In this documentary by Martin Durkin, shortlisted for the “Best Documentary Award” at the 2008 Broadcast Awards, scientists and commentators argue that CO2 produced by human activity is not the main cause of climate change:
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 1 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 2 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 3 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 4 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 5 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 6 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 7 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 8 of 9
The Great Global Warming Swindle, part 9 of 9 (credits)
War Crimes Caught on Video
Lifting the Hood – Iraq
on youtube (26 min)
The Road to Guantanamo (Trailer)
Ex-Guantanamo Muslim chaplain speaks out
Former Guantanamo detainee returns home – 15-Dec-07
Israeli War Crimes & Chemical Weapons
Former pilot of the Israel’s air force accuses Israel of war-crimes, using chemical weapons against the people of Gaza
By Rep. Ron Paul, December 16, 2009
Before the United States House of Representatives, statement opposing the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act
I rise in strongest opposition to this new round of sanctions on Iran, which is another significant step toward a U.S. war on that country. I find it shocking that legislation this serious and consequential is brought up in such a cavalier manner. Suspending the normal rules of the House to pass legislation is a process generally reserved for “non-controversial” business such as the naming of post offices. Are we to believe that this House takes matters of war and peace as lightly as naming post offices?
This legislation seeks to bar from doing business in the United States any foreign entity that sells refined petroleum to Iran or otherwise enhances Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum such as financing, brokering, underwriting, or providing ships for such. Such sanctions also apply to any entity that provides goods or services that enhance Iran’s ability to maintain or expand its domestic production of refined petroleum. This casts the sanctions net worldwide, with enormous international economic implications. Recently, the Financial Times reported that, “[i]n recent months, Chinese companies have greatly expanded their presence in Iran’s oil sector. In the coming months, Sinopec, the state-owned Chinese oil company, is scheduled to complete the expansion of the Tabriz and Shazand refineries – adding 3.3 million gallons of gasoline per day.”
Are we to conclude, with this in mind, that China or its major state-owned corporations will be forbidden by this legislation from doing business with the United States? What of our other trading partners who currently do business in Iran’s petroleum sector or insure those who do so? Has anyone seen an estimate of how this sanctions act will affect the U.S. economy if it is actually enforced?
As we have learned with U.S. sanctions on Iraq, and indeed with U.S. sanctions on Cuba and elsewhere, it is citizens rather than governments who suffer most. The purpose of these sanctions is to change the regime in Iran, but past practice has demonstrated time and again that sanctions only strengthen regimes they target and marginalize any opposition. As would be the case were we in the U.S. targeted for regime change by a foreign government, people in Iran will tend to put aside political and other differences to oppose that threatening external force. Thus this legislation will likely serve to strengthen the popularity of the current Iranian government. Any opposition continuing to function in Iran would be seen as operating in concert with the foreign entity seeking to overthrow the regime.
This legislation seeks to bring Iran in line with international demands regarding its nuclear materials enrichment programs, but what is ironic is that Section 2 of HR 2194 itself violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which both the United States and Iran are signatories. This section states that “[i]t shall be the policy of the United States … to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to make nuclear weapons, including by supporting international diplomatic efforts to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program.” Article V of the NPT states clearly that, “[n]othing in this treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the parties to the treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this treaty.” As Iran has never been found in violation of the NPT – has never been found to have diverted nuclear materials for non-peaceful purposes – this legislation seeking to deny Iran the right to enrichment even for peaceful purposes itself violates the NPT.
Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that many of my colleagues opposing war on Iran will vote in favor of this legislation, seeing it as a step short of war to bring Iran into line with U.S. demands. I would remind them that sanctions and the blockades that are required to enforce them are themselves acts of war according to international law. I urge my colleagues to reject this saber-rattling but ultimately counterproductive legislation.
By William Fisher
NEW YORK, Dec 15 (IPS) – In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal Monday to review a lower court’s dismissal of a case brought by four British former Guantanamo prisoners against former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the detainees’ lawyers charged Tuesday that the country’s highest court evidently believes that ”torture and religious humiliation are permissible tools for a government to use”.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC had ruled that government officials were immune from suit because at that time it was unclear whether abusing prisoners at Guantanamo was illegal.
Channeling their predecessors in the George W. Bush administration, Obama Justice Department lawyers argued in this case that there is no constitutional right not to be tortured or otherwise abused in a U.S. prison abroad.
The Obama administration had asked the court not to hear the case. By agreeing, the court let stand an earlier opinion by the D.C. Circuit Court, which found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – a statute that applies by its terms to all ”persons” – did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law.
The lower court also dismissed the detainees’ claims under the Alien Tort Statute and the Geneva Conventions, finding defendants immune on the basis that ”torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants”.
Finally, the circuit court found that, even if torture and religious abuse were illegal, defendants were immune under the constitution because they could not have reasonably known that detainees at Guantanamo had any Constitutional rights.
The circuit court ruled that ”torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants”.
That opinion was written by Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson, who was appointed to the federal circuit court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and to the Appeals Court in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.
The British detainees spent more than two years in Guantanamo and were repatriated to Britain in 2004 with no charges ever having been filed against them.
Eric Lewis, lead attorney for the detainees, said, ”It is an awful day for the rule of law and common decency when the Supreme Court lets stand such an inhuman decision. The final word on whether these men had a right not to be tortured or a right to practice their religion free from abuse is that they did not.”
”The lower court found that torture is all in a days’ work for the Secretary of Defense and senior generals,” he added. ”That violates the president’s stated policy, our treaty obligations and universal legal norms. Yet the Obama administration, in its rush to protect executive power, lost its moral compass and persuaded the Supreme Court to avoid a central moral challenge. Today our standing in the world has suffered a further great loss.”
Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Attorney Shayana Kadidal, co-counsel on the case, told IPS, ”In many ways the opinion the Supreme Court left standing today is worse when one gets past the bottom line û no accountability for torture and religious abuse û and digs into the legal reasoning.”
”One set of claims are dismissed because torture is said to be a foreseeable consequence of military detention,” he said. ”How will the parents of our troops captured in future foreign wars react to that?”
”Another set of claims are dismissed because Guantanamo detainees are not ‘persons’ within the scope of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – an argument that was too close to Dred Scott v. Sanford for one of the judges on the court of appeals to swallow,” he added.
The Dred Scott case was a decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1857. It ruled that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves, were not protected by the Constitution and could never be citizens of the United States… Full article
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Just days before Bethlehem’s busiest tourist season begins, Israeli authorities implemented a ban on foreign-passport holders traveling to Jerusalem on Palestinian buses.
On 11 December, Bethlehem tourists began to report being pulled off line 21, a route used predominantly by holders of East Jerusalem residency cards, as they stopped for inspection at the Jerusalem tunnel entrance into Israel.
For years, foreign-passport holders using public transportation could choose between the tunnel bus, which departs near Beit Jala, or Israel’s military checkpoint 300, known colloquially as Gilo or Rachel’s Tomb.
A high-ranking Israeli security official confirmed the policy change on Monday. “This issue is being resolved presently. Everything will be completed in a day or so, possibly even today,” the official said, confirming that, for now, redirecting foreign-passport holders from the tunnel to checkpoint 300 is a matter of policy.
Palestinian Authority security sources said the phenomenon follows a unilateral decision by Israeli authorities made months ago to ban foreigners from the route.
It was not clear, however, who ordered the changes, or why. Israeli army sources insisted they had nothing to do with the plan, but officials in the country’s Border Police, the paramilitary branch of the Israeli Police, said such orders could only have come from the military.
“The [army] commander makes the policy; we just implement it,” said a border guard official who insisted on anonymity. “If the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] says we can’t allow foreign people – it’s a policy.”
A PA police spokesman said he was aware of the issue but refused further comment, referring inquiries to the District Coordination Office (DCO), the local arm of Israel’s non-military, civil administration in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“We’ve been aware of the plan for three, maybe four months; I don’t know why they’d implement it now,” said a Palestinian who works with the DCO. Israel never provided any official or written explanation, he added, nor were local officials given a say in the matter.
Despite numerous inquiries this week to the Israeli military, Border Police, Civil Administration, and national police, no official was ever willing to offer an on-the-record explanation for the ban.
