Aletho News


Ohio’s Crumbling Hunk of Radioactive Junk

By HARVEY WASSERMAN | CounterPunch | February 17, 2015

As the world’s nuke reactors begin to crumble and fall, the danger of a major disaster is escalating at the decrepit Davis-Besse plant near Toledo, Ohio.

Now the plant’s owners are asking the Ohio Public Utilities Commission to force the public to pay billions of dollars over the next 15 years to subsidize reactor operations.

But Davis-Besse’s astonishing history of near-miss disasters defies belief. Its shoddy construction, continual operator error and relentless owner incompetence would not be believed as fiction, let alone as the stark realities of a large commercial reactor operating in a heavily populated area.

Time and again Davis-Besse has come within a fraction of an inch and an hour of crisis management time. Today its critical shield wall is literally crumbing, with new cracks opening up every time the northern Ohio weather freezes (like this week).

The company’s owners have blacked out the entire Northeast including 50 million customers—the largest such disaster in world history.

They allowed boric acid to eat within 3/16th of an inch of a Chernobyl-scale disaster that would’ve permanently irradiated the Great Lakes region. They have set the record for fines by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and continue to drain billions of ratepayer dollars from Ohio’s bleeding economy.

Now they want those ratepayers to fork over billions more to keep this reactor running beyond the brink.

Hear about Davis-Besse’s astonishing story, by listening to this incredible hour-long interview with local attorney Terry Lodge and Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, along with Tim Judson of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, three of the key expert activists working to get Davis-Besse shut down.

Many wild stories have been told about atomic power over the decades, but it’s hard to top the true tales from Davis-Besse. In this case, hearing is believing—and holding your head in dismay:

If you want Davis-Besse shut write the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at Use this label in the subject line of the email, as well as the body of the email message, so PUCO can route the public comments to the correct proceeding: OPPOSITION COMMENT UNDER CASE # 14-1297-EL-SSO.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | , , | Leave a comment

Russian draft resolution on Ukraine passed by UN Security Council

RT | February 17, 2015

The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to approve a Russia-drafted resolution to support the Minsk agreements, reached by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine last week.

The resolution was submitted to the UNSC by Russia on February 13, a day after the Minsk deal was agreed on. It is aimed at endorsing and executing the Minsk agreements. The document also expresses concern over the continuing violence in eastern Ukraine, and stresses the importance of resolving the conflict peacefully.

“After the unprecedented diplomatic efforts last week, Ukraine has a chance to turn a dramatic page in its history,” said Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, who expressed “gratitude” towards the other parties for endorsing the document.

Moscow would aid “in full” the realization of the agreement, he added.

The resolution calls for a “total ceasefire” and a “political solution” that respects the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

The plan, hammered out during 16-hour negotiations on February 12, stipulates the comprehensive ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline, an all-for-all prisoner exchange, and passage for humanitarian aid convoys.

In the medium turn, the Minsk peace plan calls for the withdrawal of any “foreign troops” and “mercenaries” from the conflict zone, general amnesty for the rebels and the OSCE using its drone fleet and monitors on the ground to ensure the implementation of agreements. It also provides for handing back of the border controls of the Ukrainian government, and lifting of the economic blockade that Kiev imposed on the eastern regions.

Eventually, the treaty proposes new elections in eastern Ukraine and a decentralization that would grant more power to the rebel regions.

Read more: ​The Minsk ceasefire deal, point by point

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Journalism Student & Folk Dancer, Lina Khattab, Sentenced to Six Months

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | February 17, 2015

lina-khattabThe Israeli military court in the ‘Ofer prison, in the occupied West Bank, sentenced on Monday, a Palestinian journalism student who is also a Folk Dancer and activist, Lina Khattab, to six months imprisonment and a 6,000 Shekel fine.

The court also instated a three-year suspended sentence on Khattab, 17 years of age, for what it called “participating in a protest in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners,” in front of the Ofer prison.

Lina Khattab, who is a Journalism student at Birzeit University, was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers on December 13, 2014, during a nonviolent protest organized by students marking the 47th anniversary of the establishment of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

This past December, an Al-Quds News broadcast report about Lina featured an interview with her mother who spoke of the kidnapping of her daughter by the soldiers, who deliberately targeted her for her nonviolent political activities.

In the interview, Lina’s mother said that when she managed to see her for the first time, she noticed that her daughter has lost a lot of weight, and also told reporters that despite harsh living conditions and interrogation methods, her daughter remained steadfast to her principles of justice and liberation.

She added that her daughter told her about the extreme beating she was subjected to when the soldiers kidnapped her, before placing her in their jeep, and that the soldiers were angered that despite the beating, she was not crying, and even asked her why she wasn’t crying, but she remained strong and steadfast without showing any signs of weakness.

The soldiers claimed she hurled stones at them, but she continuously told them she was visiting her friend, and that the soldiers were just trying to frame her by making different allegations and fabrication.

Following her arrest, Dina was moved to the ‘Ofer Israeli prison, were she was forced to stand against a wall in the rain and cold, and the next day, she was moved to the HaSharon prison.

Whenever she was moved to HaSharon to the Ofer military court, the soldiers would wake her up nearly at 2 am, and deprive her from sleeping, before moving her to Ofer in a military vehicle while deliberately running cold air through the area of the vehicles were she was held, and once arriving in Ofer, she would also be placed in a cold room with a cooling system on despite the cold weather.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Activists in UK occupy second Israeli owned arms factory

MEMO | February 17, 2015

tumblr_njwrgrP6551tsfieko4_400A factory in Kent owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems was occupied early Tuesday morning by activists responding to the Palestinian call for solidarity and BDS.

Instro Precision, a subsidiary of Elbit, was occupied at 5am, with more than a dozen activists taking up positions on the roof and at the entrance.

According to a press release from London Palestine Action, “Instro is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, who make drones that are used to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

It adds: “Optical and camera systems like those made at the Instro factory are also supplied by Elbit for use in drones flown over Afghanistan, as well as in Israel’s apartheid wall.”

The site in Broadstairs, Kent, is the second Elbit-linked company to be targeted by activists in the UK, after a successful occupation last summer of a drone engine factory near Birmingham.

Campaign Against the Arms Trade, welcoming the direct action, pointed out on Twitter that “there are 4 Elbit sites in the UK” and that “activists have so far targeted Kent & Staffordshire.”

Just last month, the prosecution of protesters who had occupied that first factory was dropped at the last minute, when Elbit refused to hand over evidence about its exports of weaponry to Israel.

During ‘Operation Protective Edge’, the Israeli military killed hundreds of Palestinians with drones. Activists say that Elbit Systems supplies 85% of the drones used by the military, and that the company’s “share price rose in July off the back of the extensive use of its technology during Israel’s massacre.”

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

European Court confirms Polish complicity in CIA rendition and torture

Reprieve | February 17, 2015

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has today confirmed its judgement that Poland actively assisted the CIA’s European “black site” programme, which saw detainees held and tortured in secret prisons across the Continent.

In July 2014, the ECHR had ruled that Poland “facilitated” the torture, secret detention and unlawful transfer of Abu Zubaydah, who is now held in Guantanamo Bay.

Mr Zubaydah was flown from a secret site in Thailand to another CIA prison in Stare Kiejkuty in northern Poland, where he was detained and tortured during 2002 and 2003. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) detailed in its recent report how Mr Zubaydah was subjected to torture numerous times by the CIA, before the Agency concluded that he was not a member of al Qaeda at all.

Today’s ruling by the ECHR confirms its 2014 judgement and rejects a request by Poland to refer it to its Grand Chamber for potential reconsideration.

The 2014 judgment described the evidence that Mr Zubaydah was detained in Poland as “coherent, clear and categorical,” and ruled that it was “inconceivable” that Poland was unaware of his mistreatment. It concluded that “Poland, for all practical purposes, facilitated the whole process, created the conditions for it to happen and made no attempt to prevent it from occurring.”

Kat Craig, legal director at human rights charity Reprieve, said: “The Court’s decision today is a crucial step forward for justice and accountability over the European role in the US torture programme. Poland’s attempts to avoid responsibility were rightly refused – it’s now time for the Polish authorities to admit their complicity in renditions, take their investigations seriously, and come clean about how they allowed these abuses on Polish soil.”

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Demonstration in Bil’in honoring slain US citizens faces attacks and arrests by Israeli forces

International Solidarity Movement | February 17, 2015

Bil’in, Occupied Palestine – On Friday 13th February, Israeli forces assaulted the demonstration in Bil’in with hundreds of tear gas rounds, dozens of stun grenades and pepper spray, injuring eleven Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators. Member of the Bil’in popular committee Mohammed Khatib  and a UK citizen and solidarity volunteer Michael “Mick” Bowman were both violently arrested. At the demonstration, Palestinian activists carried posters honoring Kayla Mueller and condemning the murders of the three students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“As people were protesting a soldier suddenly came running, wielding pepper spray, spraying it at journalists and activists indiscriminately,” reported Karam Saleem, a Palestinian activist present documenting the demonstration. Those who had been pepper sprayed, including Mohammed Khatib, were taken down to an ambulance to treat their burns. Saleem continued, “Mohammed was about twenty meters away from the main part of the protest, still suffering from pepper spray, when suddenly a soldier ran after him and grabbed him. Another five soldiers quickly surrounded him and shoved him violently to the ground.”

He was handcuffed and blindfolded before being loaded into a military jeep.

Israeli forces targeted journalists and those attempting to document the protest; many were shoved and threatened while attempting to photograph or film. Those present reported that the Israeli military also fired tear gas directly at people holding cameras.

journalist shoved

Journalist being assaulted by Israeli forces – only one of many that Friday in Bil’in (photo by ISM)

Israeli forces pepper sprayed demonstrators who were doing nothing more that trying to photograph the army’s brutality, and also pepper sprayed those holding posters of Kayla Mueller and the three US students from Chapel Hill. Jameel Al-Barghouthi, head of the Palestinian Authority Committee Against the Apartheid Wall and Settlements, Munthir Amira, head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), Mohammed Khatib, a member of Bil’in’s Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, Issam Rimawi, a Palestinian photojournalist, two Palestinian activists Abdallah Elian and Kafah Mansour, British citizen and activist Mick Bowman, two female Israeli activists, and one Danish and one Dutch female international volunteer were all injured.

“The army was extremely brutal yesterday in their use of tear gas, beatings, and pepper spray,” recalled Tali Shapiro, an Israeli activist who was severely pepper sprayed in Friday’s demonstration, suffering from first degree burns on her hands, ears, and most of her throat and neck. “We saw they were beating and arresting someone (Mohammed Khatib), so I ran towards them. By the time I got up the hill Mohammed had been taken away and another man [Mick] was on the ground with many soldiers on top of him, twisting his limbs and head. I immediately took out my phone to take pictures. The soldiers started pushing away journalists. They formed a line in front of several of us, and before I could assess the situation another soldier sprayed my face with pepper spray.”

Tali pepper spray

Activist Tali Shapiro after being severely pepper sprayed (photo by ISM)

Fifty-six-year-old Mick Bowman, a social worker and resident of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, recalled that in the time before his arrest, “the Israeli forces behaved with particular aggression towards protesters who were carrying the posters of Kayla and of the students from Chapel Hill North Carolina.” Border police threw stun grenades directly towards demonstrators, scattering those holding posters near the front of the protest.

“Next thing I knew,” Mick recalled, “three or four soldiers jumped on me from behind and forced me to the ground. I was lying face downwards, with a couple of them kneeling on my back.

Mick arrest 1

Mick Bowman, knelt on, assaulted and pepper sprayed by Israeli border police arresting him (photo by ISM)

As they were handcuffing me, one of them stood on my hand, rubbing his boot back and forth and crushing my thumb. One of them grabbed my nostrils, and another was pressing down on my face, causing abrasions and bruising around my right eye. After they had handcuffed me, a border policeman also pepper sprayed the left side of my face from the distance of a few inches.”

After their arrest, Mohammed and Mick were transported to the Binyamin settlement police station. Mohammed Khatib was taken to Ofer military prison and Michael Bowman was taken to Muskubiya (the Russian Compound) prison in Jerusalem. Both were charged with ‘assaulting a soldier.’

“When police officers use violence they always claim that violence was used against them. It’s standard procedure” explained Mohammed Khatib. Mick was released on the evening of February 14th, and Mohammed was eventually released on the evening of February 15th, on a bail of 4,000 shekels (1,030 USD).

Abdullah Abu Rahma, head of the Bil’in popular committee, described the purpose of demonstration in Bil’in: “On Friday we protested against the theft of our land by Israel’s illegal wall and settlements and to express our resistance to terrorism everywhere. We carried the images of Kayla Mueller who was killed while being held captive by Da’esh and who had marched with us in Bil’in. We also carried the images of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Abu-Salha, who were murdered in their home in North Carolina. We made it clear that we will oppose terrorism and the killing of innocent people whether it is committed by organizations like Da’esh, by states like Israel or by individuals like the murderer from Chapel Hill.” This Friday will mark the tenth anniversary of Bil’in’s popular resistance demonstrations – against the Apartheid Wall, against the Israeli occupation, and against oppression and violence everywhere.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s Fifth Column

Enabling Netanyahu

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • February 17, 2015

When I was in college back in the 1960s a Jewish friend and I got into a discussion after Israel’s overwhelming victory in the June 1967 “Six day war.” I observed that many of the Jewish students who were exulting over kicking the crap out of the Arabs were at the same time leaders of the anti-war movement on campus, which opposed the Vietnam War. Admittedly media coverage of Vietnam was already becoming negative and the press descriptions of what had gone on in the Middle East falsely represented a beleaguered Israeli David by sheer grit and valor defeating an overwhelming Arab Goliath, so it was possible to distinguish in practical terms between the two conflicts. One was defense and the other was American imperialism, or so it could be construed by those who chose to see it that way.

As I knew that I was soon to be drafted I tried to rationalize within my own mind Vietnam, convincing myself that it was a war to stop the spread of communism, which at the time appeared to represent an existential threat directed against the United States. But I was still bothered by folks who claimed to oppose Vietnam on principle cheering on another war apparently based on their own ethnic affinity. My friend responded to my concerns by acknowledging the emotional tug represented by Israel but adding that the United States would always be much more important to him. It didn’t really answer the question but it came from a friend and it was good enough.

Well, that was then and this is now. Since the 1960s what Norman Finkelstein has described as the “Holocaust industry” has burgeoned, much of it used as an excuse to exonerate Israeli bad behavior. The Israel Lobby has also grown enormously in support of only one objective, which is binding Israel to the United States in such a fashion as to make Americans the enablers and uncritical supporters of Tel Aviv’s foreign and security policies.

Many American Jews, to their credit, have become weary of the tie that binds to Israel as they recognize that it is bad for both parties involved and enables an endless occupation of Arab land that is both cruel and immoral while fostering internal developments in Israel that might reasonably be described as fascistic. Other Jews have, however, gone in another direction, making the immunizing of Israel from any and all criticism while demonizing her enemies their life’s goal. In that they have largely succeeded, with Benjamin Netanyahu an honored guest of the U.S. Congress, a wannabe presidential candidate incorrectly describing Israel as a “most cherished ally,” and two Jewish billionaires openly lining up to be principal supporters of the upcoming Republican and Democratic presidential candidates as measured by their support of Israel.

Indeed, many supporters of Israel do not seem at all ashamed of openly putting Israel ahead of the United States, which is where I have a problem because, apart from enabling the skewing of America’s foreign policy, it raises the issue of where one has basic loyalty. Loyalty to a nation might well be passé in this day and age but it can have significant consequences when groups that are powerful promote detrimental policies that impact on everyone.

All of which brings me to the Super Bowl. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a passionate supporter of Israel and all its works, to include its increasingly right wing governments over the past decades. He has visited the country more than 50 times. When his team won the Lombardi trophy in 2005 he personally carried it to Israel and presented it to then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. To be sure Kraft appears to be a decent, well liked man who has funded institutes that foster better Christian-Jewish relations, but his bottom line always appears to be Israel.

Kraft’s recently deceased wife Myra once told the Jerusalem Post that if one of her sons wanted to join the Israeli Army “I would go with him. I always wanted to live here. As for joining the army, over Vietnam, I would have had an issue, because I didn’t believe in it. The same goes for the war in Iraq. I don’t know why we’re there. I would hate to have one of my sons fighting there. Iran’s the problem, not Iraq. But, as far as fighting for Israel is concerned, there is no problem.” For Myra Kraft even if one were serving to maintain an illegal occupation, Israel was always the “good war” while America’s wars were debatable. For what it’s worth, none of her four sons has ever been in anyone’s uniform. Nor has their father.

The Kraft family passion for the Israel Defense Forces extends to Robert’s recent writing of a personal letter to the family of Israeli-American soldier Max Steinberg. Steinberg was killed during Israel’s recent invasion of Gaza, in which 2,310 Palestinians, 500 of whom were children, died compared to 71 Israelis, 66 of whom were soldiers.

Kraft wrote “It is with a heavy heart that I write to you after having learned about your dear son and distinguished member of the Israel Defense Forces, Max. Although I didn’t have the privilege of knowing your son Max personally, I have taken the liberty of reaching out to you since I noticed him wearing a New England Patriots cap in one of the broadcasted photos. He represents the consummate patriot and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices he made to keep our beloved Israel safe. His dedication and loyalty to Israel have not gone unnoticed and I am sure he has left behind a legacy of which you and your family can be proud.”

Why is all this important? It is important because Robert Kraft is a rich, powerful and politically well-connected man. What he says and does and the example he sets matter. Insofar as I could determine he has never written a letter to a fallen American soldier from either Boston or Massachusetts. Like his wife, he perhaps unintentionally sees something special in service to Israel that he does not find in service to the United States. And as for those who might perversely argue as Myra Kraft did that America’s wars are suspect while Israel’s conflicts are righteous self-defense, one might well note that Washington’s disastrous invasion of Iraq was intertwined with Israeli interests while Tel Aviv’s urging yet another war against Iran serves no U.S. national interest at all. Arguing in favor of Israel’s use of its armed forces as somehow more ethical than that of the United States is ridiculous, particularly as Tel Aviv’s military is mostly engaged in supporting an illegal and brutal occupation of Palestinian territory.

The bottom line is that celebrating Israel’s apartheid regime and its wars is bad for both Israel the United States and it behooves moderate leaders like Robert Kraft to recognize that fact and state it openly.

This type of blinkered Israel-centric thinking leads to other extraordinary behavior, far beyond anything done by Kraft. The controversial impending visit by Benjamin Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress has brought the Lobby out in full force. Israeli former parliamentarian and journalist Yossi Sarid, who writes for Haaretz, notes how Republican Jewish organizations have “launched a campaign of intimidation against those lawmakers who have already announced the intent to skip the joint session.” He observes that “Netanyahu is determined to show the president once and for all who really rules in Washington, who is the landlord both here and there.” He cites Matthew Brooks, head of the Republican Jewish Coalition, who reportedly said “We will commit whatever resources we need to make sure that people are aware of the facts, that given the choice to stand with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu in opposition to a nuclear Iran, they chose partisan interests and to stand with President Obama.” Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America added “We will, of course, be publicly condemning any Democrats who don’t show up for the speech, unless they have a doctor’s note.”

Sarid concludes somewhat hyperbolically with an observation that no American newspaper would ever dare print: “In these very moments, the protocols are being rewritten. Rich Jews are writing them in their own handwriting. They, in their wealth, are confirming with their own signatures what anti-Semites used to slander them with in days gone by: We, the elders of Zion, pull the strings of Congress, and the congressmen are nothing but marionettes who do our will. If they don’t understand our words, they’ll understand our threats. And if in the past, we ran the show from behind the scenes, now we’re doing it openly, from center stage. And if you forget our donations, the wellspring will run dry.”

Benjamin Netanyahu has ignored demands that he alter the agenda of his visit to make it less confrontational. He recently said that he will be the “representative of the entire Jewish people” when he addresses Congress, an assertion that has made many American Jews very uncomfortable. He will also be speaking at the annual AIPAC summit and will attend a gala reception hosted by the Emergency Committee for Israel, headed by Bill Kristol. Kristol welcomes the visit of Netanyahu because “Obama left a few things out of SOTU. Bibi can help out by filling in some blanks–al Qaeda, radical Islam, Iran’s sponsorship of terror, etc.” In other words, Americans should be grateful for Netanyahu’s telling us how ignorant we all are.

And obsession with defending Israel also can lead to turning a blind eye to the celebration of the cruel deaths of Americans who do not share that infatuation. Debbie Schlussel, a popular talk radio host who describes herself as a “lifelong conservative Republican activist,” does not find the recent killing by ISIS of American aid worker Kayla Mueller a tragedy. Schlussel, who claims to be highly educated, describes Mueller as a “Jew hating, anti-Israel bitch,” and “an anti-Israel piece of crap who worked with HAMAS and helped Palestinians harass Israeli soldiers and block them from doing their job of keeping Islamic terrorists out of Israel.” Another advocate for Israel calls Mueller a “useful idiot” and “terrorist supporter.” That the rabid Schlussel is borderline mainstream in terms of her audience and access is astonishing and the comments on her website suggest, unfortunately, that she is not alone in her vitriolic hatred of anyone even vaguely perceived as being not friendly enough to Israel.

As Allan Brownfeld has argued very persuasively Judaism is a religion and the United States and Israel are both sovereign countries having different interests, which is something that Robert Kraft, Bill Kristol, Matthew Brooks, Debbie Schlussel and Mortimer Klein should just occasionally bear in mind. Ultimately, if you are being honest with yourself you can only be loyal to one country and if you are born, living and working in the United States that should be your default choice. If your religion, tribal solidarity or ethnic affinity makes you defer to the interests of Israel or indeed any other country, by all means move there.

Indeed, American citizens can have affection for as many countries as they choose but loyalty involves the responsibilities of citizenships and doing what is right for one’s own country which makes it quite a different issue. It is not a rhetorical conceit that the oath new American citizens take requires them to abjure any prior allegiances. No one is suggesting that American Jews should not be charitable to and express concern regarding the well-being of their co-religionists worldwide, but that charity and empathy should not extend to promoting the pernicious interests of a foreign government.

Our first President George Washington, whose birthday we celebrate this week, called such ties “passionate attachments” that create “the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists.”To my mind, it would not be possible to describe the lopsided special relationship between Israel and the United States, engineered by a powerful domestic lobby, any better than that.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Libya Lies – Rape as a Weapon of War – Made in the USA?

By Felicity Arbuthnot | Dissident Voice | February 17, 2015

It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century, you just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.
— Secretary of State, John Kerry, “Meet the Press”,  March 2, 2014

Various professional psychology sites state succinctly: “Projection is a defense mechanism which involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.”

Further: “Projection tends to come to the fore in normal people at times of crisis, personal or political, but is more commonly found in the neurotic or psychotic – in personalities functioning at a primitive level as in narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder”, opines Wiki.

With that in mind it is worth returning to the assault on Libya and the allegation by Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the UN, in April 2011, that the Libyan government was issuing Viagra to its troops, instructing them to use rape as a weapon of terror.

However, reported, MSNBC was told “by US military and intelligence officials that there is no basis for Rice’s claims. While rape has been reported as a ‘weapon’ in many conflicts, the US officials (said) they’ve seen no such reports out of Libya.”

Several diplomats also questioned Rice’s lack of evidence, suspecting she was attempting “to persuade doubters the conflict in Libya was not just a standard civil war but a much nastier fight in which Gaddafi is not afraid to order his troops to commit heinous acts.”

The story was reminiscent of the pack of lies which arguably sealed the 1991 US-led Iraq onslaught — of Iraqi troops leaving premature babies to die after stealing their incubators. The story, of course, was dreamt up by global public relations company, Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Inc., then described as the world’s largest PR company which had been retained by the Kuwait government.

A tearful hospital “volunteer”, Nayirah, gave “testimony” which reverberated around an appalled world. It transpired she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington and was neither a “volunteer”, “witness”, nor in Kuwait. Amnesty International obligingly backed up the fictional nonsense suffering lasting credibility damage.  However, as with Libya two decades later, Iraq’s fate was sealed.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice and Foreign Affairs advisor, Samantha Power are credited with helping persuade President Obama to intervene in Libya. By the end of April 2011, Rice was also pushing for intervention in Syria, claiming that President Assad was “seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens …” In the light of all, she vowed: “The United States will continue to stand up for democracy and respect for human rights, the universal rights that all human beings deserve in Syria and around the world.” (Guardian, April 29, 2011)

Looking across the world at the apocalyptic ruins of lives and nations resultant from America’s continuance in uninvited “standing up” for “democracy”, “human rights” and “universal rights” there are surely few who could not only silently weep.

Amnesty, perhaps “once bitten” not only questioned the Libya Viagra nonsense but denied it in categorical terms. According to Donatella Rovera, their Senior Crisis Response Advisor, who spent three months in Libya from the start of the crisis: “We have not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped.”

Liesel Gerntholtz, heading Womens Rights at Human Rights Watch, which also investigated the mass rape allegations, stated: “We have not been able to find evidence.”

The then Secretary of State, Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton, was “deeply concerned” stating that: “Rape, physical intimidation, sexual harassment and even so-called ‘virginity tests’ “were taking place not only in Libya, but “throughout the region.” Presumably leaving the way open for further plundering throughout Africa in the guise of bestowing “democracy”, “human rights” etc.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court obediently weighed in, telling a Press Conference of:  “ … information that there was a policy to rape in Libya those that were against the government. Apparently (Colonel Gaddafi) used it to punish people.” A bit of a blow for the impartiality and meticulous evidence of the ICC it might be thought.

A week after the bombing of Libya started in March 2011, Eman al-Obeidy burst in to a Tripoli hotel telling the international journalists there she had been raped. She was removed by Libyan security. Government spokespeople claimed she had mental health problems, was drunk, a thief, a prostitute and would be charged with slander. The world sneered.

By June 2011 Ms al-Obeidy had ended up in Boulder, Colorado, US, granted asylum with remarkable speed, with the help of Hillary Clinton, according to US news outlets.

In November 2014 al-Obeidy, now known as Eman Ali, was arrested for “violating conditions of her bail bond and probation.” It was her third arrest. Prosecutors allege that she tested positive for opiates and alcohol. The probation and bail bond relate to an alleged assault case in a Boulder bar with Ms al-Obeidy-Ali accused of pouring drink over a customer and then lobbing a glass at her.  The trial is scheduled for 17th February with the possibility of her asylum status being rescinded.

However, back to projection. It transpires that the Pentagon has been supplying Viagra to US troops since 1998. That year it spent $50 million to keep troops, well, stiffened up.  “The cost, roughly, of two Marine Corps Harrier jets or forty five Tomahawk cruise missiles …”

By 2014 the cost of extra-curricular military forces’ frolics had risen to an astonishing $504,816 of taxpayers money. An additional $17,000-plus was spent on two further erectile enhancing magic potions.

The Washington Free Beacon helpfully estimated: “that the amount of Viagra bought by the Pentagon last year could have supplied 80,770 hours, 33 minutes, and 36 seconds of sexual enhancement, assuming that erections don’t last longer than the 4 hour maximum advised by doctors.”

Surely coincidentally on February 14, St Valentine’s Day, Joachim Hagopian released an article: “Sexual Assault in the US Military – More Rapists Attend the Air Force Academy Than Any Other College in America.”

In a survey taken in 2012 “an unprecedented number” of over “26,000 incidents of unwanted sexual contact was reported by service men and women.” Further, weekly: “another high profile officer often in charge of reducing assaults was being investigated and charged himself.”

The US Air Force at Colorado Springs, writes Hagopian “has more rapists on Campus than any other college in the country.”

But then the US military planners would seem to be sex and bodily function obsessed. In 1994 they contemplated releasing pheromones (a hormonal stimulus) against enemy troops “to turn enemy soldiers into flaming love puppets whose objects of affection would be each other.”

“While enemy troops were preoccupied with making love instead of war …” America’s finest could blow them to bits. This bit of military dementia was dubbed the “gay bomb.”

Also dreamed up have been halitosis, flatulence and vomit-inducing chemicals to unleash on foes. Body function obsession clearly rules in the armed forces, officially and unofficially.

Projection: “ … is more commonly found … in personalities functioning at a primitive level.” Indeed. And to think both Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi were labeled mad by such as these.


Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger’s Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.)

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

German TV Channel in Trouble After Being Caught in Ukraine War Lie

Sputnik News | 17.02.2015

The German federal television channel ZDF got into a bit of trouble recently after a citizens’ media monitoring group called them out over false reporting on the presence of Russian tanks in eastern Ukraine.

A German media monitoring organization has filed a complaint against federal channel ZDF over false reporting on the situation in eastern Ukraine, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten has reported.

The complaint, filed by a citizens’ group known as the Permanent Open Committee of Media Monitoring, revolves around a photo accompanying a recent news segment airing on ZDF about alleged Russian military presence in eastern Ukraine.

The segment, which described the alleged movement of Russian tanks and missile systems into eastern Ukraine, featured a photo with the caption “Russian armored vehicles moved through Isvarino in the Lugansk region, February 12, 2015,” citing “Ukrainian army spokesman Andrei Lysenko in Kiev.” The only problem is that the image in question was actually taken several years earlier, in 2009, and in South Ossetia, not Ukraine.

In their complaint to ZDF, one of Germany’s largest broadcasters, the Open Committee notes that “it would be interesting to know why such an image, which has nothing to do with the news in question, is being repeated, meant as it is to convince a third party of the truthfulness of assumptions about an “invasion by [Russian] armor.”

Maren Mueller, one of the founders of the Open Committee and a former media worker herself, believes that much of German coverage of events in eastern Ukraine is tainted by distortions, half-truths and outright lies. Mueller says that “the coverage of events in Ukraine by the media has reached the height of fantasy, and is not worth taking seriously.” She notes that the tank story is just one example of the kinds of distortions that regularly occur. Recently, German media watchers forced an ARD correspondent to retract his words on the deaths of two civilians in Krasnoarmeysk, after the latter had erroneously claimed that the deaths were caused by “the bullets of the new rulers,” meaning the anti-Kiev rebels. The channel has since been forced to issue an apology over the mistake.

Ms. Mueller believes that among the biggest problems of the German media’s coverage of events is the “dangerous closeness” between the media’s line and that of the description of the conflict being provided in the government.

Last week a senior American official faced embarrassment on the Senate floor after it turned out that photos of Russian tanks he was presenting as proof of Russian involvement in Ukraine were also from the war in South Ossetia. After finding out that the photos weren’t from the Ukraine war, Inhofe stated that “the Ukrainian parliament members who gave us these photos in print form as if it came directly from a camera really did themselves a disservice. We felt confident to release these photos because the images match the reporting of what is going on in the region. I was furious to learn one of the photos provided now appears to be falsified from an AP photo taken in 2008.”

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments

Recent Academy of Sciences Reports on Climate Change were Partially Funded by CIA

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | February 17, 2015

A voluminous scientific study on climate change and man-made possibilities of altering it was funded by several federal agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The CIA’s decision to partially fund the research left at least one expert who participated in the study a little uneasy.

Scientist Alan Robock at Rutgers University told The Guardian the CIA’s investment in the $630,000 study “makes me really worried who is going to be in control” of efforts to stem the impact of climate change.

In addition to the CIA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded the National Academy of Sciences research that produced two reports within the study.

One report addressed ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the other looked at ways to alter cloud cover or change the planet’s surface to make it reflect more sunlight back into space.

The CIA never explained to the academy why it was funding the project.

But Robock became suspicious after two CIA consultants contacted him inquiring about the possibility of another country gaining control of the weather.

“They said: ‘We are working for the CIA and we’d like to know if some other country was controlling our climate, would we be able to detect it?’ I think they were also thinking in the back of their minds: ‘If we wanted to control somebody else’s climate could they detect it?’” he told The Guardian.

He said that he told the consultants that any attempt to generate large, climate-changing clouds would be noticed by weather satellites or other equipment used to monitor the atmosphere.

The CIA didn’t respond to a press inquiry about its involvement and has previously refused to confirm its role in the study. In 2013, CIA spokesman Edward Price told Mother Jones: “It’s natural that on a subject like climate change the Agency would work with scientists to better understand the phenomenon and its implications on national security.”

Using the weather as a weapon is forbidden under international law, per the Environmental Modification Convention of 1978.

The agency’s inquiry left Robock concerned. “I’d learned of lots of other things the CIA had done that didn’t follow the rules,” he said. “I thought that wasn’t how my tax money was spent.”

The CIA opened its own climate change office in 2009 but shut it down three years later after criticism from some Republicans who called it a distraction from the agency’s focus on combatting terrorism.

To Learn More:

Spy Agencies Fund Climate Research in Hunt for Weather Weapon, Scientist Fears (by Ian Sample, The Guardian )

CIA Backs $630,000 Scientific Study on Controlling Global Climate (by Dana Liebelson and Chris Mooney, Mother Jones )

C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office (by John Broder, New York Times )

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , , | 6 Comments

Climate “Science”: Consensus or Conformity?

An Indictment

By David Small | Climate Etc. | February 15, 2015

I started a PhD program in Environmental Engineering because I worried about climate change. It didn’t take long for me to become a skeptic.

My first paper, a study about precipitation intensity over the U.S., was rejected by reviewers because it contradicted the climate model projections. Though they could find nothing wrong with the methodology, they decided observational data must be flawed because climate models couldn’t possibly be wrong and wrote that the paper could not be published.

I then started reading the atmospheric science literature about precipitation trends. It was clear to me that the theory about changes in precipitation intensity were designed to explain climate model results that didn’t mesh with observations. When I found that changes in observed precipitation were largest in autumn, and did not find the same patterns of precipitation in climate models outputs, I really became skeptical about the use of climate models. When I started working with climate models and saw how poorly they reproduce precipitation patterns, I was forced into the realization that the “science” was being fit to the models and that the models were not very realistic. From my perspective, this runs contrary to the scientific method.

After finishing my PhD in Environmental Engineering, I earned a M.S. in Atmospheric Science and started working on a PhD. As I learned more about meteorology and atmospheric dynamics, I started to see the contradictions in the climate change discussion.

I had another paper refused by a high profile journal because it showed that cold air is required to produce the conditions that cause storm surges in the western Canadian arctic. That suggestion really seemed to upset the editor (an engineer) who wouldn’t even send it out for review. My later research has shown the importance of strong jets and cold air in building the blocking ridges that cause the extreme weather we’ve seen over the last two autumns/winters. The claims that are being made that a warming of the arctic will lead to warmer conditions in the mid-latitudes because it will cause more blocking are preposterous because strong jets are needed to support the blocking ridges. I received dozens of letters saying my published paper must be wrong because I suggest that strong jets, not weak jets, cause blocking. Most of the claims being made by climate change advocates appear to run contrary to basic meteorology.

As I’ve been attacked personally and professionally for offering contrary views, I decided to leave the field. I will defend my Atmospheric Science PhD thesis and walk away. It’s become clear to me that it is not possible to undertake independent research in any area that touches upon climate change if you have to make your living as a professional scientist on government grant money or have to rely on getting tenure at a university. The massive group think that I have encountered on this topic has cost me my career, many colleagues and has damaged my reputation among the few people I know in the field.

I’m leaving to work in the financial industry. It’s a sad day when you feel that you have to leave a field that you are passionately interested in because you fear that you won’t be able to find a job once your views become widely known. Until free thought is allowed in the climate sciences, I will consider myself a skeptic of catastrophic human induced global warming.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 7 Comments