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Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | July 30, 2015

The Washington Post’s descent into the depths of neoconservative propaganda – willfully misleading its readers on matters of grave importance – apparently knows no bounds as was demonstrated with two deceptive articles regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and why his government is cracking down on “foreign agents.”

If you read the Post’s editorial on Wednesday and a companion op-ed by National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, you would have been led to believe that Putin is delusional, paranoid and “power mad” in his concern that outside money funneled into non-governmental organizations represents a threat to Russian sovereignty.

The Post and Gershman were especially outraged that the Russians have enacted laws requiring NGOs financed from abroad and seeking to influence Russian policies to register as “foreign agents” – and that one of the first funding operations to fall prey to these tightened rules was Gershman’s NED.

The Post’s editors wrote that Putin’s “latest move, announced Tuesday, is to declare the NED an ‘undesirable’ organization under the terms of a law that Mr. Putin signed in May. The law bans groups from abroad who are deemed a ‘threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation, its defense capabilities and its national security.’

“The charge against the NED is patently ridiculous. The NED’s grantees in Russia last year ran the gamut of civil society. They advocated transparency in public affairs, fought corruption and promoted human rights, freedom of information and freedom of association, among other things. All these activities make for a healthy democracy but are seen as threatening from the Kremlin’s ramparts. …

“The new law on ‘undesirables’ comes in addition to one signed in 2012 that gave authorities the power to declare organizations ‘foreign agents’ if they engaged in any kind of politics and receive money from abroad. The designation, from the Stalin era, implies espionage.”

But there are several salient facts that the Post’s editors surely know but don’t want you to know. The first is that NED is a U.S. government-funded organization created in 1983 to do what the Central Intelligence Agency previously had done in financing organizations inside target countries to advance U.S. policy interests and, if needed, help in “regime change.”

The secret hand behind NED’s creation was CIA Director William J. Casey who worked with senior CIA covert operation specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to establish NED in 1983. Casey – from the CIA – and Raymond – from his assignment inside President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council – focused on creating a funding mechanism to support groups inside foreign countries that would engage in propaganda and political action that the CIA had historically organized and paid for covertly. To partially replace that CIA role, the idea emerged for a congressionally funded entity that would serve as a conduit for this money.

But Casey recognized the need to hide the strings being pulled by the CIA. “Obviously we here [at CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor should we appear to be a sponsor or advocate,” Casey said in one undated letter to then-White House counselor Edwin Meese III – as Casey urged creation of a “National Endowment.”

NED Is Born

The National Endowment for Democracy took shape in late 1983 as Congress decided to also set aside pots of money — within NED — for the Republican and Democratic parties and for organized labor, creating enough bipartisan largesse that passage was assured. But some in Congress thought it was important to wall the NED off from any association with the CIA, so a provision was included to bar the participation of any current or former CIA official, according to one congressional aide who helped write the legislation.

This aide told me that one night late in the 1983 session, as the bill was about to go to the House floor, the CIA’s congressional liaison came pounding at the door to the office of Rep. Dante Fascell, a senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a chief sponsor of the bill. The frantic CIA official conveyed a single message from CIA Director Casey: the language barring the participation of CIA personnel must be struck from the bill, the aide recalled, noting that Fascell consented, not fully recognizing the significance of the demand.

The aide said Fascell also consented to the Reagan administration’s choice of Carl Gershman to head the National Endowment for Democracy, again not recognizing how this decision would affect the future of the new entity and American foreign policy. Gershman, who had followed the classic neoconservative path from youthful socialism to fierce anticommunism, became NED’s first (and, to this day, only) president.

Though NED is technically independent of U.S. foreign policy, Gershman in the early years coordinated decisions on grants with Raymond at the NSC. For instance, on Jan. 2, 1985, Raymond wrote to two NSC Asian experts that “Carl Gershman has called concerning a possible grant to the Chinese Alliance for Democracy (CAD). I am concerned about the political dimension to this request. We should not find ourselves in a position where we have to respond to pressure, but this request poses a real problem to Carl.”

Currently, Gershman’s NED dispenses more than $100 million a year in U.S. government funds to various NGOs, media outlets and activists around the world. The NED also has found itself in the middle of political destabilization campaigns against governments that have gotten on the wrong side of U.S. foreign policy. For instance, prior to the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing an anti-Russian regime in Kiev, NED was funding scores of projects.

A second point left out of the Post’s editorial was the fact that Gershman took a personal hand in the Ukraine crisis and recognized it as an interim step toward regime change in Moscow. On Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman published an op-ed in the Washington Post that called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and explained how pulling it into the Western camp could contribute to the ultimate defeat of Russian President Putin.

“Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” In other words, NED is a U.S. government-financed entity that has set its sights on ousting Russia’s current government.

A third point that the Post ignored is that the Russian law requiring outside-funded political organizations to register as “foreign agents” was modeled on a U.S. law, the Foreign Agent Registration Act. In other words, the U.S. government also requires individuals and entities working for foreign interests and seeking to influence U.S. policies to disclose those relationships with the U.S. Justice Department or face prison.

If the Post’s editors had included any or all of these three relevant factors, you would have come away with a more balanced understanding of why Russia is acting as it is. You might still object but at least you would be aware of the full story. By concealing all three points, the Post’s editors were tricking you and other readers into accepting a propagandistic viewpoint – that the Russian actions were crazy and that Putin was, according to the Post’s headline, “power mad.”

Gershman’s Op-Ed

But you might think that Gershman would at least acknowledge some of these points in his Post op-ed, surely admitting that NED is financed by the U.S. government. But Gershman didn’t. He simply portrayed Russia’s actions as despicable and desperate.

“Russia’s newest anti-NGO law, under which the National Endowment for Democracy on Tuesday was declared an “undesirable organization” prohibited from operating in Russia, is the latest evidence that the regime of President Vladimir Putin faces a worsening crisis of political legitimacy,” Gershman wrote, adding:

“This is the context in which Russia has passed the law prohibiting Russian democrats from getting any international assistance to promote freedom of expression, the rule of law and a democratic political system. Significantly, democrats have not backed down. They have not been deterred by the criminal penalties contained in the ‘foreign agents’ law and other repressive laws. They know that these laws contradict international law, which allows for such aid, and that the laws are meant to block a better future for Russia.”

The reference to how a “foreign agents” registration law conflicts with international law might have been a good place for Gershman to explain why what is good for the goose in the United States isn’t good for the gander in Russia. But hypocrisy is a hard thing to rationalize and would have undermined the propagandistic impact of the op-ed.

So would an acknowledgement of where NED’s money comes from. How many governments would allow a hostile foreign power to sponsor politicians and civic organizations whose mission is to undermine and overthrow the existing government and put in someone who would be compliant to that foreign power?

Not surprisingly, Gershman couldn’t find the space to include any balance in his op-ed – and the Post’s editors didn’t insist on any.

~

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Duma dares to limit Imperial power

OffGuardian | July 29, 2015

In a brazen move, designed to ensure that Russia is ruled by Russians, the Duma has passed laws limiting the powers of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to operate inside Russia. The first target being the National Endowment for Democracy. This is a terrible blow for freedom around the world, according to The Guardian, because the NED is simply an oasis of decency in Putin’s Empire of Evil:

The National Endowment for Democracy, a Washington-based nonprofit funded largely by the US Congress, has become the first group to be banned in Russia under a law against “undesirable” international nongovernmental organisations.

According to its website, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is “dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world” and has funded local non-governmental organisations in more than 90 countries. But in a statement on Tuesday, the prosecutor general’s office said it “poses a threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation and the defensive capability and security of the government”. [our emphasis]

Really? Really Guardian ? In order to inform us about what the NED is you just went to their own website and did copy/paste? Even the HuffPo, which is no one’s idea of hard-hitting investigative journalism can do better than that. Here’s an article it published by Mark Taliano about the NED:

Democracy is usually the first victim of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S. agency that promotes the U.S Empire’s foreign policy beneath the false guise of “promoting democracy”.

Considered a “soft” tool of Empire, NED and its subsidiaries work to transform societal fissures in target countries into gaping holes, through which covert agendas can metastize before exploding into illegal regime changes.

Funding flows from the congressional budget of USAID, to NED and its subsidiaries, and finally to factions within target countries whose political economies do not align with globalized economic models of monopoly capitalism.

Beneath NED’s democratic veneer is a Board of Directors replete with members who also represent Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, board members include signatories to the pro-war, pro-corporatocracy think tank Project For A New American Century: Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalizad, Will Marshall, and Vin Weber.

You'll notice they don't say whose freedom.

You’ll notice they don’t say whose freedom.

Which makes the Russian Duma’s decision to boot these guys out a tad more understandable, no?

Since the Graun apparently doesn’t do its own research any more, maybe it could at least copy/paste the Huff’s article in place of the contents from NED’s own About page? Or will that conflict with their GCHQ brief?

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , , , | Leave a comment

Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone

By Shamus Cooke | CounterPunch | July 31, 2015

The road to war is paved with a thousand lies. A fresh fib was tossed on the lie-cluttered warpath to Syria, when it was announced that the U.S. and Turkey would create a “safe zone” inside of Syria — supposedly to be aimed against ISIS.

This “safe zone” is a major escalation of war, but it was described in soft tones by the media. In reality a “safe zone” is a “no-fly zone,” meaning that a nation is planning to implement military air superiority inside the boundaries of another nation. It’s long recognized by the international community and U.S. military personnel as a major act of war.  In a war zone an area is made “safe” by destroying anything in it or around that appears threatening.

Turkey has been demanding this no-fly zone from Obama since the Syrian war started. It’s been discussed throughout the conflict and even in recent months, though the intended target was always the Syrian government.

And suddenly the no-fly zone is happening — right where Turkey always wanted it — but it’s being labeled an “anti-ISIS” safe zone, instead of its proper name: “Anti Kurdish and anti-Syrian government” safe zone.

The U.S. media swallowed the name change without blinking, but many international media outlets knew better.

For instance, the International Business Times reported “ [the safe zone deal]… could mark the end of [Syrian President] Assad…”

And the Middle East Eyreported:

“…[the safe zone] marks a breakthrough for Turkey in its confrontation with the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. If the no-fly zone does come into being it will be a body blow for Assad and his supporters”

Even U.S. media outlets acknowledged that the primary goal of Obama’s safe zone ally, Turkey, was defeating the Kurdish fighters and the Syrian government, both of whom have been the most effective fighters against ISIS.

Syrian regime change is also the goal of the ground troops who will be filling the void left by ISIS, who the New York Times labeled “relatively moderate Syrian insurgents,” a telling euphemism.

The New York Times confirmed the goals of the safe zone allies:

“…both the Turks and the Syrian insurgents see defeating President Bashar al-Assad of Syria as their first priority…”

If the Syrian government wasn’t the target of the safe zone, then Syrian government troops would be the ones to control the safe zone post ISIS, as they did before ISIS. And if regime change wasn’t the target, then the Syrian government would have been consulted and coordinated with to attack ISIS, since Syria is involved with heavy fighting against ISIS in the same region that the safe zone is being carved out.

These steps weren’t taken because the “safe zone” plan is much bigger than ISIS.

Obama hasn’t detailed who the “relatively moderate” fighters are that will control the safe zone, but it’s easy to guess. We only have to look at the Syrian rebels on the ground who are effective fighters and control nearby territory.

The most powerful non-ISIS group in the region recently re-branded itself as the “Conquest Army,” a coalition of Islamic extremists led by Jabhat al-Nusra — the official al-Qaeda affiliate — and the group Ahrar al-Sham, whose leader previously stated that his group was “the real al Qaeda.” The Conquest Army actively coordinates with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and is also populated with U.S.-trained fighters.

These groups share the ideology and tactics of ISIS, the only difference being their willingness to work with the United States and Turkey. It’s entirely likely that once the “safe zone” operation starts, many ISIS troops will simply change shirts and join Jabhat al-Nusra, since there is no principled difference.

Obama knows that the foreign ground troops controlling the “safe zone” are targeting the Syrian government; consequently, U.S. military planes will be acting as the de-facto air force for Al-Qaeda against the Syrian government.

Thus, direct military confrontation with the Syrian government is inevitable. President Assad is already attacking ISIS in the area that the U.S.-Turkey alliance wants to make “safe” via its coordinated military operation. Syrian fighter jets will eventually be targeted, since the goal is to allow extremist groups a “safe zone” to continue their attacks on the Syrian government after ISIS is dealt with.

This danger was also acknowledged by the New York Times:

“Whatever the goal, the plan [safe zone] will put American and allied warplanes closer than ever to areas that Syrian aircraft regularly bomb, raising the question of what they will do if Syrian warplanes attack their partners [“relatively moderate rebels”] on the ground.”

The answer seems obvious: U.S. and Turkish fighter jets will engage with Syrian aircraft, broadening and deepening the war until the intended aim of regime change has been accomplished.

This is exactly how events developed in Libya, when the U.S.-NATO led a “no-fly zone” that was supposedly created to allow a “humanitarian corridor,” but quickly snowballed into its real goal: regime change and assassination of Libya’s president. This epic war crime is still celebrated by Obama and Hillary Clinton as a “victory,” while Libyans drown in the Mediterranean to escape their once-modern but now obliterated country.

If Obama’s goal in Syria was actually defeating ISIS, this could have been achieved at any time, in a matter of weeks. It would simply take a serious and coordinated effort with U.S. regional allies, while coordinating with the non-allies already fighting ISIS: Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah.

If Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan were involved in the fight on ISIS it would be quickly strangled of cash, guns, and troops, and be massively out-powered. War over.

The only reason this hasn’t happened is that the U.S. and its allies have always viewed ISIS as a convenient proxy against Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran, not to mention leverage against the Iran-friendly government of Iraq.

Turkey remains the biggest obstacle to defeating ISIS, since it’s been helping it for years. ISIS has long used the Turkish border to escape Syrian government attacks, seek medical assistance, and get supplies and reinforcements. ISIS is so welcomed inside Turkey that ISIS promotes Turkey on social media as the international transit hub for jihadis wanting to join ISIS. Turkish immigration and customs looks the other way as does the Turkish border control.

In discussing the “safe zone,” the U.S. media always ignore the concept of national sovereignty — the basis for international law. The boundaries of countries are sacred from the standpoint of international law. The only just war is a defensive one. When one country implements a no-fly zone in another country, national boundaries are violated and international law is broken by an act of war.

The Obama administration is aware of the above dynamics, but has again tossed caution to the wind as he did in 2013, during the ramp up to its aborted bombing campaign against the Syrian government.

A U.S.-Turkish no-fly zone will deepen an already regional war: Iran and Hezbollah have recently ramped up direct support of the Syrian government. As Turkish and the U.S. military enter the war space for the first time, confrontation is inevitable. Confrontation is the plan.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Viet Nam a Half Century Later

vietnam

By David Swanson | War Is A Crime | July 30, 2015

Jimmy Carter called a war waged in Vietnam by the United States — a war that killed 60,000 Americans and 4,000,000 Vietnamese, without burning down a single U.S. town or forest — “mutual” damage. Ronald Reagan called it a “noble” and “just cause.” Barack Obama promotes the myth of the widespread mistreatment of returning U.S. veterans, denounces the Vietnamese as “brutal,” and has launched a 13-year, $65 million propaganda program to glorify what the Vietnamese call the American War:

As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we reflect with solemn reverence upon the valor of a generation that served with honor. We pay tribute to the more than 3 million servicemen and women who left their families to serve bravely, a world away . . . They pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans.

Which ideals might those have been? Remember, this was the bad war in contrast to which World War II acquired the ridiculous label “good war.” But the Pentagon is intent on undoing any accurate memory of Vietnam. Members of the wonderful organization, Veterans For Peace, meanwhile have launched their own educational campaign to counter the Pentagon’s at VietnamFullDisclosure.org, and the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee has done the same at LessonsOfVietnam.com. Already, the Pentagon has been persuaded to correct some of its inaccurate statements. Evidence of the extent of the killing in Vietnam continues to emerge, and it has suddenly become universally acceptable in academia and the corporate media to acknowledge that presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon secretly sabotaged peace talks in 1968 that appeared likely to end the war until he intervened. As a result, the war raged on and Nixon won election promising to end the war, which he didn’t do. There would seem to be at work here something like a 50-year limit on caring about treason or mass-murder. Imagine what it might become acceptable to say about current wars 50 years hence!

And yet, many lies about Vietnam are still told, and many truths are too little known. After Nixon sabotaged peace negotiations, U.S. and Vietnamese students negotiated their own People’s Peace Treaty, and used it to pressure Nixon to finally make his own.

“Suppose Viet Nam had not enjoyed an international solidarity movement, particularly in the United States,” writes Madame Nguyen Thi Binh. “If so, we could not have shaken Washington’s aggressive will.”

The People’s Peace Treaty began like this:

Be it known that the American and Vietnamese peoples are not enemies. The war is carried out in the names of the people of the United States and South Vietnam but without our consent. It destroys the land and people of Vietnam. It drains America of its resources, its youth and its honor.

We hereby agree to end the war on the following terms, so that both peoples can live under the joy of independence and can devote themselves to building a society based on human equality and respect for the earth. In rejecting the war we also reject all forms of racism and discrimination against people based on color, class, sex, national origin, and ethnic grouping which form the basis of the war policies, past and present, of the United States government.

1. The Americans agree to the immediate and total withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Vietnam.

2. The Vietnamese pledge that, as soon as the U.S. government publicly sets a date for total withdrawal, they will enter discussions to secure the release of all American prisoners, including pilots captured while bombing North Vietnam.”

Nine leaders of the U.S. antiwar movement of the 1960s have put their current thoughts down in a forthcoming book called The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement. The movement of the 1960s and early 1970s was widespread and dynamic beyond what we know today. It was part of a wider culture of resistance. It benefitted from the novelty of televised war and televised protest. It benefitted from hugely flawed but better-than-today economic security, media coverage, and election systems, the impact of the draft, and — of course — the creativity and courage and hard work of peace activists.

Those contributing to this book, and who recently returned to Vietnam together, are Rennie Davis, Judy Gumbo, Alex Hing, Doug Hostetter, Jay Craven, Becca Wilson, John McAuliff, Myra MacPherson, and Nancy Kurshan. Their insights into the war, the Vietnamese culture, and U.S. culture, and the peace movement are priceless.

This was a war that Vietnamese and Americans killed themselves to protest. This was a war in which Vietnamese learned to raise fish in bomb craters. This was a war in which U.S. peace activists illegally traveled to Vietnam to learn about the war and work for peace. This is a war in which people still die from weapons that explode these many years later or from poisons that take this long to kill. Third-generation victims with birth defects live in the most contaminated areas on earth.

Nixon recorded himself fretting about the People’s Peace Treaty with his staff. Two years later, he eventually agreed to similar terms. In the meantime, tens of thousands of people died.

And yet the Vietnamese distinguish clearly, as they always did, U.S. peace advocates from the warmongering U.S. government. They love and honor Norman Morrison who burned himself to death at the Pentagon. They carry on without bitterness, hatred, or violence. The rage still roiling the United States from the U.S. Civil War is not apparent in Vietnamese culture. Americans could learn from Vietnamese attitudes. We could also learn the lesson of the war — and not treat it as a disease called “the Vietnam syndrome” — the lesson that war is immoral and even on its own terms counter-productive. Recognizing that would be the beginning of health.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

In NY Times the Fate of One Israeli Soldier Trumps Massive Suffering in Gaza

By Barbara Erickson | Times Warp | July 30, 2015

Black Friday: Carnage in Rafah,” a new report by Amnesty International, has drawn international media attention with its accounts of destruction and suffering during four days of the Gaza conflict last year. Headlines worldwide announce charges of Israeli war crimes, and photos present readers with towering columns of smoke, smoldering ruins and grieving Palestinians.

It is a story of suffering on a massive scale, but in reporting this narrative The New York Times has chosen to look not at Gaza and its agony but, once again, at Israel. Thus we find an article that gives focus to Israeli losses—a soldier missing in action, his comrades at arms and his bereaved family. The photo is of two Israeli parents grieving by a tombstone.

In her story, “Signs of War Crimes Seen in Israeli Hunt for Ambushed Soldier,” Isabel Kershner imposes this twist on a story of Palestinian suffering and Israeli atrocities by overplaying one element of the narrative: The attacks on the southern Gaza city of Rafah came after Lt. Hadar Goldin was captured on Aug. 1 and were a response to this event.

After Lt. Goldin was seized and taken into a tunnel, the Israeli army put its notorious “Hannibal Directive” into effect. This, in the words of the Amnesty report, is “a controversial command designed to deal with captures of soldiers by unleashing massive firepower on persons, vehicles and buildings in the vicinity of the attack, despite the risk to civilians and the captured soldier(s).”

Kershner builds her story not around the findings of the report, but the capture of Lt. Goldin and the reactions of his family and comrades. Thus, the article opens with the moment his unit realized he was missing, it refers to him throughout and ends with the comments of his grieving parents.

In all, Kershner mentions Lt. Goldin in some 13 paragraphs, nearly half the article. Readers find news of the report in her piece, including the most vehement condemnations by Amnesty officials, but her angle undercuts the thrust of the document. (Readers might want to compare accounts in The Independent, Al Jazeera or Newsweek, among others.)

The report is the work of Amnesty and Forensic Architecture, a British research group. It presents a meticulous analysis of the attacks on Rafah from Aug. 1 through Aug. 4 last year, describing numerous assaults that left at least 135 dead, including 75 children. It contains chilling accounts of events on the ground: desperate attempts to escape, strikes on ambulances and residents blasted into fragments.

The investigation found “overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate attacks, which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets or in vehicles, and injured many more.” It goes on to say, “In some cases there are indications that they directly fired at and killed civilians, including people fleeing.”

These findings provide “strong evidence” of “serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the report states, as well as “other war crimes.” Kershner, however, attempts to cast doubt on the aims of the report in one sentence that steps outside the bounds of reporting into editorializing.

She writes, “[The report] tries to offer the most detailed reconstruction of the events of Black Friday to date, in hopes of bolstering allegations against Israel that are now the subject of a preliminary investigation before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

In other words, Kershner says, Amnesty and Forensic Architecture are motivated by a desire to delegitimize Israel, and their analysis is merely an attempt to be “the most detailed.”

It seems that the Times was reluctant to tell this story. The problem, once again, was how to report the news of yet another damning report and at the same time to shield Israel, and so we have an awkward piece, one that tries to mesh two opposing narratives: the fate of Lt. Goldin and the disclosure of Israeli war crimes in Rafah.

The result is a confusing combination of reporting and obfuscation, a frequent outcome of the Times’ effort to serve Israeli interests over those of the reading public.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestinian children targeted by the Israeli Military

CPTnet | July 31, 2015

“Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration…” – from the Preamble of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

In the past two weeks, CPT has witnessed a significant increase in the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli occupying forces. From soldiers confiscating their bicycles to chasing them down in the street, the Israeli occupying forces are stripping children of their fundamental right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities.

These are the stories that CPT has documented in Hebron’s Old City, but many more stories of boys and girls remain invisible.

Sunday 19 July – A six-year-old boy was swarmed by the heavily armed Israeli military, forced to empty his pockets, and aggressively interrogated.

Monday 20 July – Israeli soldiers detained and allegedly assaulted 14-year-old Anan, then took him to the police station.  The Israeli military then continued to raid the streets of Hebron, detaining young people outside an Internet cafe at 9:30 pm.

Thursday 23 July – Israeli soldiers invaded a Palestinian house in the Old City of Hebron while chasing a Palestinian boy. The soldiers claimed that the boy ran away from them, which made him “suspicious”.

Friday 24 July – Four boys were playing in the street when six Israeli soldiers began charging towards them and yelling. The boys ran home, and the Israeli soldiers followed them into their house. After five minutes of questioning the boys, the soldiers left.

Saturday 25 July – Wasim, 10 years old, was riding his bike with his friends behind a patrol of soldiers. The soldiers told him to go ahead and pass them on his bike, but then blocked CPTers from following. Wasim told CPT that the soldiers slapped his face as they took him towards the gate. Palestinians in the community and CPTers advocated for the release of the boy, but the Israeli soldiers pushed back and took him. Another witness saw the soldiers kicking Wasim as they took him away.  They released him ten minutes later.

Tuesday 28 July – Israeli Border Police stopped a Palestinian child who was trying to pass through the military turnstile near the Ibrahimi Mosque. The Border Police opened the gate for him, helped him move his bike, and then looked him in the eye and said, “I confiscated your bike, now leave.” The Border Police then told the child, “You know only walking is allowed here. Next time you will bring a car trying to pass.” After five minutes, another Border Police officer gave the child his bike back and asked him to leave.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) also reported that a teenage boy was stopped and detained by a group of Israeli soldiers near the Souq in Hebron’s Old City. The reason for his detention was that he had a small box of children’s “pop pop fireworks.” Soldiers detained the boy for thirty minutes and then released him.

Wednesday 30 July – Moath, 16-years-old, was picked off the streets in Hebron by Israeli soldiers who body searched himzip-tied his hands behind his back, and blindfolded him. CPT asked about the nature of his detention, but received no reason. Soldiers took Moath into custody for identification and released after an hour. Watch the video here.

“States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities…. States Parties shall ensure that no child be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”from Articles 31 and 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

It is not only the fact that the Israeli military oppresses children and violates their human rights that is the outrage, but that it does so with impunity.  These incidents did not happen in a corner or a dark alleyway, but in public spaces. CPT is sometimes able to advocate for the rights of children, but despite the presence of human rights observers, there is still a lack of accountability for Israeli occupying forces. It is up to all of us to share these stories, and shift the prevailing narrative towards one of truth and justice.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Zionist settlers kill Palestinian toddler in arson attack

Ma’an – July 31, 2015

baby_killedNABLUS – Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian toddler and injured four others early Friday morning after setting their home ablaze near Nablus in the occupied West Bank in what the Israeli leadership called an act of terrorism.

Israeli settlers smashed the windows of two homes in the Palestinian village of Duma before throwing flammable liquids and Molotov cocktails inside, a local resident told Ma’an.

Ali Saad Dawabsha, one-and-a-half years old, was trapped in the house and died shortly after sustaining serious burns, said Ghassan Daghlas, a local official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank.

His mother and father, Riham and Saad, and their son Ahmad, four, also sustained serious injuries and were evacuated by Israeli forces to hospital.

The mother was in critical condition with third-degree burns covering 90 percent of her body, an Israeli doctor told public radio, stressing that her life was threatened. The father had burns on 80 percent of his body.

The Israeli settlers from nearby settlements also attacked and partially burned the home belonging to Maamoon Rashid Dawabsha.

Local media reported that the graffiti said “revenge” and “long live the Messiah” and that the attackers threw firebombs inside the two homes, one of which was empty.

The homes were located near the main entrance to the village and the settlers were able to flee the scene quickly before residents identified them, Daghlas said.

Dozens of villagers from Duma rushed to help rescue the two families from their burning homes, witnesses said. The injured were later taken to Israeli hospitals for treatment via a military helicopter.

Musallem Dawabsha, 23, told Ma’an : “We saw four settlers running away keeping distance between each other. We tried to chase them but they fled to the nearby Maale Efrayim settlement.” … Full article

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Cincinnati Cop Who Killed Samuel DuBose Already Out of Jail

By Claire Bernish | ANTIMEDIA | July 30, 2015

Cincinnati, Ohio — After spending one day in jail, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has already been released from custody on bail following his indictment for the murder of Samuel DuBose. Meanwhile, two UC Cincinnati police officers have now been placed on leave in the fallout of the fatal shooting of Sam DuBose by officer Ray Tensing.

Tensing was indicted for murder by a grand jury on Wednesday and officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt testified that “[t]hey didn’t see anything,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

At the time of the incident, Tensing had claimed he shot DuBose after a scuffle led to him being dragged down the street by DuBose’s car. Tensing’s body cam footage—released to the public on the same day charges were announced—proved that story was fabricated. Now the video from Kidd’s body cam has also been released, and shows him arriving on scene and proceeding to corroborate Tensing’s story—the same scenario repeated in the official police report of the incident.

Despite video evidence to the contrary, Tensing can be heard in Kidd’s body cam footage explaining how he’d been dragged, to which Kidd says, “Yeah, I saw that.” When Tensing is overheard explaining the same story to yet another officer on the scene, Kidd says, “Don’t say anything.”

In the official incident report, Officer Eric Weibel wrote: “Officer Kidd told me that he witnessed the Honda Accord drag Officer Tensing.”

A stunning discovery found in Officers Kidd and Weibel’s shared history, is the death of a mental health patient in 2010 at University Hospital, as revealed by The Guardian. Kelly Brinson was suffering a psychotic episode and had to be placed in an isolation room, where he was repeatedly tasered by seven UC police officers. Brinson died three days later after succumbing to respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Brinson’s family later filed suit, and all seven officers, according to court documents, are accused of excessive force and that they “acted with deliberate indifference to the serious medical and security needs of Mr. Brinson.” And further, that before being restrained, Brinson “repeatedly yelled that slavery was over and he repeatedly pleaded not to be shackled and not to be treated like a slave.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Brinson’s brother, Derek, said that if those officers had been properly disciplined back in 2010, DuBose might still be alive. Brinson said the officers were “supposed to be fired […] but what happened was because we had an out-of-court settlement, they had immunity and they couldn’t be prosecuted. Everybody . . . associated with this case was supposed to be terminated,” he said, “and they didn’t — they didn’t terminate them.”

Legal experts feel Kidd potentially faces charges of giving a false statement. “I would expect that to be forthcoming,” said Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip Stinson, as reported in Cincinnati.com. “It was a false statement. The video evidence doesn’t support it. There seems to be the elements of a crime there.” (Watch the Officer Phillip Kidd body cam footage from Samuel DuBose shooting.)

Despite the charges of murder, Tensing’s body cam footage has been called into question. “It is our belief that he was not dragged,” explained Deters. “If you slow down this tape, you see what happened. It takes a very short period of time from when the car starts slowly rolling that the gun is out and he’s shot in the head.”

At the arraignment before a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Thursday morning, Tensing pled not guilty to charges of murder. His bond has been set at $1 million. While Stew Mathews, the attorney representing Tensing, maintains the former officer, “was in fear of his life at the time this happened,” Deters saw something entirely different in this shooting—describing the incident as “the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make. It was unwarranted.”

Despite the clear evidence in the video from the shooting showing wrongdoing, a segment of the public has seemingly come to Tensing’s defense as funds are quickly mounting to pay his legal fees. Mathews said, according to WCPO, “I think people feel like he’s getting railroaded here in Cincinnati. You’d have to be blind not to see that.”

Watch the full length Officer Ray Tensing body cam footage from Samuel DuBose shooting below:

There are now questions surrounding Tensing’s qualifications to have been a police officer in the first place. As Cincinnati.com reported, “The Ohio State Highway Patrol hired [him] nearly two years ago, but he quit after one day on the job. Tensing started the patrol’s 26-week academy Sept. 18, 2013, and left the following day citing that he ‘couldn’t adapt to the training environment.’”

The Grand Jury, both police departments, the Prosecutor, and much of the general public must, then, be blind. Video evidence in this fatal shooting is clear. Continuing to argue over a flagrantly unjustified shooting is only bringing absurdity to new levels. The Anti-Media will continue to update as new information comes to light in this tragic case.


Slow Motion Cincinnati shooting – Judge for Yourself

Photography is Not a Crime

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 1 Comment

‘Rubber stamp for endless detention’: Judge rejects Gitmo detainee’s legal challenge

RT | July 31, 2015

A federal judge has rejected a legal challenge from a Guantanamo Bay inmate who said his continued imprisonment was unlawful since President Barack Obama had declared an end to the war in Afghanistan. The detainee has been held for 13 years.

The challenge brought by lawyers for detainee Muktar Yahya Najee al-Warafi said the Obama administration’s statement that the war in Afghanistan had come to an end made their client’s detention unlawful under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force of 2001. The authorization provides legal justification for imprisoning foreign fighters captured overseas.

The plaintiff’s argument also pointed to President Obama’s January 2015 speech declaring that “our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”

The Washington, DC federal judge, Royce Lambert, wrote in his 14-page opinion that the president’s statement notwithstanding, the government had offered “convincing evidence the US involvement in the fighting in Afghanistan, against Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces alike, has not stopped,” and that al-Warafi’s detention remains legal.

“A court cannot look to political speeches alone to determine factual and legal realities merely because doing so would be easier than looking at all the relevant evidence,” Lambeth wrote, according to a report by the Associated Press. “The government may not always mean what it says or say what it means.”

Brain Foster, a lawyer for al-Warafi, said the judge’s opinion amounted to “a rubber stamp for endless detention” and would review the opinion to decide whether to appeal.

Foster also took to Twitter to say al-Warafi had worked in medical clinics in Afghanistan, a position that would provide him with protection under The Geneva Conventions.

Al-Warafi, a Yemeni, was captured in Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance in 2001 before being detained by the US at Guantanamo in 2002.

More than 700 inmates have been held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, at a cost of more than $5 billion, since it opened in 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The facility has been mired in scandal throughout its history, with allegations of torture, force feeding and sexual abuse.

There are still 116 detainees at the prison. Speaking at national security conference in Aspen, Colorado on July 24, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said it “doesn’t make fiscal sense” to keep Guantanamo open.

Johnson said that it costs nearly $900,000 per year to house each prisoner at Guantanamo, amounting to a total cost of more than $100 million per year. In comparison, he said the cost of housing an inmate in a high-security federal prison was $80,000.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Armed US Soldiers Arrested in Vienna Airport on Their Way to Ukraine

Sputnik – 30.07.2015

The soldiers carried assault rifles in their luggage, but had no approval, Kurier reported.

A few days ago, a group of American soldiers caused a security alert at Vienna’s Schwechat airport. The men were stopped while trying to travel with army weapons to Ukraine without any necessary permits, the newspaper wrote.

The Austrian police had to intervene and remove the weapons. An investigation into the case was launched.

The nine US soldiers were on their way from Washington to Ukraine, where they were to be deployed.

“However, since there were problems with their connecting flight after a stopover in Schwechat, they had to rebook their flight and, therefore, leave the transit area,” Colonel Michael Bauer, Defense Ministry spokesman said.

M16 assault rifles and pistols were discovered in the luggage of the American soldiers at a security checkpoint. The incident caused huge shock, because the weapons were not declared and registered and, thus, carried illegally.

The soldiers had not obtained the required transit approval by Austria. In special cases, the stay or transit of foreign military forces may be officially allowed after completing the application procedure, but the US soldiers did not send any required requests.

The attempt by the American embassy to obtain the approval after the incident was rejected for legal reasons. Instead of going to Ukraine, the soldiers had to fly back home to Washington and were allowed to take the weapons with them, the newspaper reported.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 3 Comments

Judge Who Took Kids from Off-Grid Family, Same Judge who Killed his Own Son and Wasn’t Arrested

By Justin Gardner | The Free Thought Project | July 30, 2015

Hot Springs, Ark — On Monday, we reported on the tragic case of 18-month-old Thomas Naramore, who died after being left in a hot vehicle for four hours. The father, Wade Naramore, is a Garland County circuit court judge and has not been arrested despite the fact that he admitted to leaving his son in the car.

The lack of an arrest, coupled with the fact that other people have been immediately arrested in similar situations, raises suspicions that Naramore is being treated favorably because of his status as a judge.

In another twist to this story, Naramore is the same judge who presided over a child endangerment case in January that gained widespread attention. Seven children were taken from Hal and Michelle Stanley because the parents possessed a legal, popular health supplement called Miracle Mineral Solution. Judge Naramore ruled that the Department of Human Services should keep the kids in custody, based on other allegations of abuse and neglect.

This is hard to believe after hearing the positive comments from neighbors. It could be that the Stanleys’ “off the grid” lifestyle and independence from government has something to do with their persecution.

Apparently the allegations have not stuck, as the Stanley family has regained custody of their youngest children in May, while the older three are allowed home on a part-time basis. It’s difficult to know exactly why the courts do what they do, since child welfare proceedings are surrounded by strict confidentiality laws.

It is sad irony that the judge ruling in a dubious case of child endangerment would put his own child in a far more severe state of endangerment, leading to the worst possible outcome.

Far too often, the state shatters lives by taking children away from their parents for no valid reason, putting them in the hands of state social services that can result in a far worse situation for the kids. There have been numerous instances of abuse while under the “care” of Child Protective Services.

While the State does not hesitate to interfere in the personal lives of so many citizens, it will take their time investigating Thomas Naramore’s death, assuring us that they “search for the truth with the ultimate goal of determining the facts, regardless of who might be a suspect in a given case.”

The Hot Springs Police Department will “continue withholding investigative material… at the specific direction of Mr. Scott Ellington, the special prosecutor recently assigned the case.”

The case could drag on for weeks before any charges are made, as investigators await the results of toxicology tests. The state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission will also delay its probe until the criminal investigation is complete.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , | 2 Comments

New Jersey State Trooper Fires Gun at Teens for Mistakenly Knocking on his Door

By Carlos Miller | PINAC | July 30, 2015

Three teens mistakenly walked up to the home of a New Jersey state trooper at 2 a.m. last Sunday and began knocking on the door, thinking it was their friend’s home, who lives on the same block.

But when a man on the other side of the door began yelling and cursing at them, they realized they had the wrong home and began walking back to their car.

When the angry man stepped out of the home, they began running and hopped in their car.

And when they saw him aiming a gun with a laser pointer towards them, they stepped on the accelerator to make their escape down the street in front of the home.

But the off-duty trooper, whose name is Kissinger Barreau, stepped into the street and fired three shots, including one that struck the tire.

“We realize it’s a gun and we panic. I’m like ‘dude, dude, dude, accelerate,’” Jesse Barkhorn told NJ.com.

What they didn’t realize was that the man who shot at them was a cop, which meant that his buddies were going to do everything they could to justify firing a gun at three teens who were not even on his property anymore.

About a mile-and-half away from the trooper’s home, once they believed they were safe from the crazy gunman, they stopped the car and one of the teens called his mom to tell her what had happened. He then called police to tell them what had happened.

Minutes later, when the teens noticed police helicopter and police dogs conducting a search in the area, they figured the cops were looking for the trigger-happy gunman.

But then they found themselves surrounded by cops, who searched and handcuffed them before leaving them in the back of a patrol car for hours on accusations that they had attempted to burglarize his home.

They were then driven down to Sparta police headquarters where they were photographed and placed in different cells.

Then they were transported to State Police Barracks where they were handcuffed to a steel bench for five hours before they were interrogated.

During that interrogation, police kept trying to get the teens to say they drove the car towards the cops, which, of course, would have made him fear for his life and justify the shooting.

But the teens just wouldn’t take the bait.

“That’s the exact opposite of what we were trying to do. We were just scared and trying to get out of there with our lives,” Barkhorn told the local news site.

The teens were eventually released when the cops confirmed that they did have a friend living on the same block and realized they were not going to admit to something they did not do.

And that was unfortunate for them because it meant they had to investigate their fellow trooper and we know they don’t like doing that. At least not very thoroughly.

The investigation is now being conducted by the state attorney general’s office, who are predictably taking a very pro-cop stance.

According to NJ.com:

The state attorney general’s office says its preliminary investigation has found an off-duty state trooper fired three shots from his personal gun as three teens fled his street in a car early Sunday morning — an account that’s largely consistent with what one of the teens has told NJ Advance Media.

But not entirely consistent.

Both say the teens knocked on the trooper’s Whispering Woods Lane door late at night after mistaking his home for a friend’s. Both say the trooper came downstairs with a gun — the AG’s office says it was his personal handgun. What the AG’s office describes as a “verbal exchange through the door,” teen Jesse Barkhorn, 18, describes as yelling and cursing by the trooper.

And both say that as the teens got in their car and fled, the trooper entered the street with the gun.

Where they notably differ: According to the AG’s office, the trooper says he identified himself as a trooper and pursued the teens on foot as they fled. Barkhorn says the trooper never identified himself.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this pans out because it appears that the only way to justify the shooting would be to criminalize the teens, either accusing them of trying to run the cop over or fleeing the scene even after they were told he was a cop, which should not make a difference considering anybody can claim they are a cop when they are out of uniform.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 2 Comments

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