‘Rude’ and ‘threatening’ treatment
Among the first reports Ma’an received about the issue was from an American music teacher accessing Jerusalem to teach students of a local conservatory. She, along with three others, were told they could not re-board the bus after it was checked by soldiers. “They saw the foreigners and herded us to the side,” said 24-year-old Katie Rowold, a US citizen held up on Friday. “Then everyone got back on the bus except for us. … We had to get a service taxi to the walk-through checkpoint .”
Sandra Baille, a 64-year-old Canadian citizen, was on a bus with some luggage waiting to have her passport checked by soldiers. As custom generally allows women with children or bags, the sick, or the elderly to remain on the bus during inspections, Baille was surprised when a guard ordered her off the vehicle. “A young Israeli soldier with a mask on his face up to his nose boarded the bus and indicated to me with his arm to get off,” she explained. “I held out my passport so he could see I was an international, but he threw his arm [pointing] to the side. He didn’t say a word, he just pointed.”
Outside the bus, Baille found herself with a group of foreign citizens also waiting at the side of the road. When they asked what was going on, “we were told ‘new rules, new rules,'” Baille said. She was ordered to take her luggage, for a planned trip to northern Israel, Nazareth and the Galilee, off the bus, and watched Palestinian passengers get back on board. She waited again while the driver argued with guards, and heard the bus ordered to leave without the five foreigners. “We were left to walk up the hill” back to Beit Jala, she said.
Others explained how they had to flag down a cab willing to enter a PA area and drive back inside Bethlehem to cross through the Gilo checkpoint there, before ultimately catching another Palestinian bus on the other side of the cement wall. One international who asked not to be named described being left helpless on the side of the busy highway, while Israeli-plated cars zoomed past. “Luckily there was a taxi sitting there. I don’t know what we would have done.”
Baille, the Canadian national, described the guards’ treatment as rude, saying she could not understand what reason Israel would have to target tourists. “Its ironic,” she added. “All over Canada there are signs saying ‘Welcome to Israel,’ but in the end they wouldn’t let us in.” Canada was the test country for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “Brand Israel” campaign.
Another group of six internationals – four Americans, a Canadian and German national – were warned by the driver of a 21 bus on Saturday that foreigners were no longer being permitted to travel via the tunnel. They said the driver eventually let them on, but that they were indeed refused passage through the checkpoint.
Bad news for Christmas
Reports of internationals being pulled off buses continued throughout the week, and several have noted longer lines at the Gilo checkpoint, making it increasingly difficult to access Jerusalem from Bethlehem.
However, the ban appears to apply only to Palestinian buses in the West Bank. Foreign nationals traveling on Israel’s Egged service, which connects the country’s settlements throughout the occupied territories, including in Bethlehem, into Israel, reported no problems at the tunnel checkpoint. Internationals in private cars were similarly unaffected.
It was not clear if the initiative to limit foreigners’ movement in the region was linked to prior passport restrictions. Mirroring the treatment received by Palestinians already living under the four-decade occupation, similar restrictions on foreigners first came to light in September when Israel began issuing visas that permit travel only in PA-controlled areas.
Israel, meanwhile, has sought to reassure Palestinian Christian leaders that it would facilitate the movement of congregants and tourists as Christmas approaches. Security authorities recently invited the leaders of local churches to a meeting on a military base, where army officials promised to help ease closures, for example, by granting permits for Christians from Gaza to visit Bethlehem for the holiday.
Tens of thousands of foreign-passport holders enter Bethlehem every Christmas to celebrate along with the local Palestinian population, attending mass at the Nativity Church and other annual festivities. Some 60,000 internationals made the pilgrimage in 2008.
ACLU Press Release
December 15, 2009
NEW YORK – The Obama administration announced today that it will purchase the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois for the purpose of holding some of the detainees currently remaining at Guantánamo. Though the administration is leaving unsaid which detainees will be moved there and for what purposes, the information it has provided indicates that some detainees might be held for military commission proceedings in Illinois while others might be held at Thomson indefinitely without charge or trial.
The administration has stated that “any detainees at Guantánamo who continue to be held, and for whom no prosecution is planned, will be held only under authority granted by Congress in 2001 under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, as informed by the law of war.” However, the so-called war on terrorism is not a traditional war, having no temporal or geographical boundaries.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
“The creation of a ‘Gitmo North’ in Illinois is hardly a meaningful step forward. Shutting down Guantánamo will be nothing more than a symbolic gesture if we continue its lawless policies onshore.
“Alarmingly, all indications are that the administration plans to continue its predecessor’s policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial for some detainees, with only a change of location. Such a policy is completely at odds with our democratic commitment to due process and human rights whether it’s occurring in Cuba or in Illinois. In fact, while the Obama administration inherited the Guantánamo debacle, this current move is its own affirmative adoption of those policies. It is unimaginable that the Obama administration is using the same justification as the Bush administration used to undercut centuries of legal jurisprudence and the principle of innocent until proven guilty and the right to confront one’s accusers.
“It is also greatly disturbing that the administration will continue the use of military commissions, which are no more acceptable in Illinois or any other U.S. state than in Guantánamo. Despite some improvements, the commissions still fall far short of the legal standards necessary to comply with constitutional and international standards, allowing, for example, the use of coerced and hearsay evidence that would not be allowed in federal court. The proceedings will achieve neither reliable justice nor a restoration of America’s credibility around the world.
“The administration must also make very clear what category of detainee will be transferred to Thomson in the future and what kind of prison conditions will apply. Detainees not charged with a crime should not be subject to punitive conditions meant for sentenced prisoners who have been found guilty in a court of law, and all conditions must comply with the Geneva Conventions.
“The administration will no doubt be looking to Congress for legislative buy-in for this facility, and as both branches work together, we strongly urge lawmakers to legislate responsibly and not set any policies or precedents for indefinite detention on U.S. soil, or create any violation of the Geneva Conventions.
“The Obama administration’s announcement today contradicts everything the president has said about the need for America to return to leading with its values. American values do not contemplate disregarding our Constitution and skirting the criminal justice system. After detaining hundreds of individuals without the basic due process rights that define our justice system for almost eight years, it is time to charge suspects where evidence exists and repatriate and transfer the rest to countries where they won’t be tortured.”
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
December 16, 2009
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Women’s Coalition for Peace sent a letter on Wednesday to Israel’s former Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, calling on her to cooperate with international investigations into her role in the assault on Gaza last winter, after a British court issued an warrant for her arrest on Monday.
The Israeli organization wrote in the letter, which was attached to a translated copy of the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza, “We are convinced that if you refer to the report you will understand why British citizens and organizations have turned to the courts with a request to issue a warrant for your arrest.”
The letter added that the Goldstone report directly refers to remarks by senior political figures in Israel which encouraged indiscriminate attacks on civilians, in contradiction of international law.
It is in this context that Livni was quoted as saying, on 13 January 2009, “We have proven to Hamas that the equation has been altered. Israel is a state that, when its citizens are shot at, will respond insanely. And that’s a good thing.”
Furthermore, the letter states, “The Goldstone Report details a long list of indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations … In addition, the report surveys the extent of the damage to industrial infrastructure, food production, water facilities, sewage infrastructure and residential buildings; the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields and the targeting of medical staff.
“The testimony of Israeli soldiers corroborates the allegations made in the Report that during Cast Lead heinous war crimes were committed,” the group added.
“The attention of the Goldstone commission was drawn to the way the military operations affected women particularly adversely … Women suffered most of all from the attack which you helped lead, and for which you served as the international spokesperson. “As a feminist organization active in Israel, we consider that only a process of legal investigation and prosecution of war criminals by the international community has the power to bring a measure of justice to the women and men of Gaza.
“ In our opinion the correct reaction on your part to the Goldstone report would be a coming to terms with the wholesale murder with which you collaborated freely as a senior minister in the Israeli government as part of an election campaign.
“We call on you to cooperate with any international investigation that may be opened against you and to counsel your colleagues in the government and military to do the same.”
Israel and the UK confirmed on Tuesday that a British court issued an arrest warrant against its former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for charges related to Israel’s winter war on Gaza.
The incident marks the first time an Israeli official faced arrest in the UK in connection with the Gaza conflict.