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UK’s nuclear test victims to sue government

Press TV – June 17, 2012

Thousands of veterans of Britain’s atomic and hydrogen bomb tests are to take the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the European Court of Human Rights, accusing it of exposing them to radiation.

Over 1,000 victims of UK’s nuclear tests, which were carried out in the South Pacific in the 1950s, will ask Europe to intervene, as the British premier David Cameron ignores the terms of the Military Covenant and courts ban hearings into their cases.

Servicemen, who were ordered to witness nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific, have since suffered cancers and rare medical conditions, with their children suffering from leukemia and birth defects.

Describing the news as “brilliant,” widow Shirley Denson, whose RAF ace husband was ordered to fly through mushroom clouds at Christmas Island in 1958, said, “This is one of our final chances to appeal for the right to present our case.”

“We have tried for 30 years to be heard, and every time the MoD has denied there is anything wrong with us. Now we have vital scientific evidence, and they say we have left it too late,” she added.

Earlier on May, Britain’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown also criticized the MoD for trying to evade its responsibility for cleaning up the radioactive waste contamination from old military bases and factories.

According to a survey conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the number of contaminated sites across England and Wales was far higher than previously estimated.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , , | Comments Off on UK’s nuclear test victims to sue government

Guantanamo’s Goon Squads Still Torturing Under Obama

By Sherwood Ross | Aletho News | June 17, 2012

Despite President Obama’s pledge to end torture, the brutalization of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo prison continues under his regime.

Guantanamo is where a thug squad called the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) tortures inmates while pointing their required video cameras at the floor to hide their beatings.

In illegal and cowardly assaults on tied-up inmates that violate the Geneva Conventions, five or more Pentagon IRF MP’s will spray Mace in a prisoner’s face and then gang-beat him. The MP’s are known to break bones, gouge eyes, squeeze testicles, inject disease, force the prisoner’s head into a toilet or bang it on a concrete floor, smear the prisoner with feces, douse him with noxious chemicals, urinate on him and even sodomize him. A prisoner may also be virtually buried alive in total darkness underground for as long as three weeks, during which he is denied adequate food and sleep. Prisoners have also been hog-tied in painful positions for hours on end. In short, Guantanamo’s prisoners have suffered tortures far worse than France’s notorious Devil’s Island.

The above facts about Guantanamo are according to distinguished investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill in an article published for “World View News Service.” He quotes Michael Ratner, president of the Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) as saying: “They (the IRF) are the Black Shirts of Guantanamo. IRFs can’t be separated from torture. They are part of the brutalization of humans treated as less than human.” Adds Scott Horton, a leading expert on the U.S. military and constitutional law, “They (the IRF) were trained to brutally punish prisoners in a brief period of time, and ridiculous pretexts were taken to justify” the beatings. (One prisoner said he was beaten for feeding crumbs to some lizards.)

“I have seen detainees suffer serious injuries as a result of being IRF’ed,” said David Hicks, an Australian citizen held at Guantanamo. “I have seen detainees IRF’ed while they were praying or by refusing medication.”

In his book, “An Innocent Man in Guantanamo,” (Palgrave/macmillan), Murat Kurnaz, held there for five years even though it was clear to U.S. authorities he was innocent, writes, “Blows from the IRF team were the basic form of punishment at Camp X-Ray… beating us and then chaining our hands and feet, connecting those chains with a third one. You couldn’t move your arms, they were pressed to your body. Then they’d leave you sitting there like that and take away your blanket and the thin mattress. It could take days before they’d unshackle you… ” Perhaps the ultimate in sadism, Kurnaz recalls, “fathers had to watch as their sons were beaten, and vice versa.”

Kurnaz writes that when General Geoffrey Miller took over Guantanamo in 2003 the plight of the prisoners “dramatically worsened.” “The interrogations got more brutal, more frequent, and longer. The first order General Miller issued was to commence Operation Sandman, which meant we were moved to new cells every one or two hours. The general’s goal was to completely deprive us of sleep, and he achieved it.” Kurnaz said that if he dozed off an IRF guard would punch him in the face.

The CCR has called upon the Obama regime to immediately end the use of IRF teams at Guantanamo. One Guantanamo defense lawyer said that after Obama took office his clients reported “a ramping up in abuse.” Horton says, “detainees should be entitled to compensation for injuries they suffered,” reports Scahill.

“As Commander in Chief of United States Armed Forces under the terms of the United States Constitution, President Obama has an absolute obligation to terminate torture and war crimes committed by the IRFs on Gitmo,” says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. “Failure to do so renders him liable for these international crimes under international criminal law, U.S. domestic criminal law, and U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 on the Law of Land Warfare under the doctrine of Command Responsibility. The best way to do this would be to terminate the IRFs on Gitmo.” Boyle is author of “Tackling America’s Toughest Questions” (Clarity).

Scahill says that while Barack Obama, almost immediately upon taking office, issued an executive order saying he was going to close down Guantanamo within a year and that he was going to respect the Geneva Convention while his administration reviewed Guantanamo, the (IRF) force under Obama has continued to torture prisoners.

~

Sherwood Ross formerly worked as a reporter and columnist for major dailies and wire services. He currently heads a Miami, Florida-based public relations firm for worthy causes. Reach him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Unilateral sanctions on Iran to hurt Russia-US ties: Russian official

Xinhua – June 17, 2012

MOSCOW – Potential U.S.sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program will “deal a blow” to Russian-U.S. relations, a senior Russian official said Sunday, presuming a hard-line stance before the long-waited meeting of the heads of the two states.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters that U.S. sanctions on Iran would “run against international law and affect third countries.”

Moscow could not accept if Russian firms and banks become potential victims of such unilateral actions from the U.S., Ushakov warned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama are to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming Group of 20 summit Monday in the Mexican city of Los Cabos.

The two leaders had agreed by phone in early May that they would meet for one and a half hours during the summit, Ushakov said, which would be the first since Putin returned to the top seat.

Putin’s absence from the Group of Eight summit last month in the United States and Obama’s no-show decision at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meeting in Russia’s Vladivostok in September augured a possible cool-down of the already soured Russia-U.S. relations amidst Putin’s tough words concerning the U.S.-led missile defense system in Europe.

A new round of talks between Iran and the six major world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — is due on Monday in Moscow, a month after the last round of “six plus one” talks was held in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Unilateral sanctions on Iran to hurt Russia-US ties: Russian official

Russian warships not heading for Syria

TREND | June 16, 2012

A number of warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are prepared to go to Syria, a source in the Russian General Staff told Itar-Tass news agency on Friday.

“The Mediterranean Sea is a zone of the Black Sea Fleet responsibility. Hence, warships may go there in the case it is necessary to protect the Russian logistics base in Tartous, Syria,” it said.

According to the source, “several warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, including large landing ships with marines aboard, are fully prepared to go on the voyage.”

However, it strongly denied U.S. media reports claiming that a Black Sea Fleet warship had already headed for Tartous. “All the ships are staying in Sevastopol but the Cesar Kunikov large landing ship. Either the U.S. intelligence service works poorly or they have a poor knowledge of geography,” it said.

The Cesar Kunikov large landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is returning from Italian Messina to base, passed the Bosporus Strait on Friday. It will return to Sevastopol on Saturday, the source said.

The U.S. media said that Russia had sent a small group of servicemen to Syria for protecting the Tartous base. NBC said with the reference to a U.S. official that the servicemen were going to Tartous aboard a warship. The State Department spokesperson said she could not confirm the NBC report.

A group of Russian warships led by the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrying cruiser visited Tartous in January. The group visited the port for replenishing reserves and giving maintenance to ship systems.

Tartous is the only Russian naval base outside of the former Soviet territory – this is the logistics center serving Russian ships on missions in the Mediterranean Sea. The base opened in 1971 under an agreement with the Syrian government.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Comments Off on Russian warships not heading for Syria

Israeli kills 2 Palestinians near Hebron

Ma’an – 17/06/2012

HEBRON – An Israeli civilian shot and killed two Palestinians on Sunday in the Hebron village of al-Samu, Palestinian medics and Israeli officials said.

Anwar Abed Rabbo, 27, from Yatta, and Naeem al-Najjar, 32, from nearby Idhna, were killed, and a third unidentified man was injured when an Israeli opened fire on them, Palestinian medics said.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Ma’an that a tow truck driver was attacked by two Palestinians in the south Hebron hills.

The driver “drew his weapon and fired a number of shots at the suspects,” he said, in what was thought to have been an attempted robbery.

Al-Najjar was shot in the head and neck and Abed Rabbo in the chest, medics told Ma’an.

The driver was lightly injured and treated in a Beersheva hospital, Rosenfeld said.

Israeli media reported that the truck driver is from southern Israeli city Ashkelon. Medics had earlier said that the Israeli civilian involved in the incident was a settler.

A spokesman for Palestinian security forces, Adnan Dmeiri, said he was aware of the deaths but did not have further details because the shooting took place in an Israeli-run area out of bounds to Palestinian police under interim peace deals.

Head of Yatta municipality Zahran Abu Qbetta told Ma’an that the two men were on their way to work at the time of the shooting.

Israeli forces prevented ambulances from accessing the scene, claiming that it was a closed military zone, Red Crescent official Nasser Kabaja told Ma’an.

Settlers and other Israelis who travel regularly in the occupied West Bank are licensed to carry guns.

Reuters contributed to this report

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment