OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — In the latest of a series of measures by the Israeli occupation to empty Jerusalem of its indigenous population, the occupation authorities gave eviction notices to about 50 families from the Saraya’a clan who live in the Abu Hindi valley east of the occupied holy city.
Locals sources said that IOF troops on Thursday raided the Saraya’a clan’s camp and gave notice to the residents of Bedouin camp to leave within two weeks. The clan lives in a camp which separates the Kidar and Maaleh Adumim settlements and refuse to leave their place of residence.
The PIC reported two years ago that Israel was strenuously working on creating greater Jerusalem that would eat up 10% of the entire West Bank area, according to a statement by Khalil Tafakji, an expert on Israeli settlements and the director of the maps center for Arab studies.
He stated that Israel also plans to separate northern West Bank from its southern areas and works against the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The settlements’ expert explained that the Kidar and Maaleh Adumim settlement bloc east and north of occupied Jerusalem over an area of 191 square kilometers would absolutely prevent establishment of a Palestinian state geographically connected with Jerusalem as its capital.
The latest report to Congress on the Justice Department’s use of foreign intelligence surveillance powers has just been released, and it shows a truly stunning increase in the number of Americans whose sensitive phone, Internet, and banking records were obtained by the FBI — without judicial oversight — pursuant to National Security Letters. In 2009, a total of 14,788 NSL requests were issued targeting U.S. persons — a number that excludes requests for “basic subscriber information” as opposed to phone or e-mail logs — and 6,114 different Americans were affected by those demands for information. In 2010, the number of NSL requests targeting Americans rose to 24,287.
What’s really shocking, however, is the number of people affected. A whopping 14,212 American citizens and permanent residents had records of their financial, telephone, and online activity seized last year. The previous record, set in 2005, was 9,475. Were you one of those 14,212? If so, what did the FBI get? Thanks to the gag orders that come with NSLs, you will almost certainly never get to find out. But even if the Bureau decides there’s no reason to continue investigating you, whatever data they obtained — lists of phone numbers, credit card purchases, financial transactions, e-mail correspondents, or IP addresses visited — are likely to remain in a massive government database indefinitely
This pattern suggests that the Bureau is doing broader but shallower investigation — sweeping more people into the information vacuum, but issuing fewer requests per person, presumably because the results of the initial request provide few grounds for further scrutiny. Needless to say, the overwhelming majority of those people are not terrorists — and, indeed, are probably guilty of nothing more than a second- or third-degree connection to the subject of an investigation. Remember, as expiring Patriot Act provisions come up for re-authorization at the end of this month: These tools are fundamentally not about spying on terrorists. The government has always had ample power to do that. They’re about authority to spy on the innocent.
US Special Operations forces rescue captured Private Jessica Lynch from Saddam Hussein Hospital hospital near Nasiriyah (see March 23, 2003). According to the Pentagon, the rescue is a classic Special Forces raid, with US commandos in Black Hawk helicopters blasting their way through Iraqi resistance in and out of the medical compound. [Baltimore Sun, 11/11/2003] The Associated Press’s initial report is quite guarded, saying only that Lynch had been rescued. An Army spokesman “did not know whether Lynch had been wounded or when she might return to the United States.” [Project for Excellence in Journalism, 6/23/2003]
‘Shooting Going In … Shooting Going Out’ – Subsequent accounts are far more detailed (see April 3, 2003). Military officials say that the rescue was mounted after securing intelligence from CIA operatives. A Special Forces unit of Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and Air Force combat controllers “touched down in blacked-out conditions,” according to the Washington Post. Cover is provided by an AC-130 gunship circling overhead; a reconnaissance aircraft films the events of the rescue. One military official briefed on the operation says: “There was shooting going in, there was some shooting going out. It was not intensive. There was no shooting in the building, but it was hairy, because no one knew what to expect. When they got inside, I don’t think there was any resistance. It was fairly abandoned.” [Washington Post, 4/3/2003] CENTCOM spokesman General Vincent Brooks says he is not yet sure who Lynch’s captors were, but notes: “Clearly the regime had done this. It was regime forces that had been in there. Indications are they were paramilitaries, but we don’t know exactly who. They’d apparently moved most of them out before we arrived to get in, although, as I mentioned, there were buildings outside of the Saddam Hospital, where we received fire—or the assault force received fire—during the night.” [New York Times, 4/2/2003]
‘Prototype Torture Chamber’ – According to a military official, the Special Forces soldiers find what he calls a “prototype” Iraqi torture chamber in the hospital’s basement, equipped with batteries and metal prods. US Marines are patrolling Nasiriyah to engage whatever Iraqi forces may still be in the area. [Washington Post, 4/3/2003]
- Jessica Lynch, check out how The Washington Post misled you (frankwarner.typepad.com)
- PsyWar (documentaryplace.wordpress.com)
Workers at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant in Port Gibson, Miss., last Thursday released a large amount of radioactive tritium directly into the Mississippi River, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and experts are currently trying to sort out the situation. An investigation is currently underway to determine why the tritium was even present in standing water found in an abandoned unit of the plant, as well as how much of this dangerous nuclear byproduct ended up getting dumped into the river. Many also want to know why workers released the toxic tritium before conducting proper tests.
The Mississippi Natchez Democrat reports that crews first discovered the radioactive water in the plant’s Unit 2 turbine building after heavy rains began hitting the area last week. Unit 2 was a partially-constructed, abandoned structure that should not have contained any radioactive materials, let alone tritium, which is commonly used to manufacture nuclear weapons and test atomic bombs (
According to reports, alarms began to go off as workers were releasing the radioactive storm water into the river, which engaged the stop flow on the release pump. Neither NRC nor plant officials know how much tritium was released into the river during this release.
“Although concentrations of tritium exceeded EPA drinking water limits, the release should not represent a hazard to public health because of its dilution in the river,” insisted Lara Uselding, public affairs officer at NRC Region IV, to reporters.
Such a statement, of course, is a health concern because precise levels of released tritium are unknown. Just because the radioactive substance has been diluted does not necessarily mean it is harmless, nor does it verify the substance’s source or whether or not it is still being unknowingly released. Without this crucial information, there is no telling where else tritium might be lurking around the plant and river.
A beta radioactive substance, tritium bombards cells and damages DNA when inhaled or swallowed, and can persist in the body for more than ten years upon exposure. Its perpetual effect on cells can lead to all sorts of serious diseases, including, but not limited to, gene mutations, birth defects, and cancer.
Sources for this story include:
How many pro-Israelis have to support the Arab uprisings before people begin to suspect that Israel might be partial to a little “democratic change” in the region?
Among those who have enthusiastically backed what Shimon Peres approvingly refers to as the Arab “awakening,” I’ve already noted the following Israel partisans: Robert Kagan, Elliott Abrams, Ellen Bork, William Kristol, Carl Gershman, Martin Peretz, Natan Sharansky, Bernard Lewis, David Keyes, Ronald Lauder, Sheldon Adelson, Larry Diamond, Jared Cohen, Tamara Wittes, George Soros, Peter Ackerman, Kenneth Wollack, Sheldon Himmelfarb, Robert Satloff, David Pollock, Norman J. Pattiz, Walter Issacson, Nicholas Kristof, Anne Applebaum, Kenneth Pollack, Josh Block, Max Kampelman, Joshua Muravchik, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Nicole Lapin, Jason Liebman, Madeleine Albright, Joe Lieberman, and last, but certainly not least in his fealty to the Jewish state, John McCain.
The latest pro-Israel advocate of democracy promotion in the Middle East to come to my attention is Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) senior fellow Steven A. Cook. Writing on his CFR blog on May 3 about the unrest in Syria, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies urged President Obama to publicly back the opposition, increase sanctions, and call for President Assad’s departure. Despite the risk of “generalized instability” that would likely ensue from Assad’s fall, Cook opined that the “potential for isolating Iran … is worth the risk.”
Like many a policy “expert” willing to take risks with American interests, Cook has quite an impressive pro-Israel pedigree. In the late 1990s, he was a Soref Research Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the AIPAC-created think tank. In 2004, he authored “The Unspoken Power: Civil-Military Relations and the Prospects for Reform” for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy — named after Haim Saban, the Egyptian-born Israeli-American media mogul who admitted to the New York Times that Israel was the only issue that concerned him. In that paper, Cook advocated political liberalization and economic reform in the Middle East and the broader Islamic world, a theme which he pursued as director of the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. policy toward reform in the Arab world, and in his 2007 book, “Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey.” But when he isn’t busy promoting democratic reform in Israel’s neighbourhood, he reportedly “works overtime” to make sure the U.S. shares Israeli policy objectives.
And like the National Endowment for Democracy’s program officer for Middle East and North Africa, Amira Maaty, and former State Department official and CFR adjunct fellow Jared Cohen, (who “has written about how technology can empower citizens in repressive regimes”), Cook just happened to arrive in Cairo in time to witness the protests that could herald the reform he has long sought.
The US corporate media and members of US Congress and Senate have brazenly advised Obama administration to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and members of his extended family. Senator Lindsey Graham, member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said on CNN: “My recommendation to Nato and administration is to cut the head of the snake off. Go to Tripoli, start bombing Qaddafi’s inner circle, their compounds, their military headquarters.”
Had such dreadful advice not been given by US policymakers to Nato, without any qualms of conscience, a suitable euphemism in place of ‘murder’ in the title of this piece could have been used to make Qaddafi’s proposed murder look less gruesome. Had Senator Graham read George Orwell on how grisly acts of war were euphemised to make them palatable, he could have asked to ‘silence Qaddafi’ instead of demanding the cutting off of his head. But the Senator must have chosen his words carefully for his warning to sound as stark, spiteful, and ghastly as it did.
When the CNN host pointed out that attacks on civilian areas of Tripoli were not covered by the UN resolution 1973, the Senator retorted, “The goal is to get rid of Qaddafi. The people around Qaddafi need to wake up every day wondering ‘will this be my last?’. So I wouldn’t let the UN mandate stop what is the right thing to do.” Hubris apart, what did Qaddafi do to earn the wrath of the imperialist powers is what bewilders large populations of Muslim countries, save many of their governments. Arab leaders who are aiding and abetting Libya’s destruction will do well to remember that they might soon face the predicament Qaddafi now faces.
Desert sands are proverbially treacherous. When they shift, one feels them slipping under the feet while one wistfully looks towards the Muslim brethren for help. But the brethren in cloaks choose to remain mute; they’re grateful to live a few more years in opulence. Had atrocities of the magnitude perpetrated against Libya been committed against any tiny Christian country, the Christian world would have crowed to high heavens. The Muslim world is in a deep slumber.
Without doubt, the wars of the last 10 plus years are predatory by any definition and corporate media have played a leading role in promoting them. For instance, the editorial desks and columnists of the New York Times and the Washington Post have actually been guiding the US administration in what to do and how to proceed in Libya. The Times has advised using A-130 Hercules turbo prop armed with 105mm cannon that fires 10 high explosive shells a minute, and three 25mm cannons that fire 7500 rounds a minute on their targets. The aircraft has been described as the ‘Angel of Death’ because shrapnel from its cannon fire spread across about 1500 metres. Further, this aircraft has been used with devastating impact in Iraq and Afghanistan. Human beings caught in the orbit of fire are blown to smithereens.
Noticeably, the main media outlets leading the Libyan war on the media front are Fox News, The Sun, The Times of London, Sunday Times, the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, and of course, the New York Times and the Washington Post. It is no surprise that the first five belong to one of the largest media conglomerates – News Corporation owned by Rupert Murdoch, an Australian Jew and now, a naturalised US citizen. Some of us rejoicing to watch two shows for the price of one in reading the International Herald Tribune – a dwarfed version of the New York Times – along with the English daily that is locally published, may like to know the origin of the paper, its editorial policy, and what it stands for.
