Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

So You’ve Decided To Boycott Google…

corbettreport | October 13, 2017

You’ve decided to boycott Google? Congratulations! That’s a great idea! But now, where do you go for alternatives? Are there any other search engines? Join The Corbett Report’s open source investigation into search alternatives as we explore the good the bad and the ugly of online filter bubbles.

JOIN THE OPEN SOURCE INVESTIGATION: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=24412

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | | Leave a comment

US House Proposal on Surveillance ‘Does Not Protect Privacy of Americans’

Sputnik – October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union said on Friday that the current version of the USA Liberty Act leaves Americans vulnerable to unlimited spying.

The Legislation proposed by the US House of Representatives would give the US government improper authority to spy on private citizens, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a press release.

“As written, the bill still allows the government to read emails, text messages, and other communications of Americans without a probable cause warrant or even a shred of evidence suggesting that the person has information necessary to protect against an imminent threat,” ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani said in the release on Friday.

Neema Singh Guliani said that the bill does not do enough to protect Americans’ privacy and it must be improved.The measure does not address concerns that it includes a loophole that could be used to “improperly” spy on journalists, government critics, activists and other private citizens, the release said.

The measure dubbed USA Liberty Act, would extend the government’s surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year, the release said.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 1 Comment

Guantanamo death penalty case in limbo after defense lawyer mysteriously quits

RT | October 13, 2017

The key defense attorney of the man alleged to be behind the USS ‘Cole’ bombing has quit, citing an ethical conflict which he’s not allowed to reveal. The suspect, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, is in detention at the US Guantanamo military base.

Death-penalty counsel Rick Kammen, along with two members of his legal team, quit Friday, saying that they cannot disclose the reason because it is classified.

Nashiri, 52, is accused of orchestrating Al-Qaeda’s suicide bombing of the US warship off the coast of Yemen on October 12, 2000, which killed 17 American sailors.

“We have mixed emotions about this,” Kammen said in a statement Friday afternoon. “We are angry about being placed in an ethically untenable position, disappointed in not being able to see the case through, and devastated to leave Mr. Nashiri, whom we genuinely like and who deserves a real chance for justice.”

By law, a capital trial cannot go forward without a seasoned death-penalty counsel, which will likely cause a delay in what was on track to be the first death-penalty trial held at America’s Guantanamo prison in Cuba.

The attorneys withdrew on the belief that the government was listening in on their legal meetings, creating an ethical conflict, McClatchy reported.

“We’re in a position where we cannot meet with our client, and we cannot tell him why we can’t meet with him,” Kammen said, referring to an order by a military judge. “That’s an ethically untenable position to be in,” he added.

Nashiri’s Pentagon lawyers filed a complaint at the US Supreme Court over the case.

Throughout nearly six years of pretrial hearings at the military court, the government and Nashiri’s civilian defense attorneys had been litigating over what evidence Nashiri or his lawyers can see, how to substitute for destroyed CIA evidence, and how much damage Nashiri suffered while in CIA custody from 2002 to 2006.

Unclassified documents show he was waterboarded, abused rectally, confined to a coffin-sized box and subjected to other “enhanced interrogation techniques” to break him during interrogation, McClatchy reported.

The Saudi national is one of 41 captives who remain at Guantanamo.

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the US had detained around 800 individuals suspected of ties to Al-Qaeda, but instead of trying them at US courts, held the suspects for years without trial at Guantanamo. Most inmates were subsequently cleared for release. The UN ruled that the practices at Guantánamo, including arbitrary detention without trial, blatantly violated international law.

President Donald Trump has vowed to keep the infamous prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.” However, no detainees have been transferred in or out since he took office.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

US Treasury Department slaps sanctions on Iran’s IRGC

Press TV – October 13, 2017

The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) over accusations that the elite force provides support for terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

The Treasury added the IRGC to its anti-terrorism sanctions list on Friday, claiming in a statement that the military unit had been designated “for providing support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as to the Taliban.”

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stopped short of declaring the IRGC as a terrorist group, but claimed that the force has “played a central role to Iran becoming the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror.”

The department also sanctioned four entities — three based in Iran and one based in China — over claims of providing “support to the IRGC or Iran’s military.”

“We urge the private sector to recognize that the IRGC permeates much of the Iranian economy, and those who transact with IRGC-controlled companies do so at great risk,” Mnuchin said.

In a White House speech on Friday, US President Donald Trump also said his administration would place “tough sanctions” on the IRGC.

“I am authorizing the Treasury Department to further sanction the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support for terrorism and to apply sanctions to its officials, agents and affiliates,” he noted.

The remarks were made as Iran had earlier rebuked the United States for supporting terrorist groups in the region, vowing to retaliate against any action targeting its Armed Forces, including the IRGC.

The US’s efforts to blacklist the IRGC come as advisers of the Iranian elite force are currently assisting the Iraqi and Syrian forces in their anti-terrorism campaign against Daesh Takfiri militants and other terrorist groups in both countries.

Daesh launched a terrorist offensive inside Iraq in 2014 and swiftly took over territory in the Arab country, posing a threat to seize the capital, Baghdad. Iran then offered military advisory assistance to both the central government in Baghdad and the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan, helping them both maintain ground and win back territory lost to the terrorist group.

In Syria, too, Iran has been offering advisory support to the government. An armed conflict broke out in Syria in 2011 and soon transformed into a foreign-backed militancy by a hodgepodge of terrorist groups, including Daesh.

The terrorist group, which is by many accounts on its last legs in Iraq and Syria, is now seeking to establish footholds in countries beyond the Middle East, including Afghanistan.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

Prominent Chefs Urge Colleagues to Withdraw From Tel Aviv “Culinary Propaganda” Festival

IMEMC | October 12, 2017

In an open letter, prominent chefs from Palestine and nine other countries called on their colleagues to withdraw from the upcoming Round Tables culinary festival in Tel Aviv. This festival is sponsored by the Israeli government and is in partnership with Dan Hotels, which has a hotel built in an illegal settlement on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.

Between October 29 and November 17, fourteen world-renowned head-chefs will spend a week cooking in Tel Aviv as part of the Israeli government’s public relations effort to use this international event to distract attention from its military occupation and apartheid policies.

The letter states:

Round Tables —  dubbed “gastro-diplomacy” —  is part of the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” propaganda campaign, launched in 2005 to distract the world’s attention from Israel’s oppression and denial of Palestinian human rights through the use of culture and arts.

The chefs added that their work is about “creating inspiring, beautiful culinary experiences for people,” pointing out that the “Round Tables festival is no place for chefs who care about indigenous peoples’ having access to their farm lands and traditional food ways.”

Thaer Shaheen, a Palestinian chef at Darna, one of Ramallah’s most well-known restaurants, said:

This year’s edition of the Round Tables festival features farm-to-table food. Whose farms, and whose tables? Israel has systematically destroyed Palestinian farms and farming as a whole and continues to deny farmers access to their lands. This is evident in Israel’s persistent attacks on the annual olive harvest which is taking place now. We, the indigenous people of the land, cannot access our lands and farms. If the chefs really care about the values of the farm-to-table movement, including Palestinian farms and tables, they will withdraw from this event.

Ora Wise, a New York-based chef at Harvest & Revel and signatory of the letter, added:

As a chef, I hope for the day that my colleagues join me in valuing Palestinian life and culture as much as we value hummus, za’atar, and falafel. Round Tables by American Express claims to be introducing international chefs to “the multicultural and ethnic culinary heritage of Israel” while Palestinians are not only excluded from the table, they also continue to be violently denied access to their homes and farmlands.

Wise made a personal appeal to the chef of Pok Pok Ny restaurant from her home city:

Nobody can produce or enjoy good food within an apartheid system that destroys the very things any respectable chef believes in —  celebration of distinct cultures, sustainable agriculture, preservation of local food traditions, and fair and dignified labor conditions. If Andy Ricker truly values any of this, he will refuse to participate in this Israeli government-sponsored PR stunt and would be a better chef and food entrepreneur because of it.

Over 180 civil society groups also signed a letter urging chefs to cancel their participation in this culinary propaganda festival that serves to whitewash Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

Following appeals from concerned members of the public, Irish chef JP McMahon announced he has withdrawn his participation from this year’s Round Tables festival.

The full letter can be found here. 

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

The backdrop of Palestinian reconciliation

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | October 13, 2017

With a deal for political reconciliation having been reached by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, attention should shift to the humanitarian impact of Mahmoud Abbas’s collective punishment of the people in the Gaza Strip. The punitive measures, blatantly visible, were primarily an exercise in deprivation for political gain.

On Wednesday, Wafa and Alray reported that re-establishing adequate electricity supply to Gaza is dependent on whether “the Palestinian Government of National Consensus can assume its duties and responsibilities in the Strip.” The statement is open to several interpretations, the most dangerous for Palestinian civilians being additional delays beyond the signing of the reconciliation agreement.

According to the Palestinian Energy Authority’s acting director, Thafer Milhem, electricity was one of the issues discussed during the reconciliation talks in Cairo. While describing the process through which electricity supply for Gaza would be restored gradually, Milhem asserted that there is no timeframe for implementation, thus once again demanding that the civilians should remain as pawns in the political game designed by Abbas. It should be recalled that the precondition imposed upon Hamas by Abbas in return for lifting the collective punishment was the dissolution of the administrative committee of Gaza; this was duly done by the Islamic Resistance Movement.

However, the initial requirement turned out to be the first step in bringing about a situation whereby Hamas would agree to relinquish control of Gaza in the name of political unity. It remains to be seen how much this gesture, which entails a considerable measure of compromise, will reflect upon both Hamas and the civilian population of the enclave.

It could be argued that necessity, on several levels, constituted a form of political, social and ecoomic coercion. Gaza has navigated a fine line in attempting to retain the connection between the three sectors. Although different, each struggle reflected anti-colonial resistance. Necessity diluted this framework, and resistance was thwarted into survival, courtesy of collaborative efforts by Israel, the PA and the international community under various guises. For the people, it became a matter of successfully staying alive despite the harsh conditions.

Hamas, on the other hand, has fluctuated between resistance and diplomacy, the latter mired in a lack of clarity, particularly as the movement’s political statements appeared to be in conflict with its aims of liberation. This is not to say that the PA and Hamas have identical aims. However, it is the latter that has been required to compromise, despite the former’s irregular governance.

While the focus is now on the reconciliation agreement, there is a backdrop against which this is taking place; people who have suffered the humanitarian consequences of political contempt. For the PA to continue playing the bureaucratic game is unacceptable. By not providing a timeline for the resumption of adequate services with regard to electricity, or establishing access as a priority, Palestinians are once again expected to sacrifice health, education and life for a political gamble concocted by the PA. The least that could have been done was the immediate lifting of Abbas’s punitive measures, unless the plan is to expand authority in the name of reconciliation, with the aim of having better access to the exploitation of a precarious humanitarian situation.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

NY Times Publishes Disingenuous Conflation Of Anti-Semitism And Anti-Zionism

By Ian Berman | Mint Press | October 10, 2017

The New York Times recently published an op-ed titled “The Phony Peace Between the Labour Party and Jews” by Howard Jacobson. A novelist and op-ed contributor to the Independent in the UK, Jacobson is relatively unknown. Yet the Times found his allegation of anti-Semitism within the United Kingdom’s Labour Party worthy of the pages of the “newspaper of record.”

Essentially, Jacobson alleges that Labour entertains anti-Semitic ideas and whitewashes its willingness to entertain such ideas with reports that are “a brief and shoddy shuffling of superficies;” he then condemns Labour’s position on Israel as a cover for anti-Semitism.

Mr. Jacobson even pulls out a reverse racism card by noting “condemnation of Zionism was as febrile as ever and any Jew — particularly any Israeli Jew — willing to join in could count on a standing ovation.” In other words, if an Israeli Jew spoke about Israel’s crimes, his opinion must be invalid because of Labour’s hunger for his statement. So instead of challenging the Jewish Israeli speaker’s statement, he infers anti-Semitism is the only possible motive. The condemnation of Labour is then self-fulfilling. Thus Jacobson never has to challenge any content in the anti-Zionist position, which he then fails to do in the entire op-ed.

Apparently not shy of casting aspersions without support, Jacobson uses the Jewish dog whistle of “blood lust” too. He writes, without a single reference or link for support, “Labour Party delegates are hardly crusaders, but the whiff of blood lust rises even from Brighton.”  Jacobson even name-dropped Josef Stalin, writing “How Labour changed roles with the Conservatives as the enemy of the Jews is a tale that cannot be told briefly, but like some of Mr. Corbyn’s closest advisers, it goes all the way back to Stalin.” Yet the connection to Stalin is never mentioned again beyond this unsubstantiated statement.

Perhaps the most fantastic allegation is that an amorphous group of Jews have made some kind of bargain. If Labour “desist[s] from overtly anti-Semitic discourse — invoking the malignancy of our appearance and ambitions — we [the Jews] will allow you [Labour] your anti-Zionism.” To Jacobson, even if this supposed trade did exist, it is simply impossible to fulfill, “for the truth is you cannot keep the Jews out of Zionism.”

Jacobson and I are both Jewish and don’t go to shul. I will go a step further and admit I am not a fan of organized religions, yet I support others in their right and desire to the free exercise of their faith.  Personally, I sense there is a common spirit among mankind. I do appreciate what Jewish culture has provided me, such as critical thinking and an emphasis on education. Yet there is no place for any sense of Jewish supremacy, whether it concerns the placing of anti-Semitism at the same level of concern as far more pervasive crimes or the primacy of Israeli Jews as they oppress an entire nation of Palestinians in the identical lands of Israel and Palestine.

Suggesting that Corbyn’s declaration that “Labour opposes all racism and discrimination” is somehow flawed, Jacobson continues:

The ‘all’ is important. Burying anti-Semitism among offenses such as bullying and sexual harassment is a dodge to equalize things that are not equal and in the process ensure that anti-Semitism is rarely privileged with a mention of its own.”

While it is not exactly clear, the most generous interpretation of Jacobson’s statement is that Corbyn intended to drown out anti-Semitism with far more pervasive and serious crimes, even if Corbyn said no such thing. In essence, Jacobson is implying that while the beating or emotional breakdown of a child by a larger one or a group of children, or the use of power to obtain sexual favors or inflict feelings of inferior status, are critical issues, anti-Semitism is somehow a “privileged” offense that deserves equal time. This despite the fact that actual acts of anti-Semitism are much fewer and farther between today than are the far more pervasive acts of bullying and sexual harassment.

While suggesting Labour’s criticism of Israel is really anti-Semitism, Jacobson’s summation of anti-Zionism is just one short paragraph representing complete denial of the history of Israel. The paragraph begins, “A willful historical ignorance sustains anti-Zionism. In some accounts the Israelis drop out of a clear blue sky in 1967 and occupy the West Bank; in others, Zionism is a recent ideology always contested within Jewish society itself.”

Thus Jacobson believes that “some accounts” is a good representation of anti-Zionists like myself. Yet I’ve never before heard of anything like the reference to Israelis falling from “a clear blue sky,” nor does it even make sense to me now. The comment is a journalistically disingenuous trick to falsely describe those he opposes. Still, I blame the Times more for publishing this than Jacobson for penning such an outlandish description.

So let’s briefly discuss what anti-Zionism is about. Israeli professors — that is, professors who themselves are Israeli, such as Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim and others — have established that Israel ethnically cleansed over 700,000 Palestinians who lived within what is today considered Israel’s internationally recognized borders. Anti-Zionism acknowledges this event and calls for the Right of Return of these Palestinians and their offspring. After all, doesn’t Zionism claim a Right of Return from 1,400 years ago or more? Then how can it deny that right from just 70 years ago?  Especially of people whom Israel itself drove out.

Furthermore, in 1967, Israel launched what it called a preemptive strike against the Egyptian military, thereafter engaging Jordan and Syria. Again historians now agree that, based upon Israel’s own documentation, this was not a defensive strike, but rather an opportunity to crush the Egyptians. Thereafter, the Israelis took the West Bank and the Golan Heights by war. Even if one were to discount that Israel’s war was an offensive one, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is explicitly clear: The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” There is no exception for whether the territory was gained through a defensive or offensive war. Thus anti-Zionism stands against the imposition of Military Law upon Palestinians for 50 years and running, and the illegal transfer of colonial settlers who now number over 600,000.

So when Jacobson continues the above-quoted paragraph, “What is elided is the 2,000-year history of Jews returning to the country from which they had been exiled, whether in response to longings for a homeland, to pray where they had once prayed, or to find a place of safety,” he appears to imply anti-Zionists deny this history. Actually, it has nothing to do with the anti-Zionist position. Or maybe a better way to say this is that anti-Zionists focus on the Palestinian “exile” and their “longing for a homeland, to pray where they had once prayed, [and] to find a place of safety.” For the anti-Zionist focus is on what Israel has done and continues to do to Palestinians for the benefit of Israeli Jews.

Perhaps the most ironic statement of the entire op-ed is a standard allegation made by Zionism’s defenders:

That Jews invoke anti-Semitism primarily to silence critics of Israel is a tired canard, but it continues to be pressed into service.”

Yet, except for one bizarre reference to an allegedly anti-Zionist view of one point in time of Israel’s history, Jacobson failed to mention anything about Labour’s position on Palestine. Therefore, all Jacobson did was allege Labour’s anti-Semitism to silence its position on Israel.

As for the Gray Lady, the question remains: How and why, with all the brilliant submissions it receives daily, did The New York Times choose this empty hit piece on the Labour Party that includes the most insidious of allegations, anti-Semitism?

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

US House committee introduces new sanctions bill against Iran missile program

Press TV – October 13, 2017

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives in Congress has introduced new legislation that would expand sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program.

“Today’s important bill requires a comprehensive investigation to identify and designate the companies, banks, and individuals – both inside and outside Iran – which supply the regime’s missile and conventional weapons programs, subjecting them to sanctions,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in a press release on Thursday.

The bill, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, targets Iran’s ballistic missile-related goods, services and technologies.

The measure requires President Donald Trump’s administration to identify the persons and the “foreign and domestic supply chain in Iran that directly or indirectly significantly facilitates, supports, or otherwise aids” the ballistic missile program.

The US Departments of Treasury and State have already imposed sanctions that target Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

Trump administration officials have argued that Iran’s ballistics program violates the “spirit” of the nuclear agreement and violates a 2010 UN Security Council resolution that calls on Iran not to conduct missile tests.

However, Tehran insists its missile tests do not breach any UN resolutions because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

The Islamic Republic has said it will spare no effort to meet its national security needs, and does not allow any party to intervene in the imperative.

Washington also claims Iran’s missile program is in breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed Tehran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 states in 2015.

Trump is expected to declare to Congress on Sunday that retaining the 2015 nuclear deal is no longer in the US national interest, opening the possibility for Congress to re-impose sanctions against Iran and undermining a landmark victory of multilateral diplomacy.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , | 2 Comments

Kurdistan Sends Peshmerga Troops to Kirkuk Amid ‘Threats’ by Iraqi Army

Sputnik – 13.10.2017

According to the region’s vice president Kosrat Rasul, Iraqi Kurdistan will send 6,000 Peshmerga troops to the province of Kirkuk due to alleged plans by the Iraqi government to launch an offensive to regain control over the area.

“There are threats by the Iraqi Army that has deployed forces near Kirkuk supposedly to attack Kirkuk. But I don’t believe it will be easy for them to do that,” Rasul was quoted as saying by the Rudaw broadcaster.

The Iraqi Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) accused Baghdad of preparing a large-scale military operation to restore control over the oil rich Kirkuk province, which has been de-facto under the control of the Kurdish Peshmerga militia for three years. On the following day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi refuted the claims.

The Iraqi Army’s military operation south of the Kirkuk province is not directed against the Kurdish Peshmerga paramilitary forces, an aide to the governor of the disputed province, Abdurrahman Talabani, said.

The Kirkuk province is not officially included in Iraqi Kurdistan, but it is in fact partially controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga detachments. On the eve of the independence referendum, the Kurds intensified the concentration of their forces in Kirkuk. Earlier Baghdad dismissed the governor of Kirkuk and decided to deploy troops to the province.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment