Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Cleansing the Internet of Terrorism: EU-Funded Project Seeks To Erode Civil Liberties

By Jillian C. York and Katitza Rodriguez | EFF | September 26, 2012

A new project aimed at “countering illegal use of the Internet” is making headlines this week.  The project, dubbed CleanIT, is funded by the European Commission (EC) to the tune of more than $400,000 and, it would appear, aims to eradicate the Internet of terrorism.

European Digital Rights, a Brussels-based organization consisting of 32 NGOs throughout Europe (and of which EFF is a member), has recently published a leaked draft document from CleanIT.

On the project’s website, its stated goal is to reduce the impact of the use of the Internet for “terrorist purposes” but “without affecting our online freedom.”  While the goal may seem noble enough, the project actually contains a number of controversial proposals that will compel Internet intermediaries to police the Internet and most certainly will affect our online freedom. Let’s take a look at a few of the most controversial elements of the project.

Privatization of Law Enforcement

Under the guise of fighting ‘terrorist use of the Internet,’ the “CleanIT project,” led by the Dutch police, has developed a set of ‘detailed recommendations’ that will compel Internet companies to act as arbiters of what is “illegal” or “terrorist” uses of the Internet.

Specifically, the proposal suggests that “legislation must make clear Internet companies are obliged to try and detect to a reasonable degree … terrorist use of the infrastructure” and, even more troubling, “can be held responsible for not removing (user generated) content they host/have users posted on their platforms if they do not make reasonable effort in detection.”

EFF has always expressed concerns about relying upon intermediaries to police the Internet.  As an organization, we believe in strong legal protections for intermediaries and as such, have often upheld the United States’ Communications Decency Act, Section 230 (CDA 230) as a positive example of intermediary protection. While even CDA 230’s protections do not extend to truly criminal activities, the definition of “terrorist” is, in this context, vague enough to raise alarm (see conclusion for more details).

Erosion of Legal Safeguards

The recommendations call for the easy removal of content from the Internet without following “more labour intensive and formal” procedures. They suggest new obligations that would compel Internet companies to hand over all necessary customer information for investigation of “terrorist use of the Internet.” This amounts to a serious erosion of legal safeguards. Under this regime, an online company must assert some vague notion of “terrorist use of the Internet,” and they will have carte blanche to bypass hard-won civil liberties protections.

The recommendations also suggest that knowingly providing hyperlinks to a site that hosts “terrorist content” will be defined as illegal. This would negatively impact a number of different actors, from academic researchers to journalists, and is a slap in the face to the principles of free expression and the free flow of knowledge.

Data Retention

Internet companies under the CleanIT regime would not only be allowed, but in fact obligated to store communications containing “terrorist content,” even when it has been removed from their platform, in order to supply the information to law enforcement agencies.

Material Support and Sanctions

The project also offers guidelines to governments, including the recommendation that governments start a “full review of existing national legislation” on reducing terrorist use of the Internet. This includes a reminder of Council Regulation (EC) No. 881/2002 (art. 1.2), which prohibits Internet services from being provided to designated terrorist entities such as Al Qaeda. It is worth noting that similar legislation exists in the US (see: 18 U.S.C. § 2339B) and has been widely criticized as criminalizing speech in the form of political advocacy.

The guidelines spell out how governments should implement filtering systems to block civil servants from any “illegal use of the Internet.”

Furthermore, governments’ criteria for purchasing policies and public grants will be tied to Internet companies’ track record for reducing the “terrorist use of the Internet.”

Notice and Take Action

Notice and take action policies allow law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to notify and act against Internet companies, who must remove “offending” content as fast as possible. This obligates LEAs to determine the extent to which content can be considered “offensive.” An LEA must “contextualize content and describe how it breaches national law.”

The leaked document contains recommendations that would require LEAs to, in some cases, send notice that access to content must be blocked, followed by notice that the domain registration must be ended. In other cases, sites’ security certificates would be downgraded.

Real Identity Policies

Under the CleanIT provisions, all network users, whether in social or professional networks, will be obligated to supply their real identities to service providers (including social networks), effectively destroying online anonymity, which EFF believes is crucial for protecting the safety and well-being of activists, whistle-blowers, victims of domestic violence, and many others (for more on that, see this excellent article from Geek Feminism). The Constitutional Court of South Korea found an Internet “real name” policy to be unconstitutional.

Under the provisions, companies can even require users to provide proof of their identity, and can store the contact information of users in order to provide it to LEAs in the case of an investigation into potential terrorist use of the Internet. The provisions will even require individuals to utilize a real image of him or herself, destroying decades of Internet culture (in addition to, of course, infringing on user privacy).

Semi-Automated Detection

The plan also calls for semi-automated detection of “terrorist content.” While content would not automatically be removed, any searches for known terrorist organizations’ names, logos or other related content will be automatically detected. This will certainly inhibit research into anything remotely associated with what law enforcement might deem “terrorist content,” and would seriously hinder normal student inquiry into current events and history! In effect, all searches about terrorism might end up falling into an LEA’s view of terrorist propaganda.

LEA Access to User Content

The document recommends that, at the European level, browsers or operating systems should develop a reporting button of terrorist use of the Internet, and suggests governments draft legislation to make this reporting button compulsory for browser or operating systems.

Furthermore, the document recommends that judges, public prosecutors and (specialized) police officers be able to temporarily remove content that is being investigated.

Banning Languages

Frighteningly, one matter up for discussion within the CleanIT provisions is the banning of languages that have not been mastered by “abuse specialists or abuse systems.” The current recommendation contained in the document would make the use of such languages “unacceptable and preferably technically impossible.”

With more than 200 commonly-used languages and more than 6,000 languages spoken globally, it seems highly unlikely that the abuse specialists or systems will expand beyond a select few. For the sake of comparison, Google Translate only works with 65 languages.

At a time when new initiatives to preserve endangered languages are taking advantage of new technologies, it seems shortsighted and even chauvinistic to consider limiting what languages can be used online.

What Is Terrorism, Anyway?

While the document states that the first reference for determining terrorist content will be UN/EU/national terrorist sanctions list, it seems that the provisions allow for a broader interpretation of “terrorism.” This is incredibly problematic in a multicultural environment; as the old adage goes, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Even a comparison of the US and EU lists of designated terrorist entities shows discrepancies, and the recent controversy in the US around the de-listing of an Iranian group shows how political such decisions can be.

Overall, we see the CleanIT project as a misguided effort to introduce potentially endless censorship and surveillance that would effectively turn Internet companies into Internet cops. We are also disappointed in the European Commission for funding the project: Given the strong legal protections for free expression and privacy contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union [PDF], it’s imperative that any efforts to track down and prosecute terrorism must also protect fundamental rights. The CleanIT regime, on the other hand, clearly erodes these rights.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 3 Comments

Praising Obama’s Defense of Free Speech, NYT Leaves Much Unsaid

By Steve Rendall – FAIR – 09/27/2012

The New York Times’ September 26 coverage of Barack Obama’s UN address on Arab democracy, free speech and violence included a good sampling of the distortions, double standards and bigotry often present in U.S. corporate reporting on these issues.

Helene Cooper’s news report (9/26/12) explained that Obama’s speech was a “strong defense of America’s belief in freedom of speech,” challenging “fledgling Arab and North African democracies to ensure that right even in the face of violence.”

According to Cooper, Obama also “asserted that the flare-up of violence over a video that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad would not set off a retreat from his support of the Arab democracy movement,” adding that Americans “have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their view.”

A Times editorial the same day applauded Obama, explaining that “anti-American violence in the Muslim world demanded a firm pushback from President Obama, who finally delivered it on Tuesday in the last United Nations General Assembly speech of his term.” The editors were also pleased that Obama “gave a full-throated defense of the First Amendment right that, in this country, protects even hateful writings, films and speech.” The editors quoted Obama: “We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities.”

And they lauded the president again, this time with a bigoted putdown of Muslims: “Mr. Obama was right to deliver that message, however foreign it is in much of the Muslim world.” (According to Gallup Center for Muslim Studies director Dalia Mogahed– NPR, 9/21/12–Middle Easterners support constitutional free speech rights “in percentages above 90 percent.”)

Let’s begin with “anti-American violence in the Muslim world.” Does it even approach the level of violence visited on Muslim countries by the U.S.? No. Not even close. It would have been good for the Times to mention this.

It would also have been helpful if Cooper and the editors had explained that the U.S. actually has a horrendous record when it comes to supporting free-speech and democracy in the Muslim world.

The U.S. currently supports and arms autocratic and free-speech averse regimes in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.  Until recently, Tunisia and Egypt were U.S.-backed dictatorships. One might argue that the U.S. no longer overtly thwarts free speech and democracy in Tunisia, but that’s a harder case to make for Egypt, whose military the U.S. has continued to fund through decades of torture, detention and disappearances.

Not even military crackdowns after the 2011 Tahrir Square uprisings or the dissolving of Egypt’s democratically elected parliament by its military allied supreme court in June  interrupted of the flow of money from Washington to the Egyptian generals. Indeed, following the Egyptian spring uprisings, Washington pushed Egypt’s former “vice president” Omar Suleiman, otherwise known as “the CIA’s man in Cairo” and Egypt’s “torturer-in-chief,” to head the Egypt’s supposed transition to democracy (Guardian, 2/5/11).

The Times might also have mentioned that the administration doesn’t have a pristine record on free speech at home either, where it has conducted a record number of  prosecutions against government whistleblowers.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Comments Off on Praising Obama’s Defense of Free Speech, NYT Leaves Much Unsaid

Uncovering The Kent State Cover-Up

By LAUREL KRAUSE & MICKEY HUFF | CounterPunch | Septmeber 27, 2012

When Ohio National Guardsmen fired sixty-seven gun shots in thirteen seconds at Kent State University (KSU) on May 4, 1970, they murdered four unarmed, protesting college students and wounded nine others. For forty-two years, the United States government has held the position that Kent State was a tragic and unfortunate incident occurring at a noontime antiwar rally on an American college campus. In 2010, compelling forensic evidence emerged showing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) were the lead agencies in managing Kent State government operations, including the cover-up. At Kent State, lawful protest was pushed into the realm of massacre as the US federal government, the state of Ohio, and the Ohio National Guard (ONG) executed their plans to silence antiwar protest in America.

The new evidence threatens much more than the accuracy of accounts of the Kent State massacre in history books. As a result of this successful, ongoing Kent State government cover-up, American protesters today are at much greater risk than they realize, with no real guarantees or protections offered by the US First Amendment rights to protest and assemble. This chapter intends to expose the lies of the state in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts our perspectives in the present.

The killing of protesters at Kent State changed the minds of many Americans about the role of the US in the Vietnam War. Following this massacre, there was an unparalleled national response: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed across America in a student strike of more than four million. Young people across the nation had strong suspicions the Kent State massacre was planned to subvert any further protests arising from the announcement that the already controversial war in Vietnam had expanded into Cambodia.

Yet instead of attempting to learn the truth at Kent State, the US government took complete control of the narrative in the press and ensuing lawsuits. Over the next ten years, authorities claimed there had not been a command-to-fire at Kent State, that the ONG had been under attack, and that their gunfire had been prompted by the “sound of sniper fire.” Instead of investigating Kent State, the American leadership obstructed justice, obscured accountability, tampered with evidence, and buried the truth. The result of these efforts has been a very complicated government cover-up that has remained intact for more than forty years.1

The hidden truth finally began to emerge at the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State massacre in May 2010, through the investigative journalism of John Mangels, science writer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose findings supported the long-held suspicion that the four dead in Ohio were intentionally murdered at Kent State University by the US government.

Mangels commissioned forensic evidence expert Stuart Allen to professionally analyze a tape recording made from a Kent State student’s dormitory window ledge on May 4, 1970, forever capturing the crowd and battle sounds from before, during, and after the fusillade.2 For the first time since that fateful day, journalists and concerned Americans were finally able to hear the devastating soundtrack of the US government murdering Kent State students as they protested against the Vietnam War.

The cassette tape—provided to Mangels by the Yale University Library, Kent State Collection, and housed all these years in a box of evidence admitted into lawsuits led by attorney Joseph Kelner in his representation of the Kent State victims—was called the “Strubbe tape” after Terry Strubbe, the student who made the recording by placing a microphone attached to a personal recorder on his dormitory window ledge. This tape surfaced when Alan Canfora, a student protester wounded at Kent State, and researcher Bob Johnson dug through Yale library’s collection and found a CD copy of the tape recording from the day of the shootings. Paying ten dollars for a duplicate, Canfora then listened to it and immediately knew he probably held the only recording that might provide proof of an order to shoot. Three years after the tape was found, the Plain Dealer commendably hired two qualified forensic audio scientists to examine the tape.

But it is really the two pieces of groundbreaking evidence Allen uncovered that illuminate and provide a completely new perspective into the Kent State massacre.

First, Allen heard and verified the Kent State command-to-fire spoken at noon on May 4, 1970. The command-to-fire has been a point of contention, with authorities stating under oath and to media for forty years that “no order to fire was given at Kent State,” that “the Guard felt under attack from the students,” and that “the Guard reacted to sniper fire.”3 Yet Allen’s verified forensic evidence of the Kent State command-to-fire directly conflicts with guardsmen testimony that they acted in self-defense.

The government claim—that guardsmen were under attack at the time of the ONG barrage of bullets—has long been suspect, as there is nothing in photographic or video records to support the “under attack” excuse. Rather, from more than a football field away, the Kent State student protesters swore, raised their middle fingers, and threw pebbles and stones and empty tear gas canisters, mostly as a response to their campus being turned into a battlefield with over 2,000 troops and military equipment strewn across the Kent State University campus.

Then at 12:24 p.m., the ONG fired armor-piercing bullets at scattering students in a parking lot—again, from more than a football field away. Responding with armor-piercing bullets, as Kent State students held a peaceful rally and protested unarmed on their campus, was the US government’s choice of action.

The identification of the “commander” responsible for the Kent State command-to-fire on unarmed students has not yet been ascertained. This key question will be answered when American leadership decides to share the truth of what happened, especially as the Kent State battle was under US government direction. Until then, the voice ordering the command-to-fire in the Kent State Strubbe tape will remain unknown.

The other major piece of Kent State evidence identified in Allen’s analysis was the “sound of sniper fire” recorded on the tape. These sounds point to Terry Norman, FBI informant and provocateur, who was believed to have fired his low-caliber pistol four times, just seventy seconds before the command-to-fire.

Mangelswrote in the Plain Dealer, “Norman was photographing protestors that day for the FBI and carried a loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson Model . . . five-shot revolver in a holster under his coat for protection. Though he denied discharging his pistol, he previously has been accused of triggering the Guard shootings by firing to warn away angry demonstrators, which the soldiers mistook for sniper fire.”4

Video footage and still photography have recorded the minutes following the “sound of sniper fire,” showing Terry Norman sprinting across the Kent State commons, meeting up with Kent Police and the ONG. In this visual evidence, Norman immediately yet casually hands off his pistol to authorities and the recipients of the pistol show no surprise as Norman hands them his gun.5

The “sound of sniper fire” is a key element of the Kent State cover-up and is also referred to by authorities in the Nation editorial, “Kent State: The Politics of Manslaughter,” from May 18, 1970:

“The murders occurred on May 4. Two days earlier, [Ohio National Guard Adjutant General] Del Corso had issued a statement that sniper fire would be met by gunfire from his men. After the massacre, Del Corso and his subordinates declared that sniper fire had triggered the fusillade.6

Yet the Kent State “sound of sniper fire” remains key, according to White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, who noted President Richard Nixon’s reaction to Kent State in the Oval Office on May 4, 1970:

“Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman told him [of the killings] late in the afternoon. But at two o’clock Haldeman jotted on his ever-present legal pad “keep P. filled in on Kent State.” In his daily journal Haldeman expanded on the President’s reaction: “He very disturbed. Afraid his decision set it off . . . then kept after me all day for more facts. Hoping rioters had provoked the shootings—but no real evidence that they did.” Even after he had left for the day, Nixon called Haldeman back and among others issued one ringing command: “need to get out story of sniper.”7

In a May 5, 1970, article in the New York Times, President Nixon commented on violence at Kent State:

This should remind us all once again that when dissent turns to violence it invites tragedy. It is my hope that this tragic and unfortunate incident will strengthen the determination of all the nation’s campuses, administrators, faculty and students alike to stand firmly for the right which exists in this country of peaceful dissent and just as strong against the resort to violence as a means of such expression.8

President Nixon’s comment regarding dissent turning to violence obfuscated and laid full blame on student protesters for creating violence at Kent State. Yet at the rally occurring on May 4th, student protester violence amounted to swearing, throwing small rocks, and volleying back tear gas canisters, while the gun-toting soldiers of the ONG declared the peace rally illegal, brutally herded the students over large distances on campus, filled the air with tear gas, and even threw rocks at students. Twenty minutes into the protest demonstration, a troop of National Guard marched up a hill away from the students, turned to face the students in unison, and fired.

The violence at Kent State came from the National Guardsmen, not protesting students. On May 4, 1970, the US government delivered its deadly message to Kent State students and the world: if you protest in America against the wars of the Pentagon and the Department of Defense, the US government will stop at nothing to silence you.

Participating American militia colluded at Kent State to organize and fight this battle against American student protesters, most of them too young to vote but old enough to fight in the Vietnam War.9 And from new evidence exposed forty years after the massacre, numerous elements point directly to the FBI and COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) as lead agencies managing the government operation of the Kent State massacre, including the cover-up, but also with a firm hand in some of the lead-up.

Prior to the announcement of the Cambodian incursion, the ONG arrived in the Kent area acting in a federalized role as the Cleveland-Akron labor wildcat strikes were winding down. The ONG continued in the federalized role at Kent State, ostensibly to protect the campus and as a reaction to the burning of a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) building. Ohio Governor James “Jim” Rhodes claimed the burning of the ROTC building on the Kent State University campus was his reason for “calling in the guard,” yet in this picture of the burning building, the ONG are clearly standing before the flames as the building burns.10

From eyewitness accounts, the burning of the ROTC building at Kent State was completed by undercover law enforcement determined to make sure it could become the symbol needed to support the Kent State war on student protest.11

According to Dr. Elaine Wellin, an eyewitness to the many events at Kent State leading up to and including May 4th, there were uniformed and plain-clothes officers potentially involved in managing the burning of the ROTC building. Wellin was in close proximity to the building just prior to the burning and saw a person with a walkie-talkie about three feet from her telling someone on the other end of the communication that they should not send down the fire truck as the ROTC building was not on fire yet.12

A memo to COINTELPRO director William C. Sullivan ordered a full investigation into the “fire bombing of the ROTC building.” But only days after the Kent State massacre, every weapon that was fired was destroyed, and all other weapons used at Kent State were gathered by top ONG officers, placed with other weapons and shipped to Europe for use by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), so no weapons used at Kent could be traced.

From these pieces of evidence, it becomes clearer that the US government coordinated this battle against student protest on the Kent State campus. Using the playbook from the Huston Plan, which refers to protesting students as the “New Left,” the US government employed provocateurs, staged incidents, and enlisted political leaders to attack and lay full blame on the students. On May 4, 1970, at Kent State University, the US government fully negated every student response as they criminalized the First Amendment rights to protest and assemble.13

The cover-up adds tremendous complexity to an already complicated event, making it nearly impossible to fairly try the Kent State massacre in the American justice system. This imposed “establishment” view that Kent State was about “civil rights”—and not about murder or attempted murder—led to a legal settlement on the basis of civil rights lost, with the US government consistently refusing to address the death of four students and the wounding of nine.14

Even more disheartening, efforts to maintain the US government cover-up at Kent State recently went into overdrive in April 2012, when President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) formally announced a refusal to open a new probe into the wrongs of Kent State, continuing the tired 1970 tactic of referring to Kent State as a civil rights matter.15

The April 2012 DOJ letters of response also included a full admission that, in 1979, after reaching the Kent State civil rights settlement, the FBI Cleveland office destroyed what they considered a key piece of evidence: the original tape recording made by Terry Strubbe on his dormitory window ledge. In a case involving homicides, the FBI’s illegal destruction of evidence exposes their belief to be “above the law,” ignoring the obvious fact that four students were killed on May 4, 1970. As the statute of limitations never lapses for murder, the FBI’s actions went against every law of evidence. The laws clearly state that evidence may not be destroyed in homicides, even when the murders are perpetrated by the US government.

The destruction of the original Strubbe tape also shows the FBI’s intention to obstruct justice: the 2012 DOJ letters on Kent State claim that, because the original Strubbe tape was intentionally destroyed, the copy examined by Allen cannot be compared to the original or authenticated. However the original Strubbe tape, destroyed by the DOJ, was never admitted into evidence.

The tape examined by Stuart Allen, however, is a one-to-one copy of the Kent State Strubbe tape admitted into evidence in Kent State legal proceedings by Joseph Kelner, the lawyer representing the victims of Kent State. Once an article has been admitted into evidence, the article is considered authentic evidentiary material.

Worse than this new smokescreen on the provenance of the Kent State Strubbe tape and FBI efforts to destroy evidence is that the DOJ has wholly ignored or refuted the tremendous body of forensic evidence work accomplished by Allen, and verified by forensic expert Tom Owen.16 If the US Department of Justice really wanted to learn the truth about what happened at Kent State and was open to understanding the new evidence, DOJ efforts would include organizing an impartial examination of Allen’s analysis and contacting him to present his examination of the Kent State Strubbe tape. None of this has happened.

Instead, those seeking justice through a reexamination of the Kent State historical record based on new evidence have been left out in the cold. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, involved in Kent State from the very beginning as a Cleveland city council person, asked important questions in a letter to the DOJ on April 24, 2012, titled, “Analysis of Audio Record of Kent State Shooting Leaves Discrepancies and Key Questions Unaddressed”:

“While I appreciate the response from the Justice Department, ultimately, they fail to examine key questions and discrepancies. It is well known that an FBI informant, Terry Norman, was on the campus. That FBI informant was carrying a gun. Eyewitnesses testified that they saw Mr. Norman brandish that weapon. Two experts in forensic audio, who have previously testified in court regarding audio forensics, found gunshots in their analysis of the audio recording. Did an FBI informant discharge a firearm at Kent State? Did an FBI informant precipitate the shootings?

Who and what events led to the violent encounter that resulted in four students dead and nine others injured? What do the FBI files show about their informant? Was he ever debriefed? Has he been questioned to compare his statement of events with new analysis? How, specifically, did the DOJ analyze the tape? How does this compare to previous analysis conducted by independent sources that reached a different conclusion? The DOJ suggested noises heard in the recording resulted from a door opening and closing. What tests were used to make that determination? Was an independent agency consulted in the process?

For more than a year, I have pushed for an analysis of the Strubbe tape because Kent State represented a tragedy of immense proportions. The Kent State shooting challenged the sensibilities of an entire generation of Americans. This issue is too important to ignore. We must demand a full explanation of the events.17

Concerned Americans may join Congressman Kucinich in demanding answers to these questions and in insisting on an independent, impartial organization—in other words, not the FBI—to get to the bottom of this.

The FBI’s cloudy involvement includes questions about Terry Norman’s relationship to the FBI, addressed in Mangels’s article, “Kent State Shootings: Does Former Informant Hold the Key to the May 4th Mystery?”:

“Whether due to miscommunication, embarrassment or an attempted cover-up, the FBI initially denied any involvement with Norman as an informant.

“Mr. Norman was not working for the FBI on May 4, 1970, nor has he ever been in any way connected with this Bureau,” director J. Edgar Hoover declared to Ohio Congressman John Ashbrook in an August 1970 letter.

Three years later, Hoover’s successor, Clarence Kelley, was forced to correct the record. The director acknowledged that the FBI had paid Norman $125 for expenses incurred when, at the bureau’s encouragement, Norman infiltrated a meeting of Nazi and white power sympathizers in Virginia a month before the Kent State shootings.18

Even more telling, Norman’s pistol disappeared from a police evidence locker and was completely retooled to make sure that the weapon—used to create the “sound of sniper fire” on May 4—would not show signs of use. Indeed, every “investigation” into Kent State shows that the FBI tampered, withheld, and destroyed evidence, bringing into question government involvement in both the premeditated and post-massacre efforts at Kent State. In examining all inquiries into Kent State, an accurate investigation has never occurred, as the groups involved in the wrongs of Kent State have been investigating themselves.19

The Kent State students never had a chance against the armed will of the US government in its aim to fight wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos back in 1970. Further, the First Amendment rights to protest and assemble have shown to be only vacuous platitudes. Forty-two years later, the Obama administration echoes the original drone of the US government denying the murder of protesters, pointing only to civil rights lost. When bullets were fired on May 4th at Kent State, US government military action against antiwar protesters on domestic soil changed from a civil rights breach to acts of murder and attempted murder.

Congressman Kucinich, in an interview with Pacifica Radio after his exchanges with DOJ by May of 2012, said,

There are some lingering questions that could change the way that history looks at what happened at Kent State. And I think that we owe it to the present generation of Americans, the generation of Americans that came of age during Kent, the students on campus, we owe it to the Guardsmen, who it was said opened fire without any provocation what so ever  … we have to get to the truth.20

As long as American leadership fails to consider killing protesters a homicidal action and not just about civil rights lost, there is little safety for American protesters today, leaving the door wide open for more needless and unnecessary bloodshed and possibly the killing of American protesters again. This forty-two-year refusal to acknowledge the death of four students relates to current US government practices toward protest and protesters in America, as witnessed at Occupy Wall Street over the past year. When will it ever become legal to protest and assemble in America again? Will American leadership cross the line to kill American protesters again?21

In a rare editorial addressing this issue, journalist Stephen Rosenfeld of AlterNet wrote,

“History never exactly repeats itself. But its currents are never far from the present. As today’s protesters and police employ bolder tactics, the Kent State and Jackson State anniversaries should remind us that deadly mistakes can and do happen. It is the government’s responsibility to wield proportionate force, not to over-arm police and place them in a position where they could panic with deadly results.22

Though forty-two years have passed, the lessons of Kent State have not yet been learned.

No More Kent States

In 2010, the United Kingdom acknowledged the wrongs of Bloody Sunday, also setting an example for the US government to learn the important lessons of protest and the First Amendment.23 In January 1972, during “Bloody Sunday,” British paratroopers shot and killed fourteen protesters; most of the demonstrators were shot in the back as they ran to save themselves.24

Thirty-eight years after the Bloody Sunday protest, British Prime Minister David Cameron apologized before Parliament, formally acknowledging the wrongful murder of protesters and apologized for the government.25 The healing in Britain has begun. Considering the striking similarity in events where protesters were murdered by the state, let’s examine the wrongs of Kent State, begin to heal this core American wound, and make a very important, humane course correction for America. When will it become legal to protest in America?

President Obama, the Department of Justice, and the US government as a whole must take a fresh look at Stuart Allen’s findings in the Kent State Strubbe tape. The new Kent State evidence is compelling, clearly showing how US covert intelligence took the lead in creating this massacre and in putting together the ensuing cover-up.

As the United States has refused to examine the new evidence or consider the plight of American protest in 2012, the Kent State Truth Tribunal formally requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague consider justice at Kent State.26

Who benefited the most from the murder of student protesters at Kent State? Who was really behind the Kent State massacre? There is really only one US agency that clearly benefited from killing student antiwar protesters at Kent State: the Department of Defense.

Since 1970 through 2012, the military-industrial-cyber complex strongly associated with the Department of Defense and covert US government agencies have actively promoted never-ending wars with enormous unaccounted-for budgets as they increase restrictions on American protest. These aims of the Pentagon are evidenced today in the USA PATRIOT Act, the further civil rights–limiting National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and new war technologies like CIA drones.

Probing the dark and buried questions of the Kent State massacre is only a beginning step to shine much-needed light on the United States military and to illuminate how the Pentagon has subverted American trust and safety, as it endeavors to quell domestic protest against war at any cost since at least 1970.

LAUREL KRAUSE a writer and truth seeker dedicated to raising awareness about ocean protection, safe renewable energy, and truth at Kent State. She publishes a blog on these topics at Mendo Coast Current. She is the cofounder and director of the Kent State Truth Tribunal. Before spearheading efforts for justice for her sister Allison Krause, who was killed at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, Laurel worked at technology start-ups in Silicon Valley.

MICKEY HUFF is the director of Project Censored and professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College.  He did his graduate work in history on historical interpretations of the Kent State shootings and has been actively researching the topic more since his testimony to the Kent State Truth Tribunal in New York City in 2010.

Notes

1.         For more background on Kent State and the many conflicting interpretations, see Scott L. Bills, Kent State/May 4: Echoes Through a Decade (Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1982). Of particular interest for background on this chapter, see Peter Davies, “The Burning Question: A Government Cover-up?,” in Kent State/May 4, 150–60. For a full account of Davies’s work, see The Truth About Kent State: A Challenge to the American Conscience (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973). For a listing of other works see Selected Bibliography on the Events of May 4, 1970, at Kent State University, http://dept.kent.edu/30yearmay4/source/bib.htm.

2.   John Mangels, “New Analysis of 40-Year-Old Recording of Kent State Shootings Reveals that Ohio Guard was Given an Order to Prepare to Fire,” Plain Dealer (Cleveland), May 9, 2010, updated April 23, 2012, http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/05/new_analysis_of_40-year-old_re.html; Interview with Stuart Allen analyzing new evidence who said of the efforts, “It’s about setting history right.” See the footage “Kent State Shootings Case Remains Closed,” CNN, added April 29, 2012, http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2012/04/29/justice-department-will-not-reopen-kent-state-shootings-case.cnn.

3.         Submitted for the Congressional Record by Representative Dennis Kucinich, “Truth Emerging in Kent State Cold Case Homicide,” by Laurel Krause, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r111%3AE14DE0-0019%3A. For a brief introduction on the history and emerging historiography of the Kent State shootings, see Mickey S. Huff, “Healing Old Wounds: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Conflicts Over Historical Interpretations of the Kent State Shootings, 1977–1990,” master’s thesis, Youngstown State University, December 1999, http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=ysu999620326.

For the official government report, see The Report of the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1970), also known as the Scranton Commission. It should be noted that the Scranton Commission stated in their conclusion between pages 287 and 290 that the shootings were “unnecessary, unwarranted and inexcusable” but criminal wrongdoing was never established through the courts and no one was ever held accountable for the shootings. Also, it should be noted, that the interpretation that the guard was ordered to fire conflicts with Davies’s interpretation, in note 1 here, that even though he believes there was a series of cover-ups by the government, he has not attributed malice. For more on the Kent State cover-ups early on, see I. F. Stone, “Fabricated Evidence in the Kent State Killings,” New York Review of Books, December 3, 1970, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1970/dec/03/fabricated-evidence-in-the-kent-state-killings.

4.   Mangels, “Kent State Tape Indicates Altercation and Pistol Fire Preceded National Guard Shootings (audio),” Plain Dealer (Cleveland), October 8, 2010, http://www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2010/10/analysis_of_kent_state_audio_t.html.

5.   Kent State Shooting 1970 [BX4510], Google Video, at 8:20 min., http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3727445416544720642.

6.   Editorial, “Kent State: The Politics of Manslaughter,” Nation, April 30, 2009 [May 18, 1970], http://www.thenation.com/article/kent-state-politics-manslaughter.

7.   Charles A. Thomas, Kenfour: Notes On An Investigation (e-book), http://speccoll.library.kent.edu/4may70/kenfour3.

8.   John Kifner, “4 Kent State Students Killed by Troops,” New York Times, May 4, 1970, http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0504.html#article.

9.   Voting age was twenty-one at this time, until the passage of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1971, which lowered the voting age to eighteen, partially in response to Vietnam War protests as youth under twenty-one could be drafted without the right to vote.

10.       It should also be noted, that Rhodes was running for election the Tuesday following the Kent shootings on a law and order ticket.

11.       “My Personal Testimony ROTC Burning May 2 1970 Kent State,” YouTube, April 28, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ppBkB4caY0&feature=youtu.be; Freedom of Information Act, FBI, Kent State Shooting, File Number 98-46479, part 7 of 8 (1970), http://vault.fbi.gov/kent-state-shooting/kent-state-shooting-part-07-of-08/view.

12.       The Project Censored Show on The Morning Mix, “May 4th and the Kent State Shootings in the 42nd Year,” Pacifica Radio, KPFA, 94.1FM, May 4, 2012 live at 8:00 a.m., archived online at http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/80293 and http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42635027/20120504-Fri0800.mp3. For Wellin on ROTC, see recording at 28:45.

Show description: The May 4th Kent State Shootings 42 Years Later: Justice Still Not Served with Congressman Dennis Kucinich commenting on the DOJ’s recent refusal to reopen the case despite new evidence of a Kent State command-to-fire and the ‘sound of sniper fire’ leading to the National Guard firing live ammunition at unarmed college students May 4, 1970; Dr. Elaine Wellin, Kent State eyewitness shares seeing undercover agents at the ROTC fire in the days before, provocateurs in staging the rallies at Kent, and at Kent State on May 4th; we’ll hear from investigator and forensic evidence expert Stuart Allen regarding his audio analysis of the Kent State Strubbe tape from May 4th revealing the command-to-fire and the ‘sound of sniper fire’ seventy seconds before; and we hear from Kent State Truth Tribunal director Laurel Krause, the sister of slain student Allison, about her efforts for justice at Kent State and recent letter to President Obama..

Also see Peter Davies’ testimony about agents provocateurs and the ROTC fire cited in note 1, “The Burning Question: A Government Cover-up?,” in Kent State/May 4, 150–60.

13.       The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), “Volume 2: Huston Plan,” http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_vol2.htm.

14.    Associated Press, “Kent State Settlement: Was Apology Included?,” Eugene Register-Guard, January 5, 1979, http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=19790105&id=xvJVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=BuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3696,963632.

15. Mangels, “Justice Department Won’t Reopen Probe of 1970 Kent State Shootings,” Plain Dealer (Cleveland), April 24, 2012, http://www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2012/04/justice_department_wont_re-ope.html; and kainah, “Obama Justice Dept.: No Justice for Kent State,” Daily Kos, May 2, 2012, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/02/1086726/-Justice-Dept-No-Justice-for-Kent-State.

16.       Mangels, “New Analysis.”

17.       Letters between the Department of Justice and Representative Dennis Kucinich, archived at the Congressman’s website, April 20 and April 24 of 2012, http://kucinich.house.gov/uploadedfiles/kent_state_response_from_doj.pdf and http://kucinich.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=292306.

18.       Mangels, “Kent State Shootings: Does Former Informant Hold the Key to the May 4 Mystery?,” Plain Dealer (Cleveland), December 19, 2010, http://www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2010/12/kent_state_shootings_does_form.html.

19. Freedom of Information Act, FBI.

20.       The Project Censored Show on The Morning Mix, “May 4th and the Kent State Shootings in the 42nd Year.”

21. Steven Rosenfeld, “Will a Militarized Police Force Facing Occupy Wall Street Lead to Another Kent State?,” AlterNet, May 3, 2012, http://www.alternet.org/rights/155270.

22.       Ibid.

23.       Laurel Krause, “No More Kent States,” Mendo Coast Current, April 21, 2012, http://mendocoastcurrent.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/13-day-for-kent-state-peace.

24.       Laurel Krause, “Unjustified, Indefensible, Wrong,” Mendo Coast Current, September 13, 2010, http://mendocoastcurrent.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/unjustified-indefensible-wrong.

25.       Associated Press, “Bloody Sunday Report Blames British Soldiers Fully,” USA Today, June 15, 2010, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-06-15-Bloody-Sunday-Ireland_N.htm; and Cameron’s direct quote from Henry McDonald, Owen Bowcott, and Hélène Mulholland, “Bloody Sunday Report: David Cameron Apologises for ‘Unjustifiable’ Shootings,” Guardian, June 15, 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/15/bloody-sunday-report-saville-inquiry.

26.       Laurel Krause, “To the Hague: Justice for the May 4th Kent State Massacre?,” Mendo Coast Current, May 7, 2012, http://mendocoastcurrent.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/may-4th-kent-state-massacre-a-call-for-truth-justice; for more on the Kent State Truth Tribunal, see www.TruthTribunal.org.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Comments Off on Uncovering The Kent State Cover-Up

Norway: Organizations supporting settlements no longer tax-deductible

Ma’an – 26/09/2012

BETHLEHEM – Donations to a Norwegian organization that funds illegal Israeli settlements will no longer be tax-deductible following a decision by the Norwegian government.

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance announced the decision to remove Karmel-instituttet from the list of organizations eligible for tax-deductible donations on Thursday under pressure from Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, NPA said in a statement.

“We are very pleased that the Ministry of Finance has made this decision, based on the fact that Karmel provides funds to the illegal Israeli settlements,” said Liv Tørres, the secretary-general of NPA.

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance said they intended to ensure the system of tax deductions did not benefit organizations that actively support or contribute to acts that are in contravention of international law, NPA added.

According to the groups, Karmel-instittuttet had funded three study centers and around half the homes in the illegal Alonei Shilo settlement.

That settlement is illegal under both international and Israeli law.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians ‘attacked by settler mob’

Ma’an – 27/09/2012

 

NABLUS – Israeli forces on Wednesday detained two Palestinians who were attacked by a mob of settlers south of Nablus, locals said.

Iyad Rashdan and Muhammad Allan were picking olives in fields of Einabus village when a group of settlers attacked them.

Israeli forces arrived and detained the two Palestinians, locals told Ma’an.

An Israeli military spokeswoman was not familiar with the incident.

Earlier dozens of settlers from Migron outpost assaulted a farmer north of Jerusalem, leaving him with multiple injuries, local officials said.

“Dozens of settlers chased the farmer, Abed al-Kareem Maikel Abu Ali, 57, for about 500 meters and beat him with iron bars, stones and sticks,” activist Saed Allah Khaled Abu Ali told Ma’an.

Four farmers had gone to check their lands near Mikhmas village after reports that settlers had cut down around 150 olive trees, village council official Muhammad Kanan said.

The farmers were attacked as they arrived at their land, with 30 settlers lying in wait. They all managed to escape apart from Abed al-Kareem Maikel Abu Ali, who was subsequently beaten by the group of settlers for around 40 minutes, Kanan said.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Comments Off on Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians ‘attacked by settler mob’