are an important tool for judging all countries by universal standards and nudging them to make positive changes. By opting out, Israel shows not only an unwillingness to undergo the same scrutiny as all other countries, but it deprives itself of an opportunity to defend against abuse charges. The decision could also undermine the entire review process by providing an excuse for states with terrible human rights records — like North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe — to withdraw as well. It certainly will make it harder for Washington to argue for reviews when an ally rejects the process.

If the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped to avoid criticism by this move, it failed. Fortunately, there is still a chance to make the right decision. In an extraordinary move, the council agreed to give Israel until November to reverse course. Any new governing coalition that emerges from Israel’s recent elections should realize that there’s a cost to standing apart.

Going Against The Grain-Journalist Documenting Israeli Human Rights Violations in The Occupied Territories Part 1.
To some a hero to others a traitor to Israel

It is odd that Israel or America hasn't yet targeted Gideon Livy for being so outspoken about the suffering of the Palestinian People under the rule of the Racist Apartheid Israeli Regime.

Going Against the Grain Journalist Gideon Levy is arguably the most hated man in Israel for his reports on the occupied Palestinian territories. Al Jazeera World, Feb. 12, 2013


Gideon Levy is someone who evokes strong emotions from fellow Israelis.

The writer and journalist has made weekly visits, over the past three decades, to the occupied Palestinian territories, describing what he sees - plainly and without propaganda.

For some Israelis, he is seen as a brave disseminator of the truth. But many others condemn him as a propagandist for Hamas. And his columns for the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper have made him, arguably, one of the most hated men in Israel.

"When I joined Haaretz newspaper, I started to visit the occupied territories," Levy says. "I immediately realised this was what I wanted to do; to understand the brutality and inhumanity of the Israeli occupation."

"I figured out three things. First, this was the biggest drama facing the state of Israel. Second, this story was not being covered by the Israeli media. And third, this was going to be my life mission - to report about the Israeli occupation to Israeli readers who did not want to know what was really happening there."

Over the years, Levy's stories have shed light on the realities Palestinians face on a daily basis.

One of his earlier reports, 'Death of a baby' in 1996, told of an incident involving the Abu Dahouk family. They were stopped at a checkpoint on their way to a hospital. Israeli soldiers delayed the family including a heavily pregnant Fayzeh Abu Dahouk, who ended up delivering her baby in the backseat of the car.

The baby, who she hoped to name Yousef, died a couple of days later.

Levy wrote at the time: "Who the hell are they? Who are those soldiers who saw Fayzeh Abu Dahouk in pain as she delivered her baby in her brother-in-law’s car. Who are those soldiers who didn’t let her pass to reach the hospital?”

"Who are those soldiers who made Fayzeh have to wrap her baby in her clothes and walk two kilometres to reach the hospital?”

Levy's reports have told of young Palestinians gunned down by Israeli soldiers after being accused of throwing stones; the lack of retribution against soldiers who kill Palestinians in cold blood; and the plight of Palestinian farmers, who make their livelihoods from olive trees, but who have had them burned and destroyed by settlers time and time again.

video


How Israel legitimises torturing Palestinians to death Israel's policy of torture has left many dead and completely lacks accountability. by Charlotte Silver , Al Jazeera, Feb. 25. 2013

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest - February 18 - and the day of his death - February 23 - his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet's Kishon interrogation facility.

Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.

When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat - who leaves a pregnant widow and two children - died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.

What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel's Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel's prisons. According to the prisoners' rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.

The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011, 700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney's Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.

Writing in Adalah's 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, "The GSS's impunity is absolute."

Israel's High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

In August of 2012, Israel's High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.

And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah's petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.

In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet's interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Obama Supports Anti-Democracy Anti-Reform Corrupt Monarchies Which Fund AlQaeda, Taliban etc.


Obama Supports Anti-Democracy Anti-Reform Monarchies Which Fund AlQaeda, Taliban etc.


Hillary Clinton in a leaked cable from 2009 revealed truth about Saudi Arabia's backing of al-Qaida

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.

"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups," says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
From:
WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists Hillary Clinton memo highlights Gulf states' failure to block funding for groups like al-Qaida, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba by Declan Walsh The Guardian , Dec. 5, 2010


Glenn Greenwald on the dangerous belief in American Exceptionalism:

...This eagerness to declare oneself exempt from the rules to which others are bound, on the grounds of one's own objective superiority, is always the animating sentiment behind nationalistic criminality. Here's what Orwell said about that in Notes on Nationalism:


"All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

Today's Topics

* Obama Defends Brutal Anti-Democracy Royal Families In the Gulf Region

* The On-going crack down on pr-reform pro-Parliamentary Democracy protests in Bahrain , Kuwait, Saudi Arabia ignored and blamed erroneously on Iran

* cablegate wikileaks 2009 : Hilary Clinton admits Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar,UAE : United Arab Emirates not Libya ,Iran, Syria, Iraq etc.

* Obama's hypocrisy over human rights and giving a free pass to criminals in government , military, security industry and Wall Street

* Responsibility and accountability of Western Nations and their Multinational Corporations

Obama like the Saudis fears the fall of the various Royal Families in the Gulf Region. Like other American presidents Obama is adamantly against any real substantive reforms in the Middle East let alone the emergence of stable and just democracies to replace the American and Israeli friendly Royal despots.

If these nations had strong stable democracies they might not be as compliant with American or Western demands such as unrestricted free trade , or the flow of cheap oil and other natural resources and allowing Multinational American and Western corporations to set up in these nations free of any substantive restrictions ie paying their fair share of taxes and tariffs and obeying environmental regulations, respecting the rights of all workers and paying them a decent wage rather than slave wages and given workers the right to collective bargaining and forming unions

. Americans at times are shocked by working conditions in countries around the globe and yet don't pressure the US and Western corporations to insist that these companies act in a legal and a moral fashion . The US government and other Western Governments must join the grown ups and play a bigger and more positive role when it comes to these American and Western international corporations. These Western Countries and their corporations must be accountable even outside the borders of their specific nation and must prove that they are law abiding, ethical, responsible players in Global Trade . This would mean that Western and American corporations or governments could no longer exploit other nations or peoples with impunity.

'Bahrainis demand most basic rights'

Published on 24 Feb 2013

A political analyst tells Press TV that killing one demonstrator here and running over another one by a vehicle is not going to affect the morale aspect of the Bahrainis and they are determined to continue the revolution. He also added that the Bahraini people were demanding their most fundamental human rights from the Al Khalifa regime.




Obama's shame over Bahrain continues as he supports the brutal corrupt and democratic Regime of Bahrain

Saudi regime acts as US proxy in Bahrain: Anti-war activist



War on journalist continues in the Middle east in this case Dubai and Bahrain . When Iran kicks foreign journalists especially if American out of the country the Obama Regime makes sure the media exploit the story when happens in US friendly nations Obama tells us media to tread softly.

Dubai officials block airport entry to Bahrain-based AP reporter, editor husband, AP,Via Washington Post , Feb. 25, 2013

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Two Bahrain-based journalists, including a reporter for The Associated Press, were blocked from entering the United Arab Emirates on Monday under apparent new restrictions by Gulf Arab states.

Reem Khalifa and her husband, Mansoor al-Jamri, chief editor for Bahrain’s independent Al Wasat newspaper, said they were told by authorities at Dubai International Airport that they were on a list to deny entry.

Like all Gulf partners, the UAE has expanded crackdowns on perceived political dissent since the Arab Spring, including charging 94 people last month with conspiring to overthrow the ruling system. But it still remains among the most open countries in the Gulf for journalists, researchers and scholars.

Bahrain’s 2-year-old uprising is a critical issue for Gulf leaders, who want to safeguard the ruling families across the region.

...Last week, the UAE also denied entry to a prominent academic from the London School of Economics who was scheduled to speak about Bahrain at a conference on the Arab Spring.

The UAE’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Kristian Coates Ulrichsen was not allowed into the country because his work has been critical of Bahrain’s monarchy, which is closely backed by other Gulf leaders. The UAE said “non-constructive” views on Bahrain are unwelcome.


Just wanted to point out that the authorities in the UAE and Bahrain like President Obama and his "True Believers" do not appreciate negative views on his policies or America itself. These neo-liberals who support Obama are just as out of touch as many of former President Bush's "True Believers". And neither is above attacking and doing all they can to discredit all and any critics whether the critics are merely articulating the truth .
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American exceptionalism leads to the erroneous claim that whatever America does is the result of this exceptionalism and so whatever America does by definition is both legal and moral.

The premises and purposes of American exceptionalism That the US is objectively "the greatest country ever to exist" is as irrational as it is destructive, yet it maintains the status of orthodoxy by Glenn Greenwald, Guardian, Feb. 18, 2013

...In particular, given that human beings' perceptions are shaped by the assumptions of their culture and thus have a natural inclination to view their own culture as superior, isn't it infinitely more likely that people view their society as objectively superior because they're inculcated from birth in all sorts of overt and subtle ways to believe this rather than because it's objectively true? It's akin to those who believe in their own great luck that they just happened to be born into the single religion that is the One True One rather than suspecting that they believe this because they were taught to from birth.

...This eagerness to declare oneself exempt from the rules to which others are bound, on the grounds of one's own objective superiority, is always the animating sentiment behind nationalistic criminality. Here's what Orwell said about that in Notes on Nationalism:

"All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

...Last week, the Princeton professor Cornel West denounced Presidents Nixon, Bush and Obama as "war criminals", saying that "they have killed innocent people in the name of the struggle for freedom, but they're suspending the law, very much like Wall Street criminals". West specifically cited Obama's covert drone wars and killing of innocent people, including children. What West was doing there was rather straightforward: applying the same legal and moral rules to US aggression that he has applied to other countries and which the US applies to non-friendly, disobedient regimes.

In other words, West did exactly that which is most scorned and taboo in DC policy circles. And thus he had to be attacked, belittled and dismissed as irrelevant...

...As Samantha Power put it in 2007:

"It was Washington's conventional wisdom that led us into the worst strategic blunder in the history of US foreign policy. The rush to invade Iraq was a position advocated by not only the Bush Administration, but also by editorial pages, the foreign policy establishment of both parties, and majorities in both houses of Congress."
...The key point is what constitutes West's transgression. His real crime is that he tacitly assumed that the US should be subjected to the same rules and constraints as all other nations in the world, that he rejected the notion that America has the right to do what others nations may not. And this is the premise - that there are any legal or moral constraints on the US's right to use force in the world - that is the prime taboo thought in the circles of DC Seriousness. That's why West, the Princeton professor, got mocked as someone too silly to pay attention to: because he rejected that most cherished American license that is grounded in the self-loving exceptionalism ...

...West made a moral and legal argument, and US "national security professionals" simply do not recognize morality or legality when it comes to US aggression. That's why our foreign policy discourse so rarely includes any discussion of those considerations. A US president can be a "war criminal" only if legal and moral rules apply to his actions on equal terms as all other world leaders, and that is precisely the idea that is completely anathema to everything "national security professionals" believe (it also happens to be the central principle the Nuremberg Tribunal sought to affirm: "while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment").

US foreign policy analysts are permitted to question the tactics of the US government and military (will bombing these places succeed in the goals?). They are permitted to argue that certain policies will not advance American interests (drones may be ineffective in stopping Terrorism). But what they are absolutely barred from doing - upon pain of being expelled from the circles of Seriousness - is to argue that there are any legal or moral rules that restrict US aggression, and especially to argue that the US is bound by the same set of rules which it seeks to impose on others (recall the intense attacks on Howard Dean, led by John Kerry, when Dean suggested in 2003 that the US should support a system of universally applied rules because "we won't always have the strongest military": the very idea that the US should think of itself as subject to the same rules as the rest of the world is pure heresy).

In 2009, Les Gelb - the former Pentagon and State Department official and Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations: the ultimate "national security professional" - wrote an extraordinary essay in the journal Democracy explaining why he and so many others in his circle supported the attack on Iraq. This is what he blamed it on:
"... unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility."

That someone like Les Gelb says that "national security professionals" have career incentives to support US wars "to retain political and professional credibility" is amazing, yet clearly true. When I interviewed Gelb in 2010 regarding that quote, he elaborated that DC foreign policy experts - "national security professionals" - know that they can retain relevance in and access to key government circles only if they affirm the unfettered right of the US to use force whenever and however it wants. They can question tactics, but never the supreme prerogative of the US, the unchallengeable truth of American exceptionalism.

...This belief in the unfettered legal and moral right of the US to use force anywhere in the world for any reason it wants is sustained only by this belief in objective US superiority, this myth of American exceptionalism. And the results are exactly what one would expect from an approach grounded in a belief system so patently irrational.

Glenn Greenwald chastises American officials for hypocritically attacking other nations for their lack of resolve in punishing those in authority who have committed various crimes while the Obama administration ignores the crimes of the Bush administration and crimes committed by his own administration and crimes committed by the US military, the CIA etc. and crimes committed by Wall Street's elite or to investigate the systemic racism in the judiciary , in police forces and in the prison industry and so forth.

America Has A Lot Of Nerve To Criticize Egypt's 'Climate Of Impunity', Glenn Greenwald ,The Guardian, Feb. 2013

A US State Department official on Monday "expressed concern" about what he called "a 'climate of impunity' over abuses by police and security forces" - in Egypt.

The official, Michael Posner, warned that failure to investigate Egyptian state agents responsible for "cruel treatment of those in their custody" - including torture - creates "a lack of meaningful accountability for these actions".

Last week, I wrote that "I've become somewhat of a connoisseur of US government statements that are so drowning in obvious, glaring irony that the officials uttering them simply must have been mischievously cackling to themselves when they created them," and this American denunciation of Egypt's "climate of impunity" almost certainly goes to the top of the list.

After all, Michael Posner works for the very same administration that not only refused to prosecute or even investigate US officials who tortured, kidnapped and illegally eavesdropped, but actively shielded them all from all forms of accountability: criminal, civil or investigative.

Indeed, Posner works for the very same State Department that actively impeded efforts by countries whose citizens were subjected to those abuses - such as Spain and Germany - to investigate them.

Being lectured by the US State Department about a "culture of impunity" is like being lectured by David Cameron about supporting Arab dictators.

According to former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton the chief sources of funding of al-Qaida ,Taliban and other terrorists organizations comes from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) and not Iran , Libya, Syria But it is Iran, Syria and Libya which are blamed for funding and supporting terrorists organizations
Saddam was also erroneously alleged to be helping various terrorists organizations and allegedly helped with the 9/11 Al-Qaida attacks and of course had a massive stock pile of WMDs and was developing a nuclear arsenal. All of this was no longer true about Saddam ten years before America's 2003 ill-advised and criminal War of Aggression against Iraq. .
.
And this American diplomatic shell game replaces the real funders and supporters with regimes which the USA is determined one way or the other to crush having already achieved this in Libya with the support of its lackey NATO . At present they are are slowly destroying Syria by means a proxy rebel army of heavily armed ruthless Jihadists and thugs who have committed numerous War crimes and crimes against humanity .

And mean while the Obama administration and Western Powers wait for the right time to attack Iran. So all of this has become it appears acceptable and as the party line to America's Democrats and so-called liberal or progressive media.
If Bush did it it was wrong if Obama does it it is right.which has become the party line in the USA.


WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists Hillary Clinton memo highlights Gulf states' failure to block funding for groups like al-Qaida, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba by Declan Walsh The Guardian , Dec. 5, 2010

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.

"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups," says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," she said.

Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them.

The problem is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where militants soliciting funds slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds and receive money from government-sanctioned charities.

...In common with its neighbours Kuwait is described as a "source of funds and a key transit point" for al-Qaida and other militant groups. While the government has acted against attacks on its own soil, it is "less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks outside of Kuwait".

Kuwait has refused to ban the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, a charity the US designated a terrorist entity in June 2008 for providing aid to al-Qaida and affiliated groups, including LeT.

There is little information about militant fundraising in the fourth Gulf country singled out, Qatar, other than to say its "overall level of CT co-operation with the US is considered the worst in the region".

The funding quagmire extends to Pakistan itself, where the US cables detail sharp criticism of the government's ambivalence towards funding of militant groups that enjoy covert military support.

The cables show how before the Mumbai attacks in 2008, Pakistani and Chinese diplomats maneuvered hard to block UN sanctions against Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Wikileaks Goes After The Saudi Royal Family
Gus Lubin ,Business Insider,Feb. 29,2011


The 1996 cable -- entitled "Saudi Royal Wealth: Where do they get all that money?" -- describes legal and illegal ways that royals grab money, according to Reuters.

For legal ways, there's the monthly allowance given to thousands of princes and princesses. This ranged from $800 a month for "the lowliest member of the most remote branch of the family" to $270,000 a month for sons of Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud.

For illegal ways, schemes include skimming $10 billion yearly from off-budget projects related to defense and infrastructure. One Saudi prince complained: "One million barrels per day" go entirely to "five or six princes."

It's nothing to start a revolution over, but the sheer scale of payments might anger the Saudi people. The big concessionary social-welfare package offered last week was worth only $37 billion. Big anti-government protests are scheduled for later in March.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

America Reality Check And Will Night at The Oscars Be Without Controversy Or Will Tarantino's "Django" & Other Political Films Stir Things Up


First up a Reality Check for Americans
America is not Number 1

US Worst Place To Live?
The greatest nation on earth exposed as among the worst in the West... on all life indicators.
Posted February 24, 2013





Marlon Brando's Oscar® win for " The Godfather"

Sacheen Littlefeather refusing to accept the Best Actor Oscar® on behalf of Marlon Brando for his performance in "The Godfather" - the 45th Annual Academy Awards® in 1973. Liv Ullmann and Roger Moore presented the award.



This speech about the rights of Native Americans at the Oscars in 1973 as part of Marlon Brando's reasons for the refusal to accept the Oscar was a matter of Brando using his name which he had every right to do to defend a cause he believed in.

Many in the audience booed the speech which they had a right to do and many in the media then as now get upset by anyone using such an awards ceremony for what Americans consider to be partisan political reasons .

But issues such as human rights for American citizens and the human rights of the peoples in foreign countries should not be seen as a political partisan issue.

Quentin Tarantino's film Django re-examines slavery and creates a fantasy revenge film in which a Black slave becomes the unlikely hero .
The film deserves praise for its depiction of the real horror and gruesome and ugliness and inhumanity of slavery . Will the film help to stir things up or will be treated as if it were just another piece of fluff .
We can hope that many Americans will be able to enter into discussions about slavery and how America as they say has had to undergo vast changes over time to create a better nation.
As film it is a marvel and a delight while being intense and profoundly disturbing. And it deserves a few awards.

According to American conservatives who believe the US Constitution is unchangeable a sacrosanct document written in stone .
For more reasonable Americans the Constitution is a guide to creating "a more perfect union" . What was acceptable to the founding fathers in their views about right and wrong and about who is to be granted rights and who is not are issues constantly up for new debates , Slaves were not able to vote or do just about anything of their own free will because they were somebody's property. The pro-slavery faction also used a form of psuedo-science to prove the non-existent differences between races especially in differences of intelligence and of creativity and so forth. These defenders of these racist views have continued on since the end of institutionalized slavery to contend that white Americans are superiour to Black and other non-white Americans.

What should follow such discussions is discussing the injustices downe to Black Americans after slavery was outlawed. Millions of Blacks in America were oppressed in various ways by the Jim Crow laws and the denial of legal and human rights such as permitting the use of Lynchings which was legal up til the 1940s.
But besides Lynchings and Jim Crow there were also the White Supremacists including the KKK which for a century terrorized Black Americans in parts of the USA.

And recently we have come across the historical reality of Bondaged slaver which included several million Black Americans mainly in the South. For Blacks to work in factories or plantations Blacks were held in bondage and were not permitted to leave the area where they were residing whether in small shacks or barracks style living quarters and if a Black American were to leave he would find that no one else would hire them since they were still bonded to their former employer . The conditions of Black Americans being held in bondage was not much better than the conditions of slavery.

And now since the end of the Civil Rights era Black Americans still in large numbers are treated as second class citizens and as being more inclined to criminal acts and so not to be trusted and so America continues to fill its jails and the police forces across the US seemed to be given the green light to harass, abuse, beat up, or shoot Black Americans without repercussions.

We can hope that eventually Americans will speak more freely about the injustices done to not just Black Americans but to other Americans in its history such as women ,children , Native Americans , Asian Americans, Catholic Americans Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans and to Gays and others.

Just recently a bill was to be passed in the Congress which would put into law more justice and more resources for physically or sexually abused women but the Republicans didn't want this bill passed for whatever reasons such as that they believe women are not equal to men and shouldn't have their rights protected or because it just a big deal made about something they consider trivial as we saw during the run up to the 2012 election in which one GOP candidate said when a woman is being raped she should just lie back and enjoy the ride or another said women who are raped can not for any woman who is pregnant and says she had been raped was ipso facto not in fact raped. .

But once the bill seemed to be assured passage the Republicans decided to take out any provisions for helping women who were Native American or Lesbians or undocumented immigrants so for a portion of Americans they still don't see women being abused , beaten or sexually assaulted is such a serious matter which should be addressed by the US government.


But unfortunately even with a black president Blacks and other minorities are still waiting for Obama to attack racism in its various forms from Ghettoization to Black and Latinos being harassed and abused by local police forces including rough and physical brutality and the shoot to kill attitude of police when it comes to visible minorities.
There is also the questions about why Blacks and Latinos in America are disproportionately represented in America's racist prison system and how this is a result of a racist society and a racist judicial system .


When for instance police forces across the US carried out an unnecessary brutal crack down on the Occupy Movement the Obama administration was silent as was the Mainstream Media and Hollywood. When the alleged crooks in the financial industry committed crimes they were not investigated thoroughly let alone charged with fraud or what have you let alone hauled off to prison and put on trial for their crimes instead they get a free pass while some teenager who is black or Latino can be shot dead by police for stealing a couple candy bars from a store or be shot for being a visible minority in an all white neighborhood so where's this justice and "rule of Law" Obama speaks about . His actions as president has been to ignore "The Rule Of Law" just as George W. Bush did.


But the same people see nothing wrong with promoting films which act as propaganda for American domestic and foreign policies and films which merely defend the status quo.

So Hollywood and the media in general are now all for films defending the persecution of Whistleblowers and the abuse and torture of POWs(detainees) or anyone the government contends is an enemy of the state ; targeted assassinations of foreign leaders or alleged terrorists; renditions of alleged enemies , atrocities committed in America's name in foreign nations; or America bombing and killing hundreds of thousands non-combatants.

Tonight at the Oscars more than likely the only political statements allowed will be in support of President Obama and support for America's domestic and foreign policies. During the years of the Bush presidency every self-defined liberal or progressive were all too willing to speak out against the policies of George W. Bush but now these same people have become champions of the most egregious policies of Obama's presidency and are determined to safe guard the status quo and to defend the corrupt elites in America.

Meanwhile the drones keep flying and bombing weddings and funerals and murdering civilians and first responders while Obama prepares the nation for an offensive against Iran .

Meanwhile the citizens of Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia continue to suffer under oppressive regimes supported by the USA and other Western Regimes with aid money and with arms for these Regimes to use against their own citizens .

While the USA, Western Regimes and the Media attack Bashar Assad for his brutal crackdown on Syrian citizens they ignore the oppression going on in other nations which are viewed as friends of the USA and fiends of the Saudis .

So while the fighting in Syria is characterized as pro-reform pro-democracy rebels fighting the evil Assad Regime the pro-reform pro-democracy protests in other countries against their governments are ignored, dismissed out of hand or characterized as sectarian conflicts or that the anti-government forces are being used by evil countries like Iran.
So America and the West has double standards when it comes to its friends and enemies.

A regime which is considered a friend and ally can get away with denying its citizens their right to protests, the right to freedom of speech , the right to a free press , the right to due process , the right to a fair trial, the right to religious freedom.

A country considered a friend and ally to the USA and other Western nations can literally get away with brutal crack down on protesters and putting citizens in indefinite detention and to torture, murder, assassinate whomever they wish. If America can do these things and deny citizens their rights the logic is why can't other countries do the same.

There have been a number of films over the years up for Oscars that actually challenge the status quo .
For instance the Costas Gavras film Missing in 1982 was up for only one Oscar in the 1980s but it won one for screenplay but should have been up for Best Film, Editing ,Cinematography , Best Director . And we would argue that Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek both deserved at least to be nominated for Oscars for their performances. This is among one of Jack Lemmon's best performances and a best for Sissy Spacek but because of the subject matter Hollywood hated it the film and because it was a film by a controversial film maker. The film was great and its difficult to find any major flaws in it. It is only those who disagree with the message of the film see it as flawed in other words it was just much truth for the Hollywood money machine to deal with.. unless one is inclined to focuses on the story itself .

But these days such this film might not fare much better and possibly worse since the the jingoistic patriotic Americans see any criticisms of American foreign policies as being unAmerican or even anti-American. The film was an attack on some of America's foreign policies which have had disastrous results for the citizens of other nations that USA has interfered with such as Chile , Gautemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq , Bahrain,Yemen,Kuwait, Egypt,Afghanistan, Pakistan and so on..
Americans and its mainstream media prefer propaganda and lies and disinformation fed to them by those in power in support of America's projected image as opposed to the unvarnished truth .

It's like how the American public, media and government ignored or chastised the Occupy Movement and by so doing gave through their misscharacterization of the movement or their silence and indifference the go ahead for police forces to treat all who took part in the Occupy protests as UnAmerican and anti-Americans who deserved what they got . People in general as they say do not want to be taken out of their comfort zone or their bubble of self-delusion.

would be lucky if American theaters actually played it or that anyone would fund such a project in the first place . Now it would be pegged by the Obama administration, the Media and Hollywood as a blatant anti-American propaganda piece even though the film is factually based . As we know the USA was heavily involved in the ousting of Allende of Chile and aided the coup and helped with the killing of thousands of unarmed political dissidents .

Now in 2013 we get films that are either pro-torture or ambivalent about the efficacy and morality of torture.

So here's a clip from Costas Gavras ' powerful and difficult to find film "Missing"- some Americans and even some Canadians didn't like this more accurate & realistic portrayal of America & its military & the C.I.A & their dirty tricks & brutality. I guess many people are like Peggy Noonan they don't want to see the atrocities of which they cold- heartedly approve.

“ Missing ” 1982 starring Jack Lemmon & Sissy Spacek is about the American backed bloody Military Coup in Chile of 1973 which overthrew the legally elected President Allende who led a coalition government & who unfortunately wanted to improve the living conditions of the people of Chile & so was not a friend of the rich & powerful in Chile who were supported by the Americans & especially the large American corporations which had vast investments in Chile. The film centres around the true story of the disappearance of an American Charles Horman who disappeared like thousands of Chileans who supported President Allende

In this scene the formerly true believer patriotic American Mr. Horman (Jack Lemmon)finally realizes that the US Ambassador in Chile and other US officials have been lying to him all along and that the US military & C.I.A. etc. were deeply involved in the coup in Chile & approved the Kill order issued against his son because they feared he knew too much.


Missing (part 12)- the rest is available at YouTube

Missing By Costas Gavras with Jack Lemmon & Sissy Spacek


also see:

Obama Denies Detainees Their Rights & C.I.A & Dick Cheney Still. Lying & Gen. Mc Chrystal Of The Darkside Ratcheting Up The War, Gord's Poetry Factory, May 22, 2009

Former vice-president Dick Cheney claims the use of torture was legal & prevented attacks. But there is no evidence that torture prevented any attacks. But if you keep repeating Cheney's Talking Points that torture was legal & prevented attacks eventually many citizens will begin to believe that this is the truth even if its not. Meanwhile the American conservatives & their Media Echo-chamber will repeat it til many Americans take it as a fact.

Cheney naming names as he goes after The New York Times for reporting on the abuse & torture of detainees & on illegal wiretapping . So the reason the War on Terror has not been going as well as it should have is that the UnAmerican Liberal Media helped to sabotage the Bush/Cheney policies & actions . So according to Cheney and the conservative Echo-chamber there is a fifth column in the US which is working against the US military & the US government. So it has all been a conspiracy to tarnish the reputations of Cheney ,Bush et al.

President Obama by refusing to go ahead with investigations & indictments this seems to give tacit approval of Cheney's position & policies when he was Vice President.Cheney in one sense in creating this narrative is just appealing to the real American Patriots who believe that whatever the US or its military or the C.I.A. does is for America's benefit that is to keep America secure by any & all means necessary. Based upon the belief in American Exceptionalism & that who ever is President & Vice President is not merely a matter of votes but is rather an issue of Divine Providence therefore whatever America does this is part of Divine Providence. The more secular belief is that America is superior to all other nations and its system of government is the best in the world & again superior to all other nations therefore America can do no wrong.


Anyway part of what I have been discussing for your consideration is the rather shady and bloody history of the C.I.A. Given their notorious history it is not surprising that they agreed to abuse & torture prisoners for Cheney & Bush or that they were willing to force false confessions out of tortured detainees.

The C.I.A. over the last fifty years has been involved in various criminal activities such as overthrowing democratically elected governments . They have used various means to accomplish their goals from using assassinations to death squads & backing military Coups which have led to the deaths of thousands as in Chile , Iran, Iraq etc.


also see my discussion of films by Costas Gavras at my website gordscafe.net


and see : US Militarism Continues Unabated : Torture& Abuse of POWs & Bombing Innocent Villagers! What ? For Their Own Good ? Gord's Poetry Factory, May 25, 2009

COSTA-GAVRAS FILM "AMEN" THE HOLOCAUST & THE CATHOLIC CHURCH at Gord's Poetry Factory , May 21, 2006

40 years After US Financed And Engineered Coup Killers Of Chilean Songwriter and Activist Victor Jara Finally Facing Trial at Gord's Poetry Factory, Feb. 11, 2013


Saturday, February 23, 2013

CBC's Shameful Attack Piece and hatchet Job On Pakistani Activists Imran Khan While Ignoring The Folly of The Global War On Terror


"...In short, the war was one of the world’s greatest cons. It had nothing to do with Iraq’s WMD or the removal of a dictator; it was part of a greater neoconservative plan to ensure America’s global domination

Up to a million Iraqis lost their lives as a result of the war and subsequent invasion and occupation; according to the respected journal The Lancet, over 600,000 had been killed as of July 2006, not to mention thousands of US and coalition military personnel."

Quote from: State Terrorism George Bush, Tony Blair and the Century’s Greatest Crime What US and Britain did to Iraq is nothing short of state terrorism By Linda S Heard "Information Clearing House" ,Feb. 22, 2013

Media misinformation, disinformation and propaganda undermining the CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as illustrated in CBCs attack piece on Imran Khan.

What matters to the CBC is defending the status quo and not questioning the agenda of the USA or its lackey NATO .


The CBC has gotten worse over the last few years as it appears to be a propaganda outlet for the USA, NATO and the Harper government .
The interviewer gets his facts wrong and tries to bluff or double down on his errors trying to prove Imran Khan supports the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Imran Khan tries to keep cool repeating what he believes would be best for Pakistan and that the Drone attacks which have killed over 3,000 citizens are creating more of a backlash against the USA and NATO and the West.
But the CBC is no longer a network for real journalists but rather for Journalist who never question NATO or America's agenda.

Imran Khan takes down Canada's main stream media station!




Imran Khan while seen as a great figure by millions of the citizens of Pakistan is treated by the Western Media as if he were the eney.
How many times must he condemn the Taliban for it to sink in are the peoples of the West just too thick
How many times must Imran Khan try to defend the sovereingty of Pakistan before the West understands that what he is saying is not anti-American or anti-Western but rather that each nation's sovereignty must be honored.Imran Khan explains again and again that the largesse of the USA is of some 20 billion dollars while in the samer period of time Pakistan has lost some 40,000 lives and Pakistan's economy has lost 70 Billion dollars


I am not a Taliban supporter: Imran Khan
Uploaded on 17 Jan 2012

As Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is scheduled to appear in person in the Supreme Court on Thursday on why corruption cases weren't re-opened against President Asif Ali Zardari, one of Gilani's biggest critics, Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan has hit back at those who call him a Taliban supporter. http://ibnlive.com/livetv





Imran Khan shuts up Stephen Sackur of BBC Hardtalk

Published on 16 Apr 2012

Imran Khan a Brave person, No one courage to talk like that.



Pro-Democracy Struggle of People of Bahrain; Something That You Don't Hear on Mass Stream Media




Police Tear Gas Protesters In Cemetery in Bahrain LiveLeak.com,Febuary 19 2013




The folly of the Iraq war and its disastrous consequences of creating even more hatred of the USA and the West . The war was unnecessary and was the result of the Bush Regime and Tony Blair's government's massive and insidious anti-Iraq propaganda campaign.

State Terrorism George Bush, Tony Blair and the Century’s Greatest Crime What US and Britain did to Iraq is nothing short of state terrorism By Linda S Heard "Information Clearing House" ,Feb. 22, 2013


It’s been almost 10 years since the US and Britain unleashed ‘Shock and Awe’ on the Iraqi capital Baghdad ostensibly to punish a rogue dictator for hoarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in non-compliance with binding UN Security Council resolutions. In reality, Saddam Hussain had shut down his nuclear programme and destroyed Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons more than a decade earlier.

UN weapons inspectors were almost certain of this fact and were on the point of giving Iraq a clean bill of health until they were leant-on by Uncle Sam. Indeed, the man who had supervised Iraq’s WMD programme for a decade Saddam’s son-in-law Hussain Kamal confirmed as much to CIA intelligence officers and UN officials following his defection to Jordan in 1995.

What was done to Iraq was nothing short of state terrorism beginning with 10 years of crippling sanctions that brought Iraq to its knees and were believed to have been responsible for the deaths of up to 500,000 children who died from malnutrition, lack of medicine and disease from polluted water supplies.

Rather than heed growing international calls to lift those sanctions, George W. Bush and his neoconservative band chose war which they and their British cohort Prime Minister Tony Blair then sold to gullible Western populations on lies too numerous to list. They were aided by a complicit right-wing media with Rupert Murdoch leading the charge, according to the diaries of Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell.

Blair was aware that the war would be illegal in the absence of an explicit UN resolution, as his legal advisor attorney general Lord Goldsmith had determined, but he went ahead regardless even as millions of anti-war protestors thronged London’s streets. He didn’t hesitate to sign-off on an intelligence dossier for public consumption falsely claiming that Iraq could deploy WMD against British interests within 45 minutes of receiving the order to do so — and another containing tracts from a student’s thesis published on the internet, typos and all.

Credible insiders who dared to challenge such nonsense such as weapons expert Dr David Kelly, who challenged the 45-minute claim, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who refuted Bush’s allegation that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from Niger, and British translator Katherine Gunn who disclosed that the US was spying on UN Security Council members, were discredited.

Kelly was found dead in suspicious circumstances; Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame was exposed as a CIA agent by a US government media lackey. Gunn was arrested for breaching the Official Secrets Act and sacked.

One of the most respected figures in America Colin Powell signed the death of his own career when he spouted trumped up allegations against Iraq in the UN, a presentation he was to bitterly regret, calling it a painful blot on his record.

World’s greatest con

In short, the war was one of the world’s greatest cons. It had nothing to do with Iraq’s WMD or the removal of a dictator; it was part of a greater neoconservative plan to ensure America’s global domination as General Wesley Clark confirmed in his book Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism and the American Empire.


Brahimi says 100 killed in Damascus 'war crime' attack UNITED NATIONS - Agence France-Presse Hurriey DailyNews,Feb. 22, 2013

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Friday that a devastating bomb blast in the Syrian capital was a "war crime" that had left about 100 people dead.

The toll given by Brahimi was grimly higher than the 61 dead given by Syrian activists after a suicide bomber staged the attack Thursday near the entrance to President Bashar al-Assad's ruling party offices.

Brahimi said he "strongly condemns the savage and horrible explosion in Damascus yesterday, which resulted in the killing of around 100 and the injuring of two hundred fifty civilians.

"Nothing could justify such horrible actions that amount to war crimes under international law," the UN-Arab League envoy added in a statement.

Brahimi called last month for the UN Security Council to set up an independent international investigation for "such crimes" in Syria.

Assad's government and the opposition have blamed the Damascus attack on "terrorists".

Russia notes the obvious that when it comes to Syria the Obama administration has a double standard when it comes to atrocities and human rights violations and other crimes committed by Bashar Assad as opposed to those committed by the extremists factions who are working with the anti-Assad rebel forces.

Russia accuses US of double standards over Syria ,Reuters via Alternet, Fri. 22,2013

* Russia criticises US over response to Syria car bomb

* Russia backs Assad, Washington blames him over conflict (Recasts, adds quotes, analyst comment)

By Alessandra Prentice

MOSCOW, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States on Friday of having double standards on Syria, saying it had blocked a U.N. Security Council statement condemning a car bomb attack in Damascus.

Washington denied it had blocked the statement and said it had only asked for balance. The disagreement was likely to sour the atmosphere before Lavrov meets newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry next week in Berlin.

Lavrov told a news conference Washington had disappointed Moscow by blocking a statement condemning "terrorist attacks" near the Russian embassy in Damascus that killed more than 50 people and that Washington was threatening international unity in the "war on terror".

"We believe these are double standards," Lavrov said after talks with China's foreign minister.

"And we see in it a very dangerous tendency by our American colleagues to depart from the fundamental principle of unconditional condemnation of any terrorist act, a principle which secures the unity of the international community in the fight against terrorism," he said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. mission at the United Nations said it had not blocked any statement of condemnation but had sought to balance the text with criticism of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, which it said Russia had rejected.

"We strongly condemn all indiscriminate terrorist attacks against civilians or against diplomatic facilities," said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. mission.

Ties between Washington and Moscow have worsened since Vladimir Putin returned to Russia's presidency last May.

The passage of U.S. legislation intended to punish Russian officials accused of human rights abuses and a Russian ban on American families adopting Russian children have also contributed to the deterioration in recent weeks.
and so it goes,
GORD.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ironically Julian Assange Speech to the Oxford Union Was Censored


The president, for instance, speaks of the way U.S. forces heroically “pushed the Taliban out of their strongholds.” Like other top U.S. officials over the years, he forgets whom we pushed into the Afghan government, our “stronghold” in the years after the 2001 invasion: ex-Taliban and Taliban-like fundamentalists, the most brutal civil warriors, and serial human rights violators.

Afghans, however, haven’t forgotten just whom the U.S. put in place to govern them -- exactly the men they feared and hated most in exactly the place where few Afghans wanted them to be. Early on, between 2002 and 2004, 90% of Afghans surveyed nationwide told the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission that such men should not be allowed to hold public office; 76% wanted them tried as war criminals.

Quote from: Only Three Choices for Afghan Endgame: Compromise, Conflict, or Collapse Counting down to 2014 by Ann Jones TomDispatch via CommonDreams .org, Jan. 28, 2013

USA erroneously claims that it is fighting on behalf of the government and people of Yemen but the reality on the ground and in the streets of Yemen is at odds with President Obama's view of Yemen. The anti-American protests in Yemen illustrate this point as hundreds of thousands of Yemen citizens take part in the protests . This shows the anti-American and anti-Drone attacks is not some small group of radical anti-American group but is for the most part a national consensus . Of course if Obama wants to keep up drone attacks in Yemen he will and the voice of the Yemen people will be ignored or crushed by the brutal and corrupt government of Yemen.

Yemenis hold anti-US protest

Published on 15 Feb 2013

www.youtube.com/LifeNewsFul
Protesters in Sana'a have staged a demonstration after Friday Prayers calling for the prosecution of government officials believed to have been involved in the killing of peaceful demonstrators during the Yemeni uprising.

Protesters have been engaged in weakly demonstrations in the capital calling on the President to take decisive measures in bringing to justice those who took part in the crackdown.





Julian Assange gave a speech via internet to the Oxford Union which was honoring whistleblowers and even they ironically censored the speech by replacing the film of the Baghdad massacre carried out by US troops playing in the background out of fear of US government would object .

So even groups concerned with the free flow of information fears being attacked by the US government.

In the speech Julian Assange talks about the need to uncover the truth when governments lie to their own constituency .

He compares the run up to the Iraq war with the propaganda the governments are spinning to get approval for war against Iran.

Since the mid 1980s the USA and Israel have over and over again raised the specter of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

The US government and the Media have continued to demonize the Iranian government and portraying the Iranians as hell bent on developing nuclear weapons to use against Israel and the USA or at least US forces based in the region.

But report after report on Iran's nuclear program have shown that Iran's nuclear program is to do with developing nuclear power stations and nothing to do with weapons development .So when these facts get in the way of what the US intends to do that is bomb and possibly invade Iran those in power in the US claim the facts are wrong as they did in the case of WMDs and Saddam.

So Iran they claim has managed to continue its (non-existent) nuclear weapons program and to trick others into believing that it is not pursuing such a program.

So once again the US insists on more investigations of Iran's nuclear program and WMDs as it did in Iraq in 2003 and if these inspectors don't find anything according to those in power USA this absence of evidence doesn't prove anything except how good Iran is at hiding such a program as they once told us Iraq also was . But no evidence of WMDs or a nuclear weapons program were ever uncovered in Iraq after the US invasion and occupation and yet here we are again as those in power make a case for justifying another unnecessary war . And once again the government and Western media have created in the minds of their constituents that Iran is in deed a very real imminent threat to the USA and Israel and other nations.

Julian Assange speech that was censored by the Oxford Union

Published on 1 Feb 2013

In an attempt to highlight the importance of whistleblowers, Julian Assange chose to have WikiLeaks' Collateral Murder footage as background for his speech at the Sam Adams Awards, an award dedicated to whistleblowers.

The ceremony was organized by the Oxford Union. As a result of the video playing in the background and unsuccessful attempts to vet Julian's speech, the Union pulled the live stream from the event and spent two days substituting the US Army massacre footage with their logo. The Union claimed they feared that the US government would take legal action concerning "copyright" of the Apache gun camera footage. Wikileaks advised the Union that by law and practice the US government does not claim copyrights on footage or documents that it produces, the Union still decided to censor the video.

See http://collateralmurder.com/ for more information behind the Collateral Murder event in Baghdad.




Afghan Civilians Bear Brunt of Death, Injury as US War Continues
UN report shows that as war drags on, the most vulnerable suffer the most
-
Jon Queally, staff writer via CommonDreams.org, Feb. 19, 2013


In a war that the US refuses to end in Afghanistan, the civilian population of that country continues to suffer the most with the UN reporting 2,754 civilian deaths and 4,805 civilian injuries in the country last year.

Though the report released by the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says the casualty rates were down from 2011, it was cautious to note that the level of ongoing death and injury was nothing to celebrate.

"The human cost of the conflict remains unacceptable," said Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan and the head of UNAMA.

“It is the tragic reality that most Afghan women and girls were killed or injured while engaging in their everyday activities,” said Georgette Gagnon, Director of Human Rights section of UNAMA.

The UN report notes that targeting of Afghan government workers was up a shocking 700 percent in 2012. It also notes the largest number of victims of violence come from roadside bombs and other attacks by anti-government and anti-US/NATO forces, like the Taliban.

The report is a rather cold accounting of attributable deaths and injuries in the country, but offers little in the way of context for a war that has now dragged on for more than eleven years with no real end in sight. Despite talk of "drawdowns" in Washington and some accepted notion in the US media that the "war will be over by 2014," the violence in the country is "unacceptable" precisely because so few seem to understand why the war is still being fought at all..

Peace talks are non-existent and the use of unmanned drones in the country is on the rise.

So in order to save the Afghan people from the Taliban and AlQaeda they have destroyed most of the country over the last eleven years of fighting.

Though the Americans claim to have in part gone to war in Afghanistan to oust the unpopular brutal Taliban regime it appears that many members of the current regime were part of the ousted Taliban Regime and that the Taliban and its allies are set to take control once the USA leaves Afghanistan.

The Afghan people in general see the elections foisted on them by the USA as being illegitimate since there was widespread election fraud and a low turn out of eligible voters and that many of the candidates were in fact involved with the brutal and corrupt former Regime and should not have been permitted to run as candidates.


Only Three Choices for Afghan Endgame: Compromise, Conflict, or Collapse Counting down to 2014 by Ann Jones TomDispatch via CommonDreams .org, Jan. 28, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan – Compromise, conflict, or collapse: ask an Afghan what to expect in 2014 and you’re likely to get a scenario that falls under one of those three headings. 2014, of course, is the year of the double whammy in Afghanistan: the next presidential election coupled with the departure of most American and other foreign forces. Many Afghans fear a turn for the worse, while others are no less afraid that everything will stay the same. Some even think things will get better when the occupying forces leave. Most predict a more conservative climate, but everyone is quick to say that it’s anybody’s guess.

...Another term that never seems to enter ordinary Afghan conversation, much as it obsesses Americans, is “al-Qaeda.” President Obama, for instance, announced at a joint press conference with President Karzai: “Our core objective -- the reason we went to war in the first place -- is now within reach: ensuring that al-Qaeda can never again use Afghanistan to launch attacks against America.” An Afghan journalist asked me, “Why does he worry so much about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Doesn’t he know they are everywhere else?”

At the same Washington press conference, Obama said, “The nation we need to rebuild is our own.” Afghans long ago gave up waiting for the U.S. to make good on its promises to rebuild theirs. What’s now striking, however, is the vast gulf between the pronouncements of American officialdom and the hopes of ordinary Afghans. It’s a gap so wide you would hardly think -- as Afghans once did -- that we are fighting for them.

To take just one example: the official American view of events in Afghanistan is wonderfully black and white. The president, for instance, speaks of the way U.S. forces heroically “pushed the Taliban out of their strongholds.” Like other top U.S. officials over the years, he forgets whom we pushed into the Afghan government, our “stronghold” in the years after the 2001 invasion: ex-Taliban and Taliban-like fundamentalists, the most brutal civil warriors, and serial human rights violators.

Afghans, however, haven’t forgotten just whom the U.S. put in place to govern them -- exactly the men they feared and hated most in exactly the place where few Afghans wanted them to be. Early on, between 2002 and 2004, 90% of Afghans surveyed nationwide told the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission that such men should not be allowed to hold public office; 76% wanted them tried as war criminals.

President Karzai of Afghanistan has insisted the US forces stop all air attacks. Karzai also decreed that any one responsible for the abuse and torture of prisoners be prosecuted.

But given the US refusal to acknowledge and prosecute American troops and other US personnel for widespread abuse and torture of prisoners committed by US personnel and those who gave the orders for such actions in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere why should Karzai be expected to investigate or charge Afghani personnel for committing torture or other abuses of prisoners.

President Obama claims that there is little or no purpose to be served by investigating and charging those who took part in or ordered or who gave a legal veneer for abuse and torture of prisoners under the Bush Regime . But his decision to not take appropriate actions in these cases is a violation of international law. This is why it is considered disingenuous of President Obama whenever he makes a speech talking about respecting the Rule of Law since he doesn't in fact respect the rule of law that is international law or the laws of the United States itself. But after 12 years of fighting the Global War on Terrorism those in power in the USA and its quisling media have convinced most Americans that international laws and agreement do not have jurisdiction over America or its military and that abuse and torture of prisoners is no big deal or is just a matter of a few bad apples even though abuse and torture of prisoners by US personnel is widespread and ongoing.

Nato can work within Afghan air strike ban, says top US commander General Joseph Dunford says coalition forces can conduct 'effective operations' in line with President Hamid Karzai's ban AP guardian.co, Feb. 17, 2013

President Hamid Karzai said he decided on the ban after Afghan security services asked the US military for an air strike during a joint Afghan-Nato operation last week. Afghan officials said the air strike killed 10 civilians, including women and children, in north-east Kunar province along with four insurgents.

The death of civilians during military operations, particularly in air strikes, has been among the most divisive issues of the 11-year-old war. The US-led coalition has implemented measures to mitigate them, but the Afghan military also relies heavily on air support to gain an upper hand in the fight against Taliban militants and other insurgents.

... The US-led military coalition said last June that it would limit air strikes to a self-defence weapon of last resort for troops and would avoid hitting structures that could house civilians.

That followed a bombardment that killed 18 civilians celebrating a wedding in eastern Logar province, which drew an apology from the American commander.

...He (Karzai) also has issued a decree that orders the prosecution of Afghan security forces involved in torturing prisoners and requires all future interrogations be videotaped.

That decree, issued late Saturday, came after a government delegation agreed with a UN report that found widespread abuse in Afghan prisons more than a year after reforms were promised.

The Afghan government had previously maintained that torture occurred rarely, if at all, but said it would put more oversight in place to make sure prisoners were not being abused.

After a two-week fact-finding mission, an Afghan government delegation said earlier this month that it had found credible evidence that close to half of the prisoners the delegation interviewed were tortured.

...The decree stressed the importance of prosecuting anyone accused of mistreatment. It also calls on the country's chief justice, the interior minister, the head of the intelligence service and the justice minister to produce a report every three months on their progress on these reforms

and so it goes,
GORD.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

America "A Beacon Of Freedom or Oppression And Legalizing Assassinations And Obama & Media Ignore Reform Protests in Bahrain & Kuwait




Iconic image of Israeli attitude towards all Palestinians as mere targets

America Beacon of Freedom or Oppression?

President Obama in his State of the Union Address pronounced that America must be a "Beacon of Freedom" . But this is not as straight forward as it at first appears. US leaders and the US government don't always support pro-reform pro-democracy movements but seem to cherry-pick which to support and which not to support. The US supports those protesting for reform and /or regime change in Iran but not hose protesting in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.

The US only gave support to the Egyptian Arab Spring pro-reform movement grudgingly after Mubarak had no choice but to step down.

In Syria the US did not give much support to the peaceful uprising against Bashar Assad but instead promoted a number of well armed violent Jihadists Extremists and now Syria is in the midst of a brutal and deadly civil war in which over 60,000 Syrians have been killed.

Meanwhile in Libya the US instead of allowing a peaceful reform movement to continue instead used NATO forces to crush the Qaddafi Regime .In Bahrain the US has criticized the Regime for its crack down on peaceful protesters which include the majority of Bahraini citizens but has continued to supply the al-Khalifa Monarchy with arms including tear gas and mace to use against protesters. Over 120 people have been killed by Bahraini and Saudi Arabian security forces and thousands arrested and tortured. And the US has still not put real pressure on the regime and takes their word that they are reforming when in fact they are not.




President Obama for all his blathering on about America being a beacon of freedom more often America is on the side of the oppressors .

The USA for instance in 1973 had President Allende of Chile assassinated to be replaced by the Fascist dictator Generalissimo Augustus Pinochet So America has a history of over throwing regimes it does not like. In 2009 President Obama helped engineer the over throw of the democratically elected president Zelaya of Honduras to be replaced by a military Junta . Obama has also overthrown with the help of NATO Qaddaffi of Libya
.

And Obama and previous administrations have been involved in a propaganda war and possibly the infiltration of Venezuela to oust the popular leftist regime of Hugo Chavez .

So America believes it has a right to ignore the sovereignty of other nations and to interfere in the democratic process especially whenever someone comes into power in that nation who tries to do what's best for their country and not necessarily best for the US government or American corporations with interest in said country.


The American belief to put a possible positive spin on it is that the peoples of other nations sometimes vote for the wrong type of government because they don't know what's best for them. This is typical American attitude of arrogantly believing they know better based upon the erroneous national myth that America has always been a true democratic state which has always respected the rights of all of its citizens and that its destiny or role is to bring its superior political, economic and social values to the rest of the world.

This patronizing arrogant attitude is the typical attitude and often fatal character flaw of imperialist regimes since the times of the ancient Persian and Roman empires to the various western empires of Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, German , Belgium and Dutch empires.

Kuwait : Despotic vs Democratic: 'Gulf states suppress rallies with US blessing'

Published on 5 Nov 2012

Local activists in Kuwait say security forces have detained dozens of pro-democracy campaigners in the latest clampdown on a rally in the Gulf nation. Riot police used stun grenades and smoke bombs against thousands of demonstrators who defied a ban on public gatherings, protesting against new voting rules.

Sunday's rally became the third major protest in the past few days. Geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser says Gulf monarchies confidently take undemocratic measures, comfortable in the knowledge they have the support of the US




Kuwait demonstration today on gulf
Oct. 21, 2012.


Police fire teargas and rubber bullets at opposition protesters in Kuwait AlJazeera

Published on 21 Oct 2012

Police in Kuwait have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a huge crowd of protesters, calling for political reform in the Kingdom. Tens of thousands rallied in Kuwait City, angry about recent changes to electoral laws, which they call a constitutional coup. Al Jazeera's Caroline Malone reports.




KUWAIT UPRISING; Violence Amid Protests In Gulf's Oldest Monarchy

Published on 8 Dec 2012


While countries like Egypt may now be turning another page in its Arab Spring revolution, one of the oldest Gulf Monarchies is still on page one. Largely unnoticed in the West, Kuwait's rulers are cracking down on protesters and blocking the opposition's political moves. But all of this is energizing the resistance even more - as RT's Lucy Kafanov reports.




and so it goes,
GORD.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Global Protest Support Bahrain's Pro-Reform Movement & Political Prisoner Whistleblower Bradley Manning's 1000 Days Indefinite Detention & America "A Beacon Of Injustice"


Just a friendly reminder to Amnesiac Americans that torture includes other techniques besides "waterboarding"

...The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as "…the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering for purposes such as obtaining information or a confession, or punishing, intimidating or coercing someone." Torture is always illegal. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Abuse of prisoners doesn’t have to be torture to be illegal. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment (CID) is also illegal under international and U.S. law. CID includes any harsh or neglectful treatment that could damage a detainee’s physical or mental health or any punishment intended to cause physical or mental pain or suffering, or to humiliate or degrade the person being punished.

Torture and Other Ill-Treatment Amnesty International

President Obama and the American government and its quisling media allegedly support reform and pro-democracy popular uprisings in any country but this is only true in those countries in which the US dislike the current regime Syria, Iran . In other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Obama and his followers ignore all together or downplay the the abuse by these governments or erroneously blame the reform movements on foreign provocateurs or as being sectarian in nature .
Bahrain's Shia population don't want some form of Sharia law as practiced by Saudi Arabia, or the Taliban but instead are agitating for parliamentary democracy where each person gets to vote and that there be a an accountable and a fair judicial system and freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.


But it should be noted no matter how fuzzy inside some people felt during Obama's SOTU speech they should judge Obama on his abysmal human rights record .
Even Americans as we saw during the Occupy crack down no longer have the freedom of assembly.
If Obama had meant what he said in his State of the Union address he would first apologize to those who took part in the Occupy protests who were unnecessarily roughed up, pepper sprayed, maced and incarcerated , intimidated, threatened, bullied, their cameras and other personal belongings destroyed or confiscated .
Secondly Obama would instruct the FBI or whomever it should be investigate the unconstitutional widespread draconian brutal crack down by local police forces and to take substantive action against those who abused their authority.

Press TV Bahrain 2nd Anniversary of the popular protests of The Reform Movements


video

Americans want to believe that they are a force for positive change but the US has often been on the wrong side of history at least since it began engineering coups to topple leaders they did not like . It didn't matter if the people of the targeted nation approved of the leader what mattered was America's approval. So the US toppled leaders in the Middle East in Asia, Africa and Latin America to put in place their own puppet regimes that would ignore the needs of the citizens of that nation and do the bidding of America . This is the very definition of imperialism.

When the American public is able to defend the indefensible such as torture, renditions , crack downs on peaceful protesters and jailing and or harrassing dissidents or alleged terrorists and insurgents they open the flood gates to more abuses and eventually once the abuses are acceptable in other countries supported by America then eventually the US government may start committing the same human rights violations in America itself. And all they have to do is claim their actions are due to National Security and most of the Media and the American public accept the government at its word.


While President Obama and the American media decry poitical prisoners arrested and held in Iranian prison they ignore the plight of political prisoner Bradley Manning who has been abused and tortured under the direction of President Obama during his 1,000 days of his incarceration. Bradley Manning was alleged to have leaked government documents to Wikileaks. Obama also has little or nothing to say about the suicide of hactivists Aaron Swartz who's crime was to download academic papers from the internet and was harrased and threatened with a a one million dollar fine and up to 32 years in jail. The consensus of his family , friends and collegues is that the pressure put on him by the US government led to his suicide.

Meanwhile the USA put out a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange of Wikileaks for allegedly exposing government secret documents . Julian Assange for a number of months now is living in the Ecudorian Embassy in London after the Ecudorian government granted him asylum.

And while Obama and American media decry harsh crackdown on protesters in Iran they ignore and make excuses for a similar cracdown in Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia and other American friendly nations.
And it appears in the Nation of Amnesiacs Americans forget about the brutal crack down of the Occupy Movement protests by the heavily armed militarized police across America .


40 Cities Around Globe Set to Protest 1,000th Day of Bradley Manning's Imprisonment
The source behind WikiLeaks' massive expose of U.S. foreign policy has been in jail for close to three years. Alternet.org, Feb. 19, 2013


40 cities around the world are set to mark the 1,000th day of WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning’s imprisonment. Manning’s whistleblowing acts will be honored and his imprisonment without a speedy trial denounced this weekend in places ranging from Denver to Rome to Sydney.

Manning is alleged to have been the source behind massive amounts of information WikiLeaks exposed, including the State Department cables that exposed nefarious dealings in U.S. foreign policy as well as the “Collateral Murder” video that showed U.S. Army helicopters firing and killing Iraqi civilians.

The rallies around the world are being organized by the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Supporters are gathering in cities across the U.S., Europe and Australia for marches, rallies, art installations, concerts, live theater, and other events to criticize the unjust prosecution and raise awareness about Manning's case,” the network states.

Manning’s court martial trial is set for June of this year--three years after his initial arrest. His imprisonment by the military was marked by punitive abuse that included isolation and his clothes being removed from him. A UN rapporteur called Manning’s conditions “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” and earlier this year a judge confirmed that Manning’s conditions were excessively harsh and constituted pretrial punishment, which is prohibited under military law.

While US troops in Iraq were told that whatever they did the military would defend their actions so they could abuse, rape and kill civilians since all Iraqis whom they refer to as Hajis were all potential suicide bombers,terrorists,insurgents or spies and that the only good Haji is a dead Haji . These soldiers were told from boot camp on that all Muslims and Arabs are America's enemies and are the enemies of Christianity and therefore on the side of evil or even the devil .
So with impunity with a few exceptions US troops committed various Crimes and atrocities, rape, mass murders and went hunting humans just for pleasure and to fulfill their weekly body count during the occupation and conquest of Iraq

So it is no surprise given this mind set of paranoia and fear that many US soldiers were a bit trigger happy and many of them justified whatever atrocities they committed as part of their patriotic duty and to defend Christianity and Western Civilization.

Checkpoint Killings Al Jazeera

Uploaded on 22 Oct 2010

The Iraq war documents from WikiLeaks contain details of hundreds of civilian deaths at US military checkpoints.




US turned blind eye to torture Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them. by Gregg Carlston at AlJazeera, Oct. 24, 2010.


An alleged militant identified only as "DAT 326" was detained by the Iraqi army on July 7, 2006 at a checkpoint in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. When US forces interrogated him later that night, he described hours of brutal abuse at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers, an allegation apparently backed by the findings of a medical exam.

DAT 326 states he was told to lay down on his stomach with his hands behind his back, which is when the Iraqi soldiers allegedly stepped, jumped, urinated and spit on him.

[…] DAT 326 was evaluated and treated for his injuries at Cobra Clinic. Injuries include blurred vision, diminished hearing in left ear, bleeding in ears, bruising on forehead, neck, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, and thighs, cuts over the left eye and on the upper and lower lips, hemorrhaging eyes, blood in nasal cavities, and swollen hands/wrists.

Since the alleged torture was committed by Iraqi forces, the US quickly dropped the case: "Due to no allegation or evidence of US involvement, a US investigation is not being initiated," the report said.

A review of the leaked documents reveals more than 1,000 allegations of abuse committed by Iraqi security forces. Not all of them are credible, as some detainees showed no physical evidence of abuse, while others changed their stories during multiple interrogations.

But hundreds of them – like "DAT 326" – are supported by medical evidence and other corroboration. Those reports demonstrate a clear pattern of abuse and torture in Iraqi jails, one that a high-level Pentagon directive barred US forces from investigating.

...One could argue, of course, that the decision to look the other way represents a clear moral failing – and a conscious decision to undermine US’ own stated goal of nation-building. The US has spent tens of millions of dollars to develop prisons, courts, and the “rule of law” in Iraq. But the leaked documents show that Iraq's security forces routinely violated the most basic rights of detainees in their custody, assaulting them, threatening their families, occasionally even raping or murdering them.

More importantly, many of the detainee abuse reports suggest that the US knowingly violated the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

The convention – which the United States ratified in 1994 – forbids signatories from transferring a detainee to other countries "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture".

The thousand-plus allegations of torture in Iraqi jails, many of them substantiated by medical evidence, clearly seem to constitute "substantial grounds" to believe that prisoners transferred to Iraqi custody could be tortured. Yet the US has transferred thousands of prisoners to Iraqi custody in recent years, including nearly 2,000 who were handed over to the Iraqis in July, 2010.

...In October 2006, for example, members of a Stryker battalion talked about detainee abuses committed by their unit, a report that was forwarded to a higher-level commander.

They said when persons were detained, the driver of the Stryker would call back to warn the soldiers that he was about to stop abruptly. The soldiers would hold on and watch as the detainee was propelled forward. PFC Palmer and unidentified SPC also explained how soldiers in the bank [sic] of the Stryker would take turns punching the detainees... on one occasion a Sunni detainee was extremely upset after the Stryker knowingly dropped the detainee off outside of a Shia mosque.

There are numerous other claims, of US troops allegedly beating detainees or threatening to kill their families
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America a beacon of injustice and abandonment of International Law to justify abusing prisoners and murdering civilians in order to terrorize the indigenous population in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.


Torture and Other Ill-Treatment Amnesty International


...The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as "…the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering for purposes such as obtaining information or a confession, or punishing, intimidating or coercing someone." Torture is always illegal. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Abuse of prisoners doesn’t have to be torture to be illegal. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment (CID) is also illegal under international and U.S. law. CID includes any harsh or neglectful treatment that could damage a detainee’s physical or mental health or any punishment intended to cause physical or mental pain or suffering, or to humiliate or degrade the person being punished.

...In the years since 9/11, the U.S. government has repeatedly violated both international and domestic prohibitions on torture and CID in the name of fighting terrorism.

* The Bush Administration decided the Geneva Conventions would not apply to detainees held in Guantánamo Bay (a decision later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court) Article III of the Geneva Convention
* The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel produced a series of “torture memos,” which mutilated the law so as to restrict the definition of CID and to make certain torture practices seem legal under U.S. law;
* U.S. interrogations of suspects in the “war on terror” have included such cruel and inhuman techniques as prolonged isolation and sleep deprivation, intimidation by the use of a dog, sexual and other humiliation, stripping, hooding, the use of loud music, white noise, and exposure to extreme temperatures;
* The CIA used waterboarding – illegal as torture under international and U.S. law – to interrogate three “high-value” detainees;
* The U.S. began to send detainees for interrogation to countries known to use torture;
* President Bush admitted that several high-level officials in his Administration met secretly to authorize specific interrogation methods otherwise prohibited.

Numerous instances of torture and CID by U.S. personnel – confirmed by U.S. officials who took part in or witnessed these events – have been fed by a climate of impunity and the failure of either the executive branch or Congress to conduct a comprehensive, impartial, and independent investigation into detention policies and practices.

This has had a corrosive effect on respect for human rights around the world. The U.S. has lost influence over the behavior of other governments. U.S. misconduct has encouraged others to feel they have license to violate international law. And these practices make U.S. citizens vulnerable to abusive treatment when they are abroad.

Amnesty International is calling on the United States to adhere to its own professed values and help strengthen, instead of weaken, international compliance with universal standards of human rights.