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Loretta Lynch: She’s Black, and That’s All the Black Caucus Cares About

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

An important aspect of the Age of Obama will soon come to a close with the departure of Eric Holder, the first Black U.S. attorney general. Holder’s record in office makes up a great part of the Obama legacy – which, after six years turns out to be scarcely any different than what could have been expected from any center-right white corporate Democrat. Like former president Bill Clinton, whose Wall Street dominated administration deregulated the banks and set the stage for the economic meltdown, eight years later. Obama’s first act in office was to bring back Bill Clinton’s Wall Street wrecking crew. So, in a sense, Obama is actually a protégé of Bill Clinton, and will likely be succeeded in office by Hillary Clinton.

Obama’s and Eric Holder’s most singular contribution to American political economy is having articulated the concept of banks being Too Big to Fail, or to jail. Back in the late Eighties and early Nineties, one-third of the nation’s savings and loan institutions did fail, and over a thousand individual executives were prosecuted, with a large proportion of them sent to prison. But, Eric Holder’s Justice Department has specialized in protecting big banks and defending the Lords of Capital.

At this late date, with his exit probably only weeks away, Eric Holder is trying to put a final spin on his legacy by demanding that some of the world’s biggest banks, including JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, plead guilty to a felony for manipulating foreign currency prices. Of course, not a single living, breathing banking executive would be branded a felon. Rather, the banks, as institutions would bear the shame. But, institutions have no shame, and cannot be jailed, and the banks will not be prevented from continuing to deal in foreign currency trading and all the other money streams they have manipulated, with impunity. However, Eric Holder will ride off into the sunset of a multi-million dollar corporate law practice claiming that he finally busted a bank for felonious conduct.

The Pavlovian Black Caucus

Meanwhile, the ridiculously ineffectual Congressional Black Caucus is circling its wagons around Holder’s replacement, Black New York federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch. Lynch last month told a Senate committee that she fully supports the practice of civil forfeiture, which allows police to confiscate people’s money and property on mere suspicion of involvement in illegal activity. Even Eric Holder has advanced some very limited reforms to civil forfeiture, but Loretta Lynch appeared gung ho about the seizures. The Black Caucus, in an uproar, denounced Republican libertarian Senator Rand Paul for saying he’d vote against confirming Lynch because of her position on civil forfeiture, and he sniped that Lynch ought to be a little more concerned about poor people, who are more likely to have their cash seized by the cops. Black Caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield, one of the most pro-corporate members of the Caucus, fumed that Rand Paul was using civil forfeiture as an excuse to “keep an African American legal scholar” from heading the Justice Department. But, of course, the Congressional Black Caucus has adopted no position at all on the pros and cons of civil forfeiture. They have no opinion. All they care about is that a Black Democrat get the attorney general’s job – and that they get to hold on to theirs.

See also:

Loretta Lynch is Condoleeza Rice With A Law Degree

By Bruce A. Dixon

In private practice Loretta Lynch was a “white collar crime specialist” keeping banksters, tax evaders and money launderers out of jail. She did exactly that at Obama’s Justice Department, passing get out of jail cards in the biggest money laundering cases in history. She’s pro-death penalty, against legalizing weed or demilitarizing cops, sees no evil in drone murder, war crimes or runaway surveillance. And she’s the next Attorney General.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

High-Level Rad Waste Dump Called “All Risk and No Reward for Texas”

By JOHN LAFORGE | CounterPunch | February 11, 2015

A high-level radioactive waste “parking lot” — proposed for West Texas — poses both terrible and unnecessary risks for people throughout the country — Texas in particular — and should not be built.

That’s the position of a coalition of public interest groups that declared its opposition to the plan February 9.

The proposal was announced by Waste Control Specialists (WCS) which currently operates a low-level radioactive dump at the site near Eunice, New Mexico. The plan is for WCS, and the French nuclear giant AREVA, to accept high-level radioactive waste.

About 70,000 tons of such waste fuel–other rad waste is called “low-level”– is now stored at about 70 reactor sites around the country. The waste is some of most long-lived, deadly and dangerous material known to science, radioactive for over half-a-million years.

“It was irresponsible even to generate high-level nuclear waste without a plan for how to dispose of it,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, in a press release. “It would be doubly so to ship it across the country, with no serious plan to protect it in transit or in its new temporary destination. Hiding the problem of high-level nuclear waste in West Texas doesn’t make it go away, it makes it worse.”

Diane D’Arrigo, radioactive waste project director at Nuclear Information and Resource Service, said, “Moving nuclear waste to a supposedly temporary consolidated storage place gives the delusion of ‘a solution’ when in fact it will at least double the risks and create a de facto permanent dump near one of the largest aquifers in the country.”

D’Arrigo called the plan part of an elaborate, unnecessary shell game. “WCS is really volunteering to make the US nuclear problem worse by putting the deadliest radioactive wastes from nuclear power on the same highways, railways and waterways we all use every day,” she said. The government said 20 years ago that the waste could safely be kept at reactor sites for 100 years.

“This plan is all risk and no reward for the state of Texas,” said Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas Office. “It poses transportation and accident risks around the country. We don’t need Fukushima Freeways,” he said. […]

“The federal government has made a mess of nuclear waste policy,” said Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. “The highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear reactors should be stored on-site, in hardened configurations while Washington sorts it out. Putting the deadliest nuclear waste on the roads needlessly increases risks.” he said.

The only plausible rationale for moving high-level waste away from reactor sites has come from those warning about tsunami risks on the West Coast, and from environmental justice advocates who note that radioactive waste is often placed — as with Xcel’s Prairie Island reactors in Minnesota — near Native American communities.

Former Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam of Ft. Worth said, “The site isn’t even dry — a minimum safety prerequisite for safe storage or disposal of radioactive waste. Recently, 22 percent of test wells at the existing low-level radioactive waste site had water present. … WCS admits the Ogallala Aquifer is nearby. What would happen if radioactive waste contaminated water that lies beneath eight states?”

Texas must not be allowed to risk answering that question. – Full article

John LaForge works for Nukewatch and lives on the Plowshares Land Trust near Luck, Wisc.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

German sociologists on Crimea’s choice

By Konstantin KOSARETSKY | Oriental Review | February 10, 2015

A few days ago an interesting study, “The Socio-Political Sentiments in Crimea,” was released by the Ukrainian branch of GfK, the well-known German social research organization, as part of the Free Crimea initiative. Intriguingly, the primary objectives of this project, launched with the support of the governmental Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, were to “debunk aggressive Russian propaganda” and to “reintegrate Crimea into Ukraine.” Thus the researchers can hardly be suspected of being Russian sympathizers. So let’s take a look at the results.

The attitudes of Crimeans were studied in January 2015. This representative sample included 800 respondents living on the peninsula, from all age and social categories. The poll had an error margin of 3.5%.

In answer to the most important question: “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% – “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% gave an unambiguously negative response, and another 2% offered a relatively negative assessment. Three percent did not specify their position.

We feel that this study fully validates the results of the referendum on reunification with Russia that was held on March 16, 2014. At that time 83% of Crimeans went to the polling stations and almost 97% expressed support for reunification.

Ukrainians continue to question whether this was a credible outcome, but it is now backed up by the data obtained by the Germans. The 82% of the respondents who expressed their full confidence in the results of the Russian election make up the core of the electorate who turned up at the ballot boxes on March 16, 2014.

These figures are also relevant in terms of another important question. The former chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, has repeatedly stated that all Tatars on the peninsula are opposed to reunification with Russia. Dzhemilev’s statements have been widely quoted by the media, which present them as entirely authoritative and undisputed.

But let’s think about that – Crimean Tatars make up 12% of the Crimean population, yet only 4% of those polled conveyed disapproval of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. And that 4% very likely includes not only Tatars, but also Ukrainians and citizens of other ethnicities. There’s an inconsistency here. Of course further study is needed on this issue, but the results obtained by GFK cast doubt on whether Mustafa Dzhemilev or the entire Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars is an accurate barometer of the feelings of the Crimean Tatar community.

Those few respondents who disapproved reunification were then asked “Why do you fully or mostly disapprove annexation?Only 20% of them (i.e., less than 1% of the total sample) claimed that they preferred to live in the state of Ukraine. The most common response, offered by 55% of those who opposed reunification, was “Annexations was not fully legitimate, it should be brought into accord with the international law.” Which means that, in theory, they do not object to the idea of living in Russia, but rather question the legitimacy of the transition.


No doubt it would be a good idea to hold such a referendum under the auspices of international legislation and in accordance with Ukrainian law. But would laws ever be passed that would grant Ukrainian regions the right to secede? Back in the totalitarian Soviet Union, Ukraine exercised its right to a referendum without a single shot being fired, while in “democratic Ukraine,” separatists are either burned alive as in Odessa, or are shot along with the elderly and children as is happening in the Donbass.

In answer to a question about their financial circumstances, 21% of Crimeans said that in the last year their position had “improved significantly,” while another 30% claimed it had “somewhat improved.” Only 13% of that population has experienced a setback, to a greater or lesser extent. This suggests that, despite EU sanctions on the peninsula’s economy, and despite Ukraine’s partial blockade on communication from Crimea, the reunification with Russia has provided most Crimeans with material gains. But even among those who have not reaped those sorts of benefits, there are few signs of nostalgia for their old Ukrainian citizenship: although 13% of citizens have seen their financial well-being decline, only 4% disapprove of the reunification with Russia. These figures suggest that economic sanctions are an ineffective means of persuading the residents of the Crimea to view Ukraine more favorably.

The results of the survey indicate that 28% of the residents of the peninsula regularly watch Ukrainian TV, and another 20% regularly consult Ukrainian news websites. This proves that no steps have been taken in Crimea to restrict access to Ukrainian sources of information, such as Ukraine has done in relation to Russian media.

And now the moment of truth: “What is your opinion of what is being written by the Ukrainian media about Crimea?” Who could be a more objective judge on this issue than the residents of the peninsula themselves? Who else but they – who have been fated to experience all the pros and cons of both Ukrainian and Russian citizenship – could better evaluate the accuracy of the information being published? Perhaps no one.

However, only 1% of those surveyed reported that the Ukrainian media “provides entirely truthful information” and 4% said it was “more often truthful than deceitful.” But 45% of respondents see “completely untrue information” on Ukrainian TV, and another 35% claim those broadcasts are “more often deceitful than truthful.” The rest either do not watch Ukrainian news programs or do not pay attention to information in those programs about Crimea.


This is the verdict on the contemporary Ukrainian press, as handed down by an impartial panel of eight hundred jurors.

But if those who shape the media coverage in Ukraine today are so biased in regard to Crimea, how can we expect them to report objectively on other critical problems associated with this country? Can we trust Kiev’s official stance on the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? Or on the causes of the humanitarian crisis in the Donbass? Or on the presence of Russian troops inside Ukraine? Or on the human fatalities in Odessa or the victims of the “Heavenly Hundred”?

GfK’s study demands a clear answer to these questions.

Konstantin Kosaretsky is the Ukrainian freelance journalist and writer.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

India’s Common Man Party set for historic win in Delhi

The BRICS Post | February 10, 2015

AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal with supporters on February 10, 2015 [PTI]

AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal with supporters on February 10, 2015 [PTI]

Indian anti-graft party Aam Admi (Common Man) is set for a massive landslide victory in the Assembly elections of the national capital. Arvind Kejriwal, who was briefly chief minister of Delhi last year, is leading his Aam Admi party to a majority win as early leads show they are ahead in 63 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in Delhi would be the first major setback for the party since winning power. Latest results show Modi’s party is ahead in six seats.

“This may be a historic day! The juggernaut likely to halt. David likely to overcome Goliath,” tweeted AAP member and senior leader Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday morning.

The Congress party, which was in power in the Delhi for 15 years until 2013, is trailing at the third spot.

Millions of residents in India’s capital queued up on Saturday to cast their votes in the city polls that were expected to provide an indication of how Indians perceive the work of the new government and the “pro-reform” Indian Prime Minister Modi.

In recent weeks, an army of AAP volunteers has trudged through the alleys of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods to try to tap a deep vein of dissatisfaction that has gripped New Delhi residents, particularly over a soaring cost of living.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is likely to be sworn in as Chief Minister of Delhi on 14 February.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , | 1 Comment

Water running dry for Palestinians as Israel turns off the taps

By Jessica Purkiss | MEMO | February 11, 2015

In the northern Jordan Valley last week, Israeli forces destroyed a 1,000 metre pipeline built to provide water to Palestinian communities. In East Jerusalem, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been cut off from a regular supply of running water for nearly a year. In Gaza, the water infrastructure has been decimated and in the homes that do receive water it is still undrinkable. Water and who controls it has become a key part of Israel’s occupation, with the Palestinian territories; West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, in a constant struggle for the vital resource.

Before the birth of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, who would become the country’s first president, said in 1919: “[It is] of vital importance not only to secure all water resources already feeding the country, but also to control them at their source.” Rafael Eitan, chief of staff and minister of agriculture and environment, said some years later: “Israel must hold on to the West Bank to make sure that Tel Aviv’s taps don’t run dry.”

Current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 1998: “And when I talk about the importance to Israel’s security… It means that a housewife in Tel Aviv can open the tap and there’s water running to it, and it’s not been dried up because of a rash decision that handed over control of our aquifers to the wrong hands.”

In 1967, the year the occupation began, Israel put the plan Weizmann had talked about as early as 1919 into action. All Palestinian water resources were declared Israeli State Property and Palestinians had to apply for permits to develop their water resources. After nearly 30 years, the Oslo Accords were signed, supposedly bringing an end to the situation. Another 20 years on, it is apparent that they instead formalised and legitimised an existing discriminatory arrangement – an arrangement still in place today.

In the West Bank, the Jordan River, one of the main water sources, has been diverted upstream into Lake Kinneret/Tiberias/Sea of Galilee – lakes inside Israel, while Palestinians are physically barred from accessing its river banks. Palestinians have access to one fifth of the mountain aquifer, the other main source, while Israel abstracts the balance, and in addition overdraws by more than 50 per cent, up to 1.8 times its share under Oslo.

The Separation Wall, roadblocks, checkpoints and other Israeli ‘security measures’ further restrict Palestinian communities’ access to water resources and filling points. Meanwhile Israeli settlers living in the same territory are supplied with an abundance of water; the consumption of more than 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank is about six times higher than that of 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

To boost insufficient supplies, the Palestinians must buy water from Israel’s national water company “Mekorot” – the same water that Israel extracts from the mountain aquifer and which the Palestinians should be able to extract for themselves.

Jamal Juma, coordinator of the Stop the Wall campaign, an organisation which is part of a network of groups challenging Mekorot, said: “The real water problem in Palestine is not about scarcity of water. There is more annual rainfall in Ramallah than in London and per capita consumption of water in Israel is higher than the average consumption in Europe. The water problem in Palestine is created by Israel, through systematic theft of water and denial of access to water. Mekorot is the core player in implementing what we call Israel’s water apartheid.”

For East Jerusalem residents the situation is slightly different. East Jerusalem fell under Israeli jurisdiction after Israel annexed the whole of the city. The Jerusalemite Palestinians pay taxes to Israel and also technically qualify for Israeli healthcare, social benefits and services – including running water. However, the neighbourhoods of Ras Shehada, Ras Khamis, Dahyat A’salam and the Shuafat refugee camp have been suffering from a severe water crisis since last March when residents went three weeks without any water supply. They have been forced to buy water bottles at a high cost, and must limit their consumption by using electric pumps and industrial containers.

In Gaza, the water infrastructure is in pieces as a result of repeated wars and a blockade which has prevented repairs and maintenance. By the end of the latest bombardment over the summer, around 26 water wells had been completely or partially destroyed, while 46 kilometres of the water supply networks had been damaged, according to a statement by the Palestinian Water Authority. The water distribution network suffered an estimated $34.4 million worth of damage.

Waste water treatment is another longstanding problem in Gaza. Many residents are not connected to a sewage system and domestic waste flows into cesspits, contaminating groundwater. Electricity shortages and damages to waste water treatment facilities during “Operation Cast Lead”, Israel’s 2008-2009 military offensive, made the situation worse – some 90 million litres of untreated sewage flows into the Mediterranean daily.

Prior to the recent attack, 97 per cent of residents in Gaza were connected to a public water system. However, 90 per cent of this was undrinkable and so residents were forced to buy water treated in governmental or private factories, or factories run by charities. The public water system means households can have running water; however electricity and fuel shortages prevent the water from being pumped through the system.

Access to water is a highly politicised and manipulated resource in Palestine. As Palestinian communities suffer – albeit through the destruction of their wells, through water that doesn’t come through the taps, or sewage that flows into the street – it is clear that, in Palestine, water is not a right.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Boycott Hamas, brand Hezbollah terrorists, don’t trust Iran…

By Stuart Littlewood | Intifada-Palestine | February 10, 2015

Every general election brings with it the irksome task of reading the manifestos of the political parties. Now the Board of Deputies of British Jews have launched their very own “Jewish Manifesto”. The 40-page document is intended to persuade policy-makers and politicians to promote key aspects of Jewish life in Britain and do some big favours for the abhorrent Zionist regime in Tel Aviv

“It will form the centrepiece of the Board’s drive to ensure that all the political parties take the concerns of Britain’s 300,000-strong Jewish community into account when setting out their own proposals for government.”

Favours we are asked to do for the Rogue State

At the heart of the Manifesto is a list of “policy asks”, some of which attempt to demonise Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran and portray them as Britain’s enemies as well as Israel’s.

Others aim to perpetuate Israeli dominance in the Holy Land at the Palestinians’ expense, like this one from the ‘Ten Commitments’:

  • “Advocate for a permanent, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.”

The Board of Deputies explicitly state that the UK Jewish community is committed to equality for Israel and the Palestinians, yet here they want us to press for a “secure” Israel with Palestine only “viable”. And that has become the mantra among Israel’s stooges in the West. We know what it will mean on the ground, and it’s despicable. Why should the Palestinians, whose land it is, live in permanent fear and subjugation, defenceless among the shredded and disconnected remnants of their territory and not even in control of their borders? Let’s turn it round so we have “a secure Palestine alongside a viable Israeli state”. How do the Board of Deputies like the sound of that?

Here are a few more Manifesto gems…

  • They want restitution for private property the Nazis stole during the Holocaust leaving many survivors living in dire poverty and without a legacy for the descendants.

This is a very cruel injustice. But what about all the land, homes, other property, infrastructure and natural resources the Jewish State confiscated from the Palestinians during the Nakba and continued to seize ever since? When will that be returned? According to the UN, last year alone Israel demolished the homes of 1,177 Palestinians in Jerusalem and West Bank (never mind the countless thousands of homes they reduced to rubble in Gaza).

They don’t like to see Israel boycotted.

  • “We urge resistance of calls for boycotts of Israel. By their very nature, such measures attribute blame to only one side of the conflict, and through this stigmatisation they perpetuate a one-sided narrative.”

At the same time they want our help in boycotting Palestinians.

  • The Manifesto urges the British government “to refuse to engage with Hamas politicians, officials or supporters until the movement agrees to recognise Israel, abide by previous diplomatic agreements, and desists from terrorist attacks”.

Are the Board of Deputies aware that Israel refuses to recognise the Palestinian State, has failed to honour previous agreements and never ceases its terrorist attacks? Are they also aware that the UK does not list Hamas’s political wing as a proscribed organisation, only its military wing – the Izz al-Din al-Qassem brigades.

The boycott of Israel simply calls for non-violent measures that should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

There’s nothing controversial. The same is required of Israel by international and humanitarian law.

Other bizarre “asks” include these:

  • The Manifesto wants us to “promote awareness of the acute threats to Israeli and regional security, and encourage further security cooperation between the UK and Israel”.

Many experts conclude that the main threat to Middle East peace is Israel itself. It would be foolish to be drawn into closer co-operation. Our already slavish support for Israel (and indeed its protector, the US) undermines our own security, puts UK citizens in harm’s way and blackens our reputation. It is hard to see how this is in our national interest.

  • The Manifesto says the world must ensure “no backsliding towards an Iranian military nuclear capability… it is vital that Iran knows that there is a credible military option to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons if diplomacy should fail”.

The Zionist regime is reckoned to have up to 400 nuclear warheads. It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. It has not signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. It has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. In short, Israel is the neighbour from Hell.

These endless attempts to drive a wedge between Britain and Iran are tiresome. Israel would love to launch a war against Iran if support from the US and its EU lackeys was assured. Iran has no nuclear weapons and poses no threat to the UK. What’s more, our Iranian friends are menaced by an unrestrained nuclear-armed Israeli regime on their doorstep. UN Security Council resolution 487, in 1981, called on Israel “urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. Israel has defied it for 34 years. In 2009, the IAEA called on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty and open its nuclear facilities to inspection. Israel still refuses while Iran has complied.

  • “Years of disingenuity and obfuscation from the Iranian authorities should not be naively forgotten.”

So says the Manifesto, oblivious to the staggering hypocrisy.

The “violent nature” of Hezbollah

For a long time Israel has planned to annex Lebanon’s Litani River. Hezbollah (the ‘party of God’) was formed in response to the Israelis’ 1982 invasion and occupation. An international commission concluded that Israel’s aggression was contrary to international law, the government of Israel had no valid reasons for invading Lebanon and Israel was directly or indirectly responsible for the massacres in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, declared an act of genocide by the UN General Assembly.

So Hezbollah came into being for very good reasons. Israel began overflying Lebanese territory in 2000 after its troops vacated parts of southern Lebanon they had occupied since 1978. These flights are a constant provocation. In 2006 Israel launched another invasion and received a bloody nose from Hezbollah. The conflict killed over six thousand people and severely damaged Lebanese infrastructure. Much of Southern Lebanon was left uninhabitable due to unexploded Israeli cluster bombs.

The Jewish Manifesto talks of Hezbollah’s “violent nature” but in the circumstances how valid is this next “ask”?

  • It wants Hezbollah in its entirety designated as a terrorist organisation, and asks the UK to take the lead in getting the whole EU to proscribe Hezbollah’s political wing.

Lebanon’s Cabinet has confirmed Hezbollah as an armed organisation with the right to “liberate or recover occupied lands”. Israel routinely breaches UN Resolution 1701 by crossing the Blue Line or violating Lebanese airspace and still occupies the Shebaa Farms area. Hezbollah is hardly going to disband with Israel next door always poised to grab what isn’t theirs.

Why should the UK take on another of Israel’s enemies and try to weaken Lebanon’s defence against the Zionist predator?

In case we forget, the US defines terrorism as an activity that

(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and

(ii) appears to be intended

  • to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  • to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
  • to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.

Anyone spring immediately to mind?

  • The Manifesto also asks Britain to maintain an expenditure of 0.7% of GNP on overseas development.

So that so we continue to subsidise the Zionists’ never-ending occupation of Palestine?

  • It urges us to “support efforts to remember and understand the Holocaust and strive to prevent any future genocide”.

Most ordinary people in the UK (though not necessarily our politicians) have taken on-board the lessons of the Holocaust and don’t need constant reminding. How about the Israeli regime?

The ‘Israel problem’ a Jewish family matter

Finally, this ‘hot potato’:

  • July 2014 was the worst month for anti-semitism on record, presumably on account of another murderous assault on Gaza by the Israeli military. “A robust political and policing response is required when criticism of the policies of a government spills over in to hatred, intimidation or violence against a religious or ethnic group” ..

Prime Minister Cameron’s Holocaust Commission Report says: “The Community Security Trust, an organisation that looks after the safety and security needs of the Jewish community, recorded more than 1,000 incidents last year, making 2014 the worst year on record.”

Do Jewish leaders in the UK need reminding that Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land have suffered a high tide of hatred, intimidation, violence and worse for decades under Israel’s brutal occupation?

We’re told that anti-semitism is often bound up with perceptions of the political and military decisions of the Israeli government, and that Israel represents a fundamental component of Jewish identity. In that case, one would have thought, Israel’s appalling conduct – and damage to reputation – is something the global Jewish family would wish to deal with themselves. Wise heads have warned long enough that Jews worldwide will pay the price for Israel’s crimes. Many Jews, to their great credit, have taken heed and faced up to the moral challenge, and are now fiercely critical of the Israeli regime’s behaviour.

For example, over 400 rabbis from Israel, the USA, Canada, Britain and other countries have just signed a call to Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop the practice of home demolitions. “Every year, hundreds of Palestinian homes are demolished due to discriminatory administrative plans created and implemented by the Israel military without significant Palestinian influence. Palestinians are very rarely allowed to build, even on their own land.”

That’s leadership.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

San Francisco Public Defender Files Complaint After Wrongful Arrest, Police Chief Apologizes

By Andrew Meyer | PINAC | February 10, 2015

Two weeks ago, the story and video of a San Francisco public defender arrested for protecting her client’s Fifth Amendment rights went viral.

After deputy public defender Jami Tillotson blocked police from talking to her client and demanding he pose for photos, San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian Stansbury told Tillotson, “If you continue with this, I will arrest you for resisting arrest.”

Tillotson said, “Please do,” and Stansbury proceeded to wrongfully arrest a deputy public defender.

Now Tillotson has filed a complaint against the six SFPD officers that arrested her. An excerpt of her statement is below.

Jami Tillotson’s complaint

Following Tillotson’s “unreasonably rough” arrest, she was led to a “secure zone” inside the Hall of Justice, as a newly released video shows an officer telling a man recording Tillotson’s arrest that he must turn off his camera because they’re in a “secure zone.” That video is below.

The video of Tillotson’s arrest was seen 1.4 million times on YouTube and the charge against her has been dropped. Police Chief Greg Suhn gave a half-hearted public apology during a meeting of San Francisco’s Police Commission as he attempted to defend Sgt. Brian Stansbury’s behavior.

“While I appreciate Chief Suhr’s apology, I am concerned that he continues to support Sgt. Brian Stansbury’s actions,” Tillotson said in a statement. “My client, a young African American man, was left without the benefit of advice of counsel. The right to counsel is not a formality. It is a shield that protects ordinary people against intimidation, bullying, and overreach by law enforcement.” Tillotson has not commented on whether she would file suit against the SFPD.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Arab American Students Killed by Racist Terrorist in North Carolina

Investigations Reveal Sinister Motive in Terror Attack


Shooting Victims: Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha, and Razan Abu Salha / Abu Salha Family
By Alexandra Halaby | IMEMC & Agencies | February 11, 2015

Three Arab American students were shot to death Tuesday night inside their apartment near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The three are suspected victims of a terrorist attack.

On Tuesday evening Chapel Hill police say that three people were shot to death at a condominium complex located just east of the University of North Carolina campus. A man has been arrested in these gruesome slayings.

Chapel Hill police told local news outlets that Craig Stephen Hicks, aged 46, was arrested and has been charged with three counts of first degree murder. The suspect is being held at the Durham County Jail as of Wednesday morning.

Police responded to a report of gunshots in the evening of Tuesday, February 10th. Upon entering the home they found three people who were pronounced dead at the scene.

The dead have been identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill; his wife, Yusor Mohammed Abu Salha, 21, of Chapel Hill; and Yusor’s sister, Razan Mohammad Abu Salha, aged 19, of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Sources close to the investigation tell IMEMC that all three had been shot in the head.

46-year-old, Craig Stephens Hicks, is in custody suspected of these killings.

Hicks described himself on Facebook updates as an atheist and regularly posted images and texts condemning many religions, Islam among them.

Shock has swept the small community of Chapel Hill, as many neighbors and friends have called the slain family some of the nicest people one could ever know.

An American football and basketball fan, Syrian-born American, Deah Barakat, was a dental student at the University of North Carolina and volunteered with a charity providing emergency dental care to children in Palestine.

Deah regularly updated his Twitter account, and wrote in January: “It’s so freaking sad to hear people saying we should ‘kill Jews’ or ‘kill Palestinians’. As if that’s going to solve anything.”

It has been learned from family members of Barakat that he and Palestinian student, Yusor Abu Salha, were married less than two months ago, in late December. Yusor was planning to enroll in dental school at the university shortly before her death.

Razan, a student also from Palestine and the third murder victim, who was Yusor’s sister and lived with the couple, ran a popular blog detailing her interests in photography and art.

Razan Abu Salha had started a degree at North Carolina State University last summer, where she studied Architectural and Environmental Design.

In a painful turn, last night police in Chapel Hill were forced to turn family members away from the crime scene causing confusion, hurt, and anger.

Many in the Arab American and American Muslim communities are identifying this murder as a hate crime. Based on the alleged murderer’s own social media content, it would appear that his disdain for non-whites and those that are religious could play some part into the motive for these killings.

Yusor and Razan Abu Salha come from a prominent Palestinian family and all of Palestine are mourning their tragic deaths today.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest civil advocacy group for Muslims, called on law enforcement officials Wednesday to address speculation about a motive for the killings.

“Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the local community.”

Under the current U.S. Federal guidelines of what defines terror, this crime targeting Palestinian women wearing traditional modesty covering while one of the women’s husbands attempted to defend the women from the attack does seem very much like a terrorist attack, one source told IMEMC Wednesday, speaking under conditioning of anonymity.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Islamophobia | | Leave a comment

Obama Announces New Privacy Rules for the World. World Not Impressed.

By Rainey Reitman | EFF | February 10, 2015

President Obama recently announced slight changes to NSA data collection practices. The recent tweaks mean two new privacy protections for those that U.S. law considers foreigners (in this case, people who are outside of the United States borders who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal U.S. residents).

Perhaps you’re thinking Obama is using his executive authority to stop the mass surveillance of all Internet traffic of people worldwide? Nope, not quite. The new protections are:

  1. If the U.S. government collects information about a foreigner, it will consider the  privacy ramifications before disseminating that information, such as to other governments;1 and
  2. If the U.S. government collects information on innocent foreigners not connected to any crime or investigation and the information has no national security value, it will dispose of that information after five years.2

That’s right, the world’s personal information will only be retained for five short years. And that’s if the U.S. government decides you’re not under suspicion.

David Medine, the chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has said that “There’s no country on the planet that has gone this far to improve the treatment of non-citizens in government surveillance.”

That’s certainly laudable. However, a critic might also note that there’s no country on earth extending such enormous resources into surveilling all the people on the planet, so the United States has more room for “improvement” than most countries. (That’s certainly what President Obama implied when he spoke of his country’s “unique” capabilities in his speech defending the new rules.)

We wondered if people worldwide would be excited about these new privacy protections, and so we reached out to a few of our global partners to solicit their feedback.

Here’s what they thought of Obama’s protections for the privacy rights on non-US citizens:

“This decision is not only a confirmation of the disregard the United States has for its international human rights obligations, but given the fact that the US is treating our privacy worse than our own governments, it sends a terrible message for human rights defenders fighting against unchecked surveillance in our own country,” said Luis Fernando García, a lawyer at Network for Digital Rights in Mexico.

“Deleting is no comfort at all because it can never be confirmed,” said Professor K.S. Park of Korea University Law School, “Korea also allows warrantless wiretapping of overseas people for national security purposes. The United States should not set a bad precedent for the whole world to follow.”

And Carolina Botero, a Colombian researcher and blogger with Fundacion Karisma, said, “Mass surveillance is unacceptable in democratic societies because of the threat it poses to human rights. Obama’s reforms to NSA practices fail to address this situation for his citizens and continue the obnoxious violation of the privacy rights of foreigners. A data retention period of 5 years is a clear example of an illegal measure that can be seen abroad as justification for similar laws in other countries.”

If Obama wants to make good on his promise to uphold the privacy of innocent people outside the United States, he’s going to have to do better than this.

And he should start by ending mass surveillance under Executive Order 12333, the primary legal authority for mass surveillance of people outside U.S. borders. Sign our petition and tell Obama to rein in mass spying of people worldwide.

  • 1. The exact language from IC on the Record is: “All agency policies implementing PPD-28 now explicitly require that information about a person may not be disseminated solely because he or she is a non-U.S. person and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued a revised directive to all Intelligence Community elements to reflect this requirement. Intelligence Community personnel are now specifically required to consider the privacy interests of non-U.S. persons when drafting and disseminating intelligence reports.”
  • 2. IC on the Record explains: “We have imposed new limitations on the retention of personal information about non-U.S. persons. Before PPD-28, Intelligence Community elements had disparate restrictions on how long information about non-U.S. persons could be retained. PPD-28 changes these retention practices in significant ways to afford strengthen privacy protections. Now Intelligence Community elements must delete non-U.S. person information collected through SIGINT five years after collection unless the information has been determined to be relevant to, among other things, an authorized foreign intelligence requirement, or if the Director of National Intelligence determines, after considering the views of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Civil Liberties Protection Officer and agency privacy and civil liberties officials, that continued retention is in the interest of national security.”

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 3 Comments

Former CIA chief controls most of the media in Serbia – report

in NEWS | February 8, 2015

American Fund “KKR investment”, headed by former CIA chief General David Petraeus, from October 2013 until this day, in less than a year and a half, has put under its control a significant part of Serbian media, internet portal Vaseljenska reported.

Americans first bought SBB, the largest cable television network in Serbia, then became the owner of “Grand production” through which they exercise control over “Prva TV”, then they founded CNN outlet “TV N1″, bought shares of the internet portal of the Serbian daily Blic, and more recently, as some sources claim, in the greatest secrecy they bought one Belgrade daily.

The fact is that Americans can, over the largest cable operator “SBB” and their media, control the flow of information in Serbia and are in a position to fully create public opinion in Serbia.

As Internet portal Vaseljenska found out, “KKR investment” will in the next few months formally take over control of the daily newspapers in whose operations they have already pumped substantial financial resources.

“Although in this case we could possibly be talking about inappropriate concentration or even monopoly, Americans made the deal on taking over the newspaper. They are, in fact, convinced that no one in the [Serbian] government will be allowed to prohibit purchasing of another media …”, says a source for daily Informer.

Coincidentally or not, last year Serbia changed the law on information and enabled an owner to have both the electronic and print media, which had previously been forbidden to ensure media pluralism.

The Ministry of Culture and Information did not want to comment on findings, but only briefly said that “as of February 13 begins registration of a media under the new rules.”

Before he became head of “KKR investment”, David Petraeus was the director of the CIA, from September 2011 to November 2012. Prior to that, he served as a commander of international forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment