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Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging

COTO Report

Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money-drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure.

The cost in human terms is even greater — these [legal] drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year.

And the death count keeps rising. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine.

Before these drugs were introduced in the market, people who had these conditions would not have been given any drugs at all.

So it is the branding of a disease and it is the branding of a drug for a treament of a disease that did not exist before the industry made the disease. (Excerpt from cchr.org)

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging

Mahmoud Sarsak – Palestinian International Footballer

Free Gaza Scotland | January 29, 2013

On Wednesday 23rd of January I with other members of our group had the pleasure and honour to meet Mahmoud Sarsak in our appartment. He is a slight, quietly spoken young man, with a gentle manner and his good humour and patience with our questioning betray none of the pain he has suffered over the last 3 and a half years. When he begins to speak about his experience of imprisonment he tells his story with a matter of fact, quiet sincerity that is striking and makes the horror of his experience all the more shocking.

262793_503572486339823_1300969775_nMahmoud was 21 years old, at the start of a playing career which had already seen him being recognised as one of the best young prospects in Palestine, already a regular for the Palestinian National side. He had an invitation to play for a football team in Nablus in the West Bank. This meant that he had to ask for permission from the Israelis to cross from Gaza through Erez crossing into Israel in order to travel on to the West Bank. This did not worry him as it was a trip he had already done twice before and when he recieved his permission he went to the crossing looking forward to the opportunity of playing in Nablus. However when he got to Erez at 9am on the 22nd July 2009 his whole world changed, instead of being allowed to cross he was arrested and taken to a Police Station, from here his family were called and informed that he was being taken to Ashkelon Jail.

He was made to take off his clothes and change into overalls, an ‘under investigation uniform’. He describes how for the first 18 days he was tied to a chair with his eyes covered, the only times he was untied was when he was given food and they untied his hands or when he was allowed to go to the toilet when his legs were untied. He explains that during this time he was kept awake, not fed properly and questioned daily, every 4 days he was taken to a court where a judge gave permission for him to be held for a further 4 days. This treatment he says ‘wasn’t so bad’ in comparison with what was to come although I think that most people would call it torture.

At the end of that 18 days he was taken to a Military Jail in the South where he was kept for 6 days and his treatment became much worse. He was beaten regularly and was put in what he described as a fridge, he also had very hot and very cold water put under his feet. During all of this time in both places he was questioned, his interrogators were wanting him to say that he had been involved in ‘activities against Israel’. He didn’t understand what they meant by this, he was a footballer, he had not been involved in anything else and so refused to make things up to make his interrogators happy. He had no idea why he had been arrested.

At the end of these 6 days he was taken back to a civilian jail for another 11 days where suddenly things got much better. He was fed and allowed to sleep properly, his captors became very friendly offering him his freedom, a new house, a salary, a car, access to proper training facilities to help his playing career and foreign travel. All he had to do was become a collaborator. He refused, which provoked many serious threats from his Israeli interrogators. They told him that they would burn his family home down, attack his family and kill his brothers. Despite the pressures upon him and his ordeal so far, he continued to refuse to collaborate.

Except for short visits to court when his lawyer was present, during this initial 35 days of incarceration he had absolutely no contact with anyone but his jailors and interrogators. His lawyer told him that he was going to be all right, the court had said he was going to be released. Instead he was told by a Military Officer that he was now being held under ‘The Law of An Illegal Fighter’ and that they no longer needed to go to court to ask permission to keep him. He was then taken to Kitseot Jail near Bersheva where at least he could see other prisoners and his time of interrogation was over. He asked the other prisoners what this ‘Law of an Illegal Fighter’ meant but none of them had ever heard of it. When he was finally allowed access to his lawyer and was able to ask him he was told that it was a law that the Israeli authorities use when they have nothing against you but they want to hold onto you. He then asked his lawyer what rights he had under this law and was told that he had none, he could now be held in jail for as long as the Israeli Military wanted to keep him.

Mahmoud was the first Palestinian who had been held under this law, the only other people he knows of who had previously been held under it were 2 Hizbollah members from Lebanon who were arrested in 1982. He thinks that because he had no rights he was put in a cell which was 2m x 1m for his time in Kitseot, this cell had only a matress and toilet in it and he developed chest, skin and back problems while there. He was not taken to a hospital while there, and was only seen briefly by a prison doctor for these problems. He was allowed out of his cell for 1 hour a day for exercise with his fellow prisoners when he played football with them.

On the 22nd of February 2010 Mahmoud was taken to Tel Aviv for a court hearing to extend his imprisonment and then to another court hearing for the decision in Jerusalem two weeks later. The journey to court and between jails is in what the prisoners call a ‘post bus’ which is metal bus with steel compartments in which you are jostled and hit off the steel walls. He knew before he was taken to the second hearing that he was going to be held for another six months. After this hearing he was also barred from playing football with his fellow prisoners for that precious hour in the mornings and was told that this was due to his back being too bad. At this time they also started to move him between prisons every 2 months and he was still taken to court every 6 months in order to have his stay in prison extended.

On the 23rd of August 2011 he was told that he was going to be released, he was happy and said goodbye to the other prisoners. He was taken by ‘post bus’ to Erez, his hands and legs were not tied as they usually were, the window was open and when he got there they opened the door of the prison van and the guards moved away talking among themselves. He stayed where he was as he didn’t know what was happening and he didn’t want to be shot if they thought he was trying to escape. He called to the guards to ask what was happening and they told him they were taking him back to jail, he wasn’t being released. He was taken to a different jail for 2 weeks with only the clothes he had on when they took him to Erez. He said that he was later told about another prisoner who had been taken to Erez and left in an open ‘post bus’ with his legs untied in the same way. He had gone to the door to look out and been instantly shot in the leg and accused of trying to escape. After this 2 week period he was taken back to the jail he had originally been in when first imprisoned, here his other clothes and small number of belongings were finally brought to him.

When he was taken to this jail he was given another 6 months but his lawyer was promised that he would be released when this time ended on the 23rd of February 2012. The 23rd of February came and went, 10 days after this he was taken back to court, he had decided that this time if he wasn’t released he would go on hunger strike and stay on hunger strike until they promised in writing that he would be released. So when he was told that he was going to be imprisoned for another 6 months he prepared himself for 10 days, eating less each day and gradually reducing his physical activity. On the 15th of March 2012 he started his hunger strike. He only took water and sometimes a little salt in order to prevent his stomach from beginning to rot.

7 days after he started they began to move him from jail to jail before putting him in Nafha Jail which meant he was put in with the Israeli criminal population. Then he was put into isolation for a spell followed by hospital in Bersheva for 2 days tied to his bed then back to Nafha. From here he was sent to Eshel jail where he was put in isolation again and became very sick. This time they wouldn’t take him to hospital but would only allow him to see the Doctor in Eshel. After 35 days of this the Doctor in Eshel refused to continue to be responsible for him and he was taken to the Prison hospital in Ramle jail where he was with another 5 Palestinian prisoners who were also on hunger strike. He refused treatment here and was put back into isolation, this time his isolation cell had no windows so he was in darkness. After 47 days on hunger strike he bagan to have serious problems with his stomach, he couldn’t even drink water without vomiting. First white then black then brown vomit. They took him back to Ramle Prison hospital then and gave him antibiotics.

Along with the other hunger strikers he was asked regularly to break his hunger strike, on the 15th of May he was told that if he would break his hunger strike he would be released on the 23rd of August and the other hunger strikers were also told that they would have their demands met if they broke theirs. 3 of them accepted but along with 1 of the others Akram Al Rihawy he refused, he had heard promises of release before and he insisted that he have the promise in writing signed by a senior Judge and a Minister from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior. He was also told that he would not be allowed to return to Gaza, he had to choose between Germany, France or Norway which he also refused to accept. At this time he finally began to get International Committee of the Red Cross visits twice a week and he was asked daily to break his hunger strike, he continued to refuse until he got it in writing that he would be released back to Gaza and that he would be properly monitored by a committee of doctors when he started eating again.

Eventually on the 18th of June 2012 on the 96th day of his hunger strike a Minister from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior came to see him with the signed paper that he had been asking for stating in writing that he would be released on the 20th of July 2012. The Minister asked him if he would now please give up his hunger strike and he agreed. The Minister asked him to drink a glass of milk in front of him so that he could confirm and report that he had indeed broken his hunger strike which he did alathough he immediately vomited this back up. His stomach couldn’t cope even with milk after such a long time with no more than water going into it. He said that even though his stomach rejected this cup of milk his whole body felt as though it had drunk and felt relieved.

For 14 days he had to build up to eating again with first intravenous vitamins and nutrition, followed by nutritional drinks, before finally eating his first bit of bread after this 14 day period, which he still vomited back up. During the time of his hunger strike he was only allowed 2 visits from his lawyer, on the 40th day and on the last day. I asked if he was allowed any visits from his family during his time in jail. He replied that because he was given no rights under the ‘Law of An Illegal fighter’ he was not only denied visits from family but was not even allowed the 6 monthly letters delivered to his fellow prisoners by the Red Cross. He wasn’t able to write to them either, not even one short note.

At no time during Mahmoud’s entire incarceration was he actually accused of anything other than being asked to admit to the vague term ‘activities against Israel’ and he was never charged with anything. He was very clear that he had no idea why he was arrested. He was a footballer. The court appearances he attended were simply formalities under Military Law which say that every 6 months any detention order must be renewed.

All Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza who are arrested by Israel are dealt with under Military Law not Israeli Criminal Law and therefore it is not necessary for Israel to ever bring charges against them. Many who are prosecuted are those who have signed false confessions under torture and are not able to retract them afterwards. Mahmoud’s case was slightly worse than normal Military law, under which there are a few rights which at least give some protection in prison. Mahmoud had none of these rights under this so called ‘Law of an Illegal Fighter’ by which he was held.

I asked Mahmoud if he was back in training for football and if he thought that it would be possible for him to return to his playing career. He said that finally he had managed to attend 3 training sessions and was hoping to be able to return to the team at some point in the future once he was back to full fitness. I sincerely wish him luck with this and hope that he will reach that stage very soon.

This has to be one of the clearest examples of why the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) campaign should be supported by everyone and why Israel should be barred from participating in International Sporting events. Currently the 2013 UEFA U-21 Championship is scheduled to be played in Israel. How can this be allowed when they can treat a Palestinian International Player like this? Not to mention that they bombed the only 2 football pitches in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Cloud as well as destroying many local playing areas in the West Bank over the years. I saw several during my visit there in 2004 including one in Ramallah which had been bulldozed.

Mahmoud told us that the other prisoner who had stayed on hunger strike with him, Akram Al Rihawy, had spent his whole sentence in hospital due to his medical problems. His reason for being on hunger strike was not for release but for proper medical treatment. He stopped his hunger strike after being told that he was going to be released on Wednesday the 23rd of January 2013. Yesterday, on the 25th of January 2013 we were told that he was not released as promised and that he is now back on hunger strike.

To join the campaign against Israel hosting the 2013 UEFA U-21 Championship go to the following link and get involved: http://redcardapartheid.weebly.com/

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Data Privacy Day 2013: Twitter reveals US government makes 80% of info requests

RT | January 29, 2013

Twitter has released its second transparency report, which demonstrated a frightening increase in requests for user data by the US government and ignited serious concerns over privacy and free expression.

­The list disclosed data requests from over 30 nations, and revealed that the US government was responsible for 815 of the 1,009 information requests in the second half of 2012 – just over 80 percent of all inquiries.

Twenty percent of all US requests were ‘under seal,’ meaning that users were not notified that their information was accessed.

The overall number of requests worldwide also steadily increased last year, rising from 849 in the January to June 2012 period to 1009 in the July to December 2012 period.

Twitter’s legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel blogged that, “it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information.”

“These growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression – and real privacy implications,”
he wrote.

He went on to express hopes that the publication of the transparency data would be helpful in two ways – “to raise public awareness about these invasive requests,” and “to enable policy makers to make more informed decisions.”

The majority of US requests were subpoenas, which comprised 60 percent of government demands for information. Subpoenas usually seek user information such as email addresses affiliated with accounts and IP logs. A user’s whereabouts can generally be located by the IP address they are using.

Twitter complied with US government requests 69 percent of the time, according to the report.

Twitter released its transparency report on January 28, dubbed ‘Data Privacy Day.’ The US National Cyber Security alliance said it founded the day to “empower people to protect their privacy.”

According to Twitter’s report, several other governments made over 10 requests each for personal information, including Brazil, Canada, France, Japan and the UK. Japan ranked the second-highest on the list after the US; however, the US made 753 more demands for information than Japan.

Google released a statement marking the occasion, saying that the company “[doesn’t] want our services to be used in harmful ways,” and that it is “important that laws protect you against overly broad requests for your personal information.”

Earlier this month, France ruled that Twitter must disclose to authorities the identities of people writing anti-Semitic tweets using the hashtags #UnBonJuif [A Good Jew] and #UnJuifMort [A Dead Jew]. The social networking platform will be fined 1,000 euros a day until it complies.

The publication of the survey came shortly after Google published its own transparency report, which showed a similarly disturbing 25 percent rise in data requests from government authorities. The report also revealed that the US had made the most requests for private information to Google of any government: Over 8,438 in the second half of 2012.

UK-based rights group Privacy International later commented that “Google, Facebook and Twitter are highly vulnerable to government intrusion.”

“I am alarmed by the number of government requests and concerned that so many are done with merely a subpoena,” said John Simpson, a consumer advocate with the California-based group Consumer Watchdog. “A warrant should be required.”

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Data Privacy Day 2013: Twitter reveals US government makes 80% of info requests

Audio feed cut during 9/11 trial hearing, prompting suspicions of external censorship

RT | January 29, 2013

The first day of a pretrial hearing for five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks was swirling with intrigue on Monday after the audio feed at a Guantanamo war crimes court was abruptly cut off.

The incident prompted the military judge to ask whether someone outside the courtroom was censoring the hearing.

Observers were listening to the trial behind a glass window when the feed was suddenly cut. The audio went silent when David Nevin, a lawyer for Khalid Sheik Mohammed – the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks – asked if the lawyers and judges needed to meet in closed session before considering a request by the defense.

In previous hearings for alleged Al-Qaeda operatives sentenced to CIA prisons, a court security officer controlled a button which muffled audio to spectators when secret information was disclosed. During the censoring process, a red light flashes and observers hear nothing but static.

But that wasn’t the case this time around, as the judge’s reaction made clear once the sound was restored moments later.

“If some external body is turning things off, if someone is turning the commissions off under their own views of what things ought to be, with no reason or explanation, then we are going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on or off,” Army Colonel James Pohl told the courtroom.

Pohl seemed to be addressing the prosecution team, saying that Nevin had only referred to the caption of an unclassified document asking the judge to preserve as evidence the secret CIA prisons where the defendants say they were tortured, Reuters reported.

Nevin and the other defense attorneys said they wanted to know whether there was a third party monitoring the proceedings, and whether that entity could be listening to private communications between the lawyers and their clients, the Washington Post reported.

Justice Department lawyer Joanna Baltes said she could explain the reason behind the audio cut – but not in public. Pohl said he would meet in closed session with the lawyers and reopen the public part of the hearing on Tuesday. If the reason behind the cut could be explained to the public, he would do so then.

Mohammed and his four co-defendants are accused of training and aiding the hijackers who flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.

They could be sentenced to death if convicted on charges including terrorism, attacking civilians and murdering 2,976 people.

The men were among the suspected Al-Qaeda captives who were moved across borders without judicial review, and held and interrogated in secret CIA prisons overseas during the presidency of George W. Bush.

The CIA has acknowledged that Mohammed was subjected to the controversial interrogation practice known as waterboarding. The defendants also claimed they were subjected to threats, sleep deprivation and being chained in painful positions.

The defense lawyers have argued that the CIA’s treatment of the defendants constituted illegal pretrial punishment, and “outrageous government misconduct” that could justify dismissal of the charges, or at the very least spare the defendants from execution if convicted.

There are currently 166 detainees at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, including Mohammed. In 2009, US President Barack Obama ordered the prison to be shut within a year. However, it is still open and operational.

Guantanamo remaining open is yet another example of Congress overpowering the president – the prison was bundled together with the National Defense Authorization Act, which serves as the overall US defense budget. Obama has the power to veto the entire act, but not to individually challenge the administration of Guantanamo Bay.

Obama has threatened such a veto several times, but backed down on every occasion.

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World Bank and IMF Forecasts Follow Predictable Pattern for Haiti, Venezuela

By Arthur Phillips and Stephan Lefebvre | CEPR Americas Blog | January 28, 2013

The World Bank has joined the “doom and gloom” chorus on Venezuela’s economy. And in Haiti, the Washington-based institution again appears overly optimistic.

On Tuesday, January 15, the World Bank released its latest global economic forecast, which projects 2013 global GDP growth at 3.4%, up 0.4% from its preliminary estimate for 2012 and down a half a percentage point from its previous forecast in June. The Bank emphasized that the low rates were largely a result of sluggish growth in the U.S. and Europe. As for Latin America and the Caribbean, the regional predicted growth for 2013 is listed at 3.6%, up more than half a point from the estimated figure for 2012.

As with many media commentators over the past few years, the World Bank predicts that Venezuela’s economic recovery from the global recession cannot hold up. The Bank forecasts 1.8% growth in 2013, a sharp drop from an estimated 5.2% last year. Since the Venezuelan economy is not slowing, there is no obvious reason to predict a collapse in economic growth.

Furthermore, we can see that the projection numbers follow a trend. Both the World Bank and the IMF have been consistently underestimating growth projections in Venezuela.

vz gdp projection2011 vz gdp projection2012 1

Meanwhile, in Haiti the Bank predicts a sharp jump in GDP growth, from 2.2 to 6.0 percent, while the IMF has forecast growth at 6.5%. When we compare these numbers to those of previous years, we can see the opposite trend of that in Venezuela.  All the projections for 2012 overestimated growth by well over 5 percentage points.

haiti gdp projection2011 haiti gdp projection2012 1

It is unclear why both the IMF and the World Bank have projected such high growth for Haiti considering the many severe challenges facing the country in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. As we have noted on an ongoing basis over the past three years, major international donor funding has been slow to materialize, progress on housing, water, sanitation and other infrastructure has been minimal, and there have been few examples of improvements that would suggest an upsurge in growth is on its way. There has been even more bad news in the wake of Hurricane Sandy at the end of October, which devastated crops and left 2.1 million people “food insecure.” The World Bank and IMF’s projections of 6 percent or higher GDP growth in 2013 seem unfounded.

The IMF’s pessimistic growth projections for Venezuela fit a pattern going back several years. GDP growth forecasts for Argentina were off by 5.0, 5.2, and 4.3 percentage points for the years 2004-2006, and for Venezuela they were off bya gigantic 10.6, 6.8 and 5.8 percentage points in the same years.  These patterns suggest a politicization of the IMF’s projections for certain countries, since the Fund was consistently overly optimistic on Argentina’s growth in the years that the Argentine government was still following the IMF’s policy recommendations.

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No, I Have Never Been in the Military

By Laurence M. Vance | LewRockwell.com | January 29, 2013

It happens every time I write an article about war. It happens every time I write an article about the military. It happens every time I even mention war or the military.

The question may take a variety of forms but it is really always the same: “Have you ever been in combat” “Have you ever been in the military?” “Have you ever served?”

Because I have never been in combat, been in the military, or “served,” my answer is, of course, always in the negative.

Those who ask such questions have one purpose: to discredit everything I say about the military. In their mind, it is either that I can’t possibly have sufficient knowledge of what it is like in the military to be able to criticize it or I have no right to criticize the military because I have never been in it, or both.

But rather than hang my head in shame and sheepishly acknowledge that I have never been in the military, I lift it up high and shout No, I have never been in the military. I have never experienced the “glories” of combat. I have never had the “honor” of serving. Thank God I was never in the military.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never sung filthy cadences that glorify rape and killing.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never put my family through unnecessary hardship.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never helped to carry out an evil, reckless, and interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never destroyed a country’s industry and infrastructure that was no threat to the United States.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never enforced a UN resolution.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never killed someone that I didn’t know, who was no threat to me, my family, my city, my state, or my country.

No, I have never been in the military… I have never been a prostitute, but I know it is an immoral activity.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never experienced PTSD because I had serious doubts about the justness of what I was fighting for.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never experienced the desire to commit suicide.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never unnecessarily been in a situation where I had to kill or be killed.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been part of an organization that was a global force for evil.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never embraced the values that are all too prevalent in the military: adultery, fornication, promiscuity, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pornography, sodomy, divorce, sexual assault, sexual harassment, suicide.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never had to be on guard against being sexually assaulted.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been an accomplice to murder.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never killed a civilian and called it collateral damage.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never fought a police action for the UN.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never played golf on a U.S. military base thousands of miles away in a county that could provide for its own defense.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never violated the Constitution I swore to uphold.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never urinated on a dead body.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been all that I can be in an organization that was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never expressed blind, unconditional obedience to someone’s orders.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never cursed like a sailor.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never fought an undeclared war.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never committed random acts of depravity and violence.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never killed civilians for sport.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never participated in state-sponsored terrorism.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never posed for photos with murdered civilians.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never tortured and humiliated prisoners.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never worn a uniform in an airport and grinned from ear to ear when a group of people cheered me as I walked by.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never stopped having independent thoughts.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never transported anyone to some secret CIA prison to undergo “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

No, I have never been in the military. I have never piloted a drone over Pakistan and killed people like I was playing a video game.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been part of the president’s personal attack force.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never unleashed violence and civil unrest in another country.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never deprived my child of his father while I made multiple duty tours with increased deployment terms.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never fought an unjust war of aggression.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never cut off someone’s body part as a trophy.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never died in vain or for a lie.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never dropped a bomb on a wedding party.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never traveled thousands of miles from the United States to fight in a senseless foreign war.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never dwelled in one of the filthiest moral environments on the face of the earth.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never helped to keep in business the worldwide network of brothels around U.S. military bases.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never traveled the world, met interesting people, and killed them.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never told people that I was defending their freedoms when I was doing nothing of the kind.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never agreed to kill people to get money for college.

No, I have never been in the military. But when men that have been in combat, and have been in the military, and have served confirm what I say about the military and add their own criticisms of the military to it, they are not listened to either.

No, I have never been in the military. But I will continue to criticize it and persuade people to not join it. How could any thinking person do otherwise?

~

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The Revolution that Wasn’t, Rethinking the Good War, and The Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. His latest book is The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom. Visit his website.

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Israel plans boycott of UN human rights review

Al-Akhbar | January 29, 2013

Israel planned on boycotting a routine review of its human rights situation by the United Nations Tuesday, despite threats of “unspecified action” by the UN Human Rights Council if it did not cooperate.

According to Israeli media, Israel would be the only UN member state to ever boycott the yearly UNHRC Universal Periodic Review since the process’ inception in 2006.

Israel unilaterally severed ties with UNHRC in March 2012 over a planned fact-finding mission over illegal West Bank settlements.

According to news website The Times of Israel, Israel has participated in the first round of reviews in October 2011, before asking the council to postpone Israel’s review with no justification.

Israel later accused the Human Rights Council of “anti-Israel moves.”

“We are under an ongoing policy of suspension of all our contacts with the Human Rights Council in Geneva and all its branches after their sequence of systematically anti-Israel moves, which have come to contradict the mission statement of the organizations and sheer common sense” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel Sunday.

Israel’s review is still scheduled to take place Tuesday afternoon, and it remains unclear as to whether a representative of the Jewish state will actually attend the meeting.

If Israel follows through with its boycott, it could set a negative precedent for other countries unwilling to respond to accusations of human rights violations.

The website for the UPR specifies that in case of “persistent non-cooperation,” “the Human Rights Council will decide on the measures it would need to take” against the offending state.

UNHRC spokesman Rolando Gomez warned that “if a delegation from the country was not to attend then action, as yet unspecified, would be taken.”

The UNHRC review of Israel is overseen by the Maldives, Sierra Leone and Venezuela.

Israel has fought back and criticized many investigations into its treatment of Palestinians, including on illegal settlements and the use of drones.

Its relationship with the Human Rights Council has been tense for years, most notably since 2007, when the council made Israel’s actions in Occupied Palestine a permanent item on the agenda.

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Comments Off on Israel plans boycott of UN human rights review