August 12, 2013
Open Thread 2013-17
News & views ..
Posted by b on August 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Permalink
Navalny accused by Prosecutor-General's office of accepting foreign funding in his Moscow mayoral campaign:
According to the Prosecutor-General's Office, more than 300 named foreign donors and also anonymous donors from 46 countries gave money to Navalny and his campaign chiefs using a Russia-based Internet payment system called Yandex.Money. The Prosecutor-General's Office has turned over its findings to investigators, who could open a criminal case. (RFE/RL)
Russian prosecutors said Monday that Moscow mayoral candidate and opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accepted illegal donations from abroad to fund his electoral campaign. Prosecutors said that they would pass their information to the police to decide whether to open a criminal case against Navalny. (RT)
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 12, 2013 12:24:53 PM | 4
Another of the Obama Mafia's offshore heroes/icons with feet of clay and other imperfections?
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 12, 2013 1:10:37 PM | 6
The kidnapping was claimed by an otherwise unknown Lebanese Shi'ite group: here.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 12, 2013 2:22:01 PM | 7
@ruralito Thanks for the vid on China, what a rare treat to hear an alternate political system described as anything but a hell on earth.
One of the fundamental pillars of western political propaganda is the mystification of how governments work in other countries. We are lead to believe that people in other countries are watched 24/7 and the state holds on to power through sheer police brutality and corruption. We are left to wonder what that must be like...hmmm, a strange, far away world indeed...
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 12, 2013 8:55:41 PM | 9
Amazing. This jackass Kerry nattering on about "the peace process" while Netanyahu spits in his face via settlement policy. For Kerry and Obama to continue with this farce humiliates them. They are making complete and utter assholes of themselves, and blatantly underscoring the power that Israel holds over our body politik through blackmail and intimidation. It truly is embarrassing. The world community is watching, and our President and Secretary of State are showing themselves to be mewling cowardly concubines to Israel. Pathetic.
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 12, 2013 10:42:43 PM | 10
@ 1: Yes, interesting take on a one party meritocracy, if in fact, that's what it is. I can't help but wonder what their development would look like without the 57 thousand factories fleeing the US for 3rd world wages.
Posted by: ben | Aug 12, 2013 10:53:30 PM | 11
@9 If we take Kerry-logic (I know, I know) at face value then this must also be true: Abbas can refer Israel's illegal colonization to the ICC even during these farcical talks.
After all, if Kerry can just shrug off these Israeli announcements as something "to be expected" then the same must also be true of a Palestinian announcement that they have asked the ICC to open an investigation.
Obviously so, since they ARE just two sides of the same coin, and no denying it....
Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 12, 2013 11:27:07 PM | 13
@ 9...Yep! And that is being too kind.
Posted by: ben | Aug 13, 2013 12:06:11 AM | 14
Some poster whose name I can not recall recently made the eminently quotable observation that "politial science should be suborned to criminology." I'd say the same thing about the field of economics. Recently unsealed court records have shed some new light on that big housing crisis we all endured:
Most of official Washington, including President Obama, wants to wind down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and return to a system where private lenders create securitization trusts, packaging pools of loans and selling them to investors. Government would provide a limited guarantee to investors against catastrophic losses, but the private banks would make the securities, to generate more capital for home loans and expand homeownership.
That’s despite the evidence we now have that, the last time banks tried this, they ignored the law, failed to convey the mortgages and notes to the trusts, and ripped off investors trying to cover their tracks, to say nothing of how they violated the due process rights of homeowners and stole their homes with fake documents.
The very same banks that created this criminal enterprise and legal quagmire would be in control again. Why should we view this in any way as a sound public policy, instead of a ticking time bomb that could once again throw the private property system, a bulwark of capitalism and indeed civilization itself, into utter disarray? As Lynn Szymoniak puts it, “The President’s calling for private equity to return. Why would we return to this?”
There's not even wily accounting or some degree of cleverness involved in this as we peons would have expected from our so-called superiors in the ranks of the 1%. It's simply forgery, perjury and theft only distinguishable from holding up a liquor store in terms of its scale and how many people were involved. Or, to put it a little more succinctly... "(T)he banks stole trillions of dollars' worth of houses from you and people like you, paid less than one percent in fines, and got to keep the homes."
Posted by: Monolycus | Aug 13, 2013 12:37:12 AM | 16
Kerry said in Bogota: "The US of A views all of the settlements as illegitimate." This is a unilateral switch of US official policy back to its 1980s position. Since the 1980s, the policy has been “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” which is much weaker because it automatically exempts whatever settlements already exist up to the moment it is said. A history of this weasel formulation is here.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 13, 2013 2:08:49 AM | 17
@16 Yeah Id like to see his words followed by action. So what? He said something which is acknowledged by most of the Elite. Just because he says so for the first time doesnt change the political agenda of ZUSA. Even if diplomacy sometimes relies on subtle messages, Kerry is a walking paradox! He is changing his mind evry day (Syria for instance). Thats probably a new sort of diplomatic rhetoric:"Total confusion".
Posted by: Kal | Aug 13, 2013 5:59:18 AM | 18
by now u've read enough msm bs about china's sudden *assertiveness* in scs, ecs, any time now they r gonna *upgrade* it to *aggressiveness* i guess.
one obvious question that seems to elude these talking heads is, *why'd the chinese chose to be *assertive* in their claim on the isles, right after the muricuns celebrated asia *pivot*, why didnt they did it back when fukus was busy *liberating* iraq, afghan to death ?
the obvious answer, at least to those who've been paying attention, is china wasnt the one picking a fight, its reacting to calculated provocations from japan.
*The United States instigates Maehara with a belligerent policy (kosensaku)
in the past, the Japanese authorities never captured or indicted a Chinese fishing boat, even if they chased them. The crucial point of this arrest and indictment drama is not the reaction of China or the conduct of the fishing boat. Rather, it is the active political will of the Japanese government to arrest and indict when it knows perfectly well that this will anger China. The important question is why the Japanese government now acts to anger China.*
after getting the chinese sufficiently riled up, the angry protests n demonstrations in china were duly spun as china's new *assertiveness* by the msm n not a few *alternate* media like the atimes.
classic *blaming the victims* , the jp learn well from fukus, no mean teacher that one.
japan followed up with the *purchase* of diaoyu by the uber fanatic Ishihara ,rousing another round of chinese outrage, again portrayed dutifully by the msm as more proof of chinese *new assertiveness*
black is white, war is peace, reaction becomes action.
newton must be turning in his grave !
the taunts keep coming, fast n furious.......
IN UR FACT, IN UR EYES
*Japan, China never had a smooth relationship* [sic]
hey asso, i wonder why , it all started way back to the ming dynasty, remember ?
i suppose the chinese should've just roll over n play dead, to enable the japs a *smooth* ride eh ?
oops, its just *coincidence* that the plane was painted with no 731 !
if u believe that....
so now japan has its third *stealth * aircraft carriers ....*stealth* coz they say it isnt really a carrier, just a destroyer !
[q] how come this is named after the flagship of the ww2 invasion fleet to china, do u think this would provoke more reaction from the chinese ?
*no worry , this is just a coincidence * [smirk, smirk]
[the b/w pics depicts the ww2 ozumo, the colored pics show the current one]
typical *white faced speaking in forked tongue* ?
[the japanese are rather proud of their *honorable whitemen* status during the south africa aparthied era, when they were allowed to jump queue like the whities]
notice the flag of the rising sun ?
from what i heard, its part n parcel of the *normalisation* for the japanese.
u just cant keep a good man down for long !
but according to current meme, its china which resembles japan circa 1930, a menace which has to be *contained* by *democratic* jp, india, oz, led by the grand daddy of democrazy itself, murikka.
stuff like this u just cant make it up !
Posted by: denk | Aug 13, 2013 7:26:33 AM | 19
@16 You should double-check that claim, as I believe that Obama said in his Cairo speech that the USA did not accept the legitimacy of settlement construction.
Which would mean that this has been the policy of the Obama Administration from the beginning.
Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 13, 2013 7:28:04 AM | 20
"the USA did not accept the legitimacy of settlement construction"
"construction" means exactly the same as "continued'. It means, we're talking about further building from this arbitarily chosen moment x, thus everything built before moment x is water under the bridge and is not in dispute, ie there will be no demolition of anything already built. Which is why, ever since Ariel Sharon's day, the watchword has been "get out there and build while you can, so that as much as possible is up before someone agrees to moment x." Sharon himself expressed it just those terms, in October 1998, when he was foreign minister in the previous Netanyahu’s government:
Everybody has to move; run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements, because everything we take now will stay ours. Everything we don't grab will go to them.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 13, 2013 8:04:07 AM | 21
Reform is one of those magic words that politicians use to connote a positive development to the public.
It actually means the opposite. Financial reform meant giving the banks what they wanted. Social Security reform means taking money from grandma.