Wouldn’t most of us like to read balanced news and articles and not distorted facts, slanted news, and carefully crafted untruth in the guise of gospel truth?
Nevertheless, the rhetoric going around paints a great humanitarian effort to save the Libyans, Qaddafi’s own people. The world is told that his forces are mercilessly killing people, and that the three imperial powers, the UK, France, and the US are now planning to land their troops to save them. Even though the mission is humanitarian, these powers are committed to the idea of regime change. Luckily, both missions are blending beautifully in Libya.
The writer is a freelance contributor based in Lahore. Email: email@example.com
Israeli soldiers demolished on Thursday ten Palestinian homes in the Hebron district, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
The army invaded Um Nir village and Yatta town, near Hebron, and provided protection to army bulldozers that flattened the homes and damaged infrastructure and roads, local sources reported.
The sources added that the army declared the village of Um Nir as a closed military zone preventing the residents from entering or leaving it.
In related news, soldiers invaded Al Saray’a and Abu Hindi Bedouin villages near occupied East Jerusalem, and handed eviction orders to fifty families living in the area. The residents were granted ten days to leave the area before the army demolishes their homes.
The families live in a valley that is located between the Kidar illegal settlement and the Maali Adumim settlement bloc.
The villagers are subject to frequent attacks by Israeli soldiers and settlers, yet, have continuously expressed their rejection to being displaced and removed from their lands.
Home demolitions and eviction are direct violations to the International Law, and all laws and regulations that clearly stipulate the need to protect civilians in conflict zones.
NAZARETH — The Israeli Prime Minister’s military secretary, Gen. Yohanan Locker, decided not to accompany Benjamin Netanyahu on his trip to London fearing arrest, according to Israeli army radio.
Pro-Palestinian groups have filed a suit in Britain against Locker for his involvement in war crimes committed by the IOF during the war against the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009.
Locker was deputy chief of the Israel Air Force at the onslaught, in which some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including 300 children, 115 women and 85 people over 50 years of age.
During the onslaught, the IOF used prohibited weapons such as white phosphorus and targeted schools, mosques, homes, hospitals, cemeteries, ambulances and ambulance crews.
Several senior Israeli defence officials and politicians have stayed clear of the UK since the Gaza operation, among them opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Avi Dichter, the former director of the Shin Bet security agency.
As many already know. All operations, psychological or otherwise have multiple purposes.
The Abbottabad op, offered the US an opportunity to end the Osama Bin Laden psy-op, because plainly speaking, that ship had sailed, hit a storm and sunk long, long ago.
An aside, hoping we all recall that Osama Bin Laden was never wanted for 9/11?
Despite the reinforcement of the myth and legend. He was never wanted for any connection to the 9/11 attacks.
I see the FBI has updated their site. Still no mention of being wanted for 9/11!
What other opportunity was presented by the Abbottabad raid?
From what I have been reading we are looking at two fresh opportunities.
First: The US is stating, flat out they will carry out raids such as this again.
We’re not talking drone flights. We are talking targeted raids. So, who or what is going to be targeted? I guess we shall find out soon enough. But here is the talk-
The US will again carry out special operations in Pakistan if required.
( Meaning: as the US see’s fit)
Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Obama Administration would continue with this policy if that country(Pakistan) does not act against terror suspects holed up in that country.
Q) Are you saying that the US reserves the right to, as the President said back in the campaign, if Pakistan will not act against terror suspects, to go and enter Pakistani territory and act against them?”.
A) “Yes. He made very clear during the campaign that that was his view. He was criticized for it. He maintained that that was his view, and by the actions he has taken as President, feels that it was the right approach and continues to feel that way,” the press secretary said.”
US President Barack Obama has consistently said that he would go ahead to target high profile terrorists, if he had actionable intelligence and the Pakistani Government was not willing to act.
In other words, the US will begin undertaking targeted raids within Pakistan, when ever they dam well feel like it! Using any excuse they want. This OBL psy-op set the precedent. Pakistan and it’s people had better watch out. … Full article