Those who want to see less snooping think Obama has acquiesced. By appointing Clapper, he means that the secret state will become even more secretive.
When politicians say "reform" you should hear "deform."
Posted by: JohnH | Aug 13, 2013 10:00:23 AM | 23
"the USA did not accept the legitimacy of settlement construction."
On the other hand, if Erekat and Abbas agree to a "land swap' plus a couple of billion bucks "aid", scholarships for their grandchildren and a Peace Prize with unlimited Air Miles, who are the US to say no?
The key is the US position that the parties (ie the PLO and Israel) must agree between themselves. With Martin Indyk there to ensure that injustice is done and that everything is unfair, Kerry has all the leeway in the world to pretend to a sudden concern with Palestinian rights.
Nothing has changed. The Palestinians cannot negotiate. Any negotiations will be void because they are being conducted under duress. Even worse, the Palestinians are on Israel's payroll.
Posted by: bevin | Aug 13, 2013 10:25:23 AM | 24
An old favorite. They've been really good lately: http://fair.org/
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 13, 2013 10:08:56 PM | 26
@21 Hmmmm, OK, I can see the logic of that.
But what I can fathom is why there are now mixed signals coming out of this Administration.
Kerry: "The USA views all of the settlements as illegitimate"
State Department: "He did speak about this yesterday and he did a few things. He made clear what our position is on continued settlement activity."
No, so sorry, but that's "clearly" NOT what he said.
He definitely said: "The USA views all of the settlements as illegitimate".
So we have the Secretary of State unambiguously saying *this*, and then the State Department's official flunky then comes out and says that Kerry "clearly" said *that* when he was "clearly" recorded as says *this*.
What's next? Is the State Department going to say that Up is Down, Left is Right, The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue?
Now, don't get me wrong: I can understand the State Dept wanting to walk back Kerry's comments.
Sure, they can. But the way to do that is by saying yadda yadda He Was Talking Off The Cuff yadda yadda It Was An Honest Mistake yadda yadda What He Really Meant To Say Was....
But to be bald-faced and simply lie about what it was he was recorded saying on camera? When did that ever get smart?
Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 13, 2013 10:09:49 PM | 27
@21 Oh, I just finished reading through the rest of the transcript of that State Dept Press Briefing, and AP's Matt Lee nails the State Department spokesmodel hide to the wall. Have a read of this exchange.....
QUESTION: I want to focus on the continued part of this; continued settlement activity is illegitimate. What about prior settlement activity?
MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Is that also illegitimate?
MS. HARF: Well, clearly, this is one of the big issues that’s being discussed right now by both sides. I’m not going to make a broad sweeping generalization from here about prior settlement activity. Again, that’s something that’s being discussed between both sides. We’re all aware of the issues involved there, but I’m not going to further outline what those discussions look like today between the two parties.
QUESTION: Do you know when the cutoff is between legitimate and illegitimate? Or is it only continued, i.e. settlement activity in the future that is illegitimate, and once it’s built --
MS. HARF: If there’s a date cutoff --
QUESTION: -- it’s not illegitimate? Do you see what I’m --
MS. HARF: No, I understand your question.
QUESTION: The problem with it is --
MS. HARF: Yes, I understand your question.
QUESTION: -- is that nothing is actually illegitimate. It’s always pushed into the future. So I want to know when it is that you think the illegitimacy of settlements began.
MS. HARF: Okay. I can – I will take that question.
QUESTION: Did it begin at – in ‘67 or is there some stuff that is okay and that should be off the table in terms of swaps, stuff that Israel should have claimed to before the negotiations come to an end?
MS. HARF: Well, I would make two points. One is I will endeavor to get you a more fulsome description of what that means. I understand the question and I think it’s an important one. The other is that obviously, we know this is a very delicate issue. It’s one that’s being discussed right now, and I wouldn’t want to get ahead of discussions on the ground.
MS. HARF: But I will endeavor to get you a more fulsome status.
QUESTION: And I just want to make sure that my question is clear. I want to know if the U.S. regards any existing settlement --
MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: -- or housing construction in the West Bank --
MS. HARF: I understand, yes.
QUESTION: -- I mean, in East Jerusalem --
MS. HARF: I understand.
QUESTION: -- to be illegitimate or if it’s --
MS. HARF: I understand, yes.
QUESTION: -- all in the future. Okay. Now in terms of the prisoners --
MS. HARF: I will take the question. I just don’t want to misspeak on this or on anything, but --
Ms Harf is going to have to pull a late-nighter to come up with a half-way sensible answer to that question.
But she has no choice but to provide an answer, because she has "taken the question", and Lee is certain to ask the next time there is a Press Briefing. Maybe she'll take stress-leave and send her underling to face the music....
The problem is obvious: any answer she gives is going to expose the absurdity of the USA's position on settlements, precisely because Matt Lee has (correctly) pointed out that as things stand now settlement construction slides from "illegitimate" to "legitimate" the moment that the construction is completed.
Which, obviously, is an absurdist policy position.
But to admit to the absurdity of that policy position will be to bring down the wrath of the Israeli Lobby, and that will never do...
Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 13, 2013 10:36:25 PM | 28
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 12, 2013 12:57:33 PM | 5
better news if they had kidnapped Erdogan
Posted by: brian | Aug 13, 2013 11:09:50 PM | 29
media alert !!!
as expected, no reply from atimes.
first they gagged me in the letters page, way back in 2001
i switched to the forum, until one fine day i found out its had been *revamped* n
came under the spengler banner [sic], all my 2 yrs worth of postings , mostly
expose on fukus black ops, ff, many never published anywhere else, were gone.
i wasnt to be deterred, when comments option was added to the articles, i carried
on posting for several months, before they shut me down for good now.
they did it in such an issidious way, like a thief.
no premonition, no reason given, no response to enquiry, just cut u off like that !
i think my posts are *too hot* for them to handle, with many links to moa, ich,
voltairnet, etc etc, exposing their readers to a whole new world of alternate
narrative hitherto unknown to them !
for example, story like this one
definitely piss the mod off !
lately there has been an avalanche of *analysis* in atimes on the oh so
*assertive* china in scs, ecs .
nobody cares to ask how come china choose to *up the ante* in the disputes ,
right at the time the *asia pivot* is in full swing, no queston on whats the most
lawless evil empire doing in scs, ecs, as a self appointed *enforcer* of
international law ? [sic]
then there's rfa [anybody needs an introduction to what rfa do for a living ?]
seems that there's nothing going on in china that eludes the watchful eyes of
rfa, n atimes sounds like its mouthpiece.
what beats me is how could a self professed *hr* outfit, rfASIA, fails to notice the
many momentous upheavals in asia currently enfolding , such as the wholesale
destruction of jeju in sk, a unesco certified natural treasure, making way for
another muricun naval base, the five decades rape of okinawa, the
ongoing bloodbath in kashmir etc etc., just to name a few ?
talking about unesco, it has taken india to task for damaging a unesco site while
doing road work improvement.
i fire off this question
since i havent heard any complaint from unesco about jeju, apparently it gave the
green light to the murikkans to proceed ...
so lets get this straight...
indians get the flak for improving road work in their own country ,
while the murikkans  get a free pass for destroying a unesco site in sk, to
convert it into yet another military base !
well well well, u just cant make this up....
thats when i discovered im blocked for good by atimes !
a good psyop consist of 99% sweeteners, so that the 1 % poison is readily
gulped down without suspect.
by this criteria atimes , which has a signal/noise ration of 30/70, should be a dead
then the clincher , atimes is so bent on silencing humble me !
but thats only me, even wiki the most transparent of all psyop ever, has the world
eating out of its hand !
Posted by: denk | Aug 14, 2013 1:07:39 PM | 32
'Judge Neville found Australians had no ''unfettered implied right (or freedom) of political expression''.'
Now isnt this the sort of ruling one expects in a dictatorship?
Public servant loses fight over Twitter attack on government
now imagine she had been russian or chinese, how would the West react to such a ruling? wouldnt they be speaking of the lack of justice in dictatorships? no wonder Mannings and Assange are not free
Posted by: brian | Aug 14, 2013 5:50:20 PM | 33
Two great articles. Thanks Bevin.
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 14, 2013 7:20:00 PM | 34
A post that will not make it onto the Mondo slate. This question scares the shit out of Philip Weiss.
Blank State says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm
+ Show content
“Nothing has done more to increase antisemitism around the world than the dedicated efforts of the worldwide Jewish establishment to strongly associate in the public mind the Israeli government and Zionism with “the Jews” and Judaism”
I’m confused. If our government’s subservience to the zionist agenda, AIPAC, and the various Jewish lobbies is an effort to win “the Jewish vote”, then doesn’t it follow that American Jews must shoulder some of the responsibility for our continued unconditional support of Israel’s policies, crimes, and human rights abuses?? Isn’t their (American Jews) vote and campaign contributions the primary incentive for our politician’s continued effort to dance to the Israeli/zionist tune???? Why should I give American Jews a free pass for supporting politicians that are utterly and completely supportive of any and every Israeli/zionist/AIPAC dictate???
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 14, 2013 7:53:59 PM | 35
And the first US propaganda starts filtering down to the US mainstream news...
‘Syria Stories’ Uses On-Demand Illustrations to Tell Personal Wartime Stories
This article was co-written by Brian Williamson. It’s a first-person account of a project by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
The news reports from Syria are dominated by casualty counts: 80 thousand… 90 thousand… 100 thousand people killed in the conflict.
Comprehension of Syria’s human suffering is desperately needed to keep the human cost in perspective. Journalists at the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) (part of the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors) felt that a different approach was needed to give an Arab-speaking audience a deeper, personal connection to individual Syrians trying to survive.
Syria Stories is a new online documentary project from MBN that aims to tell the stories of the ongoing Syrian civil war on a very personal, human scale.
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 14, 2013 11:19:15 PM | 36
Correction: October 29, 1993, Friday An article yesterday about accounts of a plot to build a bomb that was eventually exploded at the World Trade Center referred imprecisely in some copies to what Federal officials knew about the plan before the blast. Transcripts of tapes made secretly by an informant, Emad A. Salem, quote him as saying he warned the Government that a bomb was being built. But the transcripts do not make clear the extent to which the Federal authorities knew that the target was the World Trade Center.
Archives: Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast
Posted by: somebody | Aug 15, 2013 2:36:45 AM | 38
None of that could ever cancel out the hundreds of lies you posted here about boston and tsarnaev.
Its like you were on a one man mission to post as many obvious lies as possible in the shortest amount of time.
"Zomebody" is the perfect name for you
Posted by: hmm | Aug 15, 2013 3:26:34 AM | 39
in ur face, in ur eyes
*On Thursday, September 11, the Pakistan Army was given permission to
retaliate against any action by foreign troops inside the country. The same day,
the Pakistan ambassador to the U.S. also met some national security advisers of
the Bush administration and got the assurance that the U.S.-led coalition forces in
Afghanistan would not operate inside Pakistan or launch any strike. As if to rub
salt in the wound, the same night the coalition forces launched another missile
attack on Miranshah, killing more than 12 people.*
*u know i do it, but what r u gonna do about it, sucker* ?
Posted by: denk | Aug 15, 2013 4:04:00 AM | 40
I was wondering when NSA/Snowden would make it into public entertainment. Well, here you go.
Posted by: Browning | Aug 15, 2013 9:27:38 AM | 41
@37 Whatever happened in Boston or not, it is repulsive to think the US government hires a company whose motto is "despite what your mamma told you, violence does solve problems."
The irony of the founder being blown away by a ptsd vet is lost on them, I'm sure.
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 15, 2013 7:41:15 PM | 42
god damn fukus
*Most Americans are probably unaware that over the past two weeks the US has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen, in which dozens have been killed. It is the largest US escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade*
they know it alright.
just had a *chat* with some fukusans about these eje, they dismissed it as just *killing ragheads*, when pressed on the murder of women n children, they snorted, *u should see how the muslims treat their women*
how do u relate to assholes like these ?
* That international community should hang its collective head in shame*
do they have such a word in their dictionary ?
Posted by: denk | Aug 15, 2013 11:33:43 PM | 45
They may not have noticed how the US Armed Forces treat 'their women'. Rape is epidemic. Suicide is common.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 16, 2013 12:55:08 AM | 46
46 Rowan Berkeley
here's the murderer's impeccable logic
judge] for ur heinous crime, i'll put u behind bar for the rest of ur life
the killer] my honor, u should've seen how his hubby beat her up !
Posted by: denk | Aug 16, 2013 2:20:02 AM | 47
What is going on in the US?
On the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the American Muslim Political Action Committee will host a gathering of one million people in Washington, DC, denouncing “FBI traps” and urging the government to reveal “the truth” about 9/11.
With an event initially coined the “Million Muslim March” and later changed to the “Million American March Against Fear,” the committee hopes to generate awareness about civil rights violations that Muslims have endured after the September 11 attacks that occurred nearly 12 years ago.
Protesters will condemn “FBI traps” and the “illegal tapping and surveilling of Muslim Americans,” as well as “media propaganda making the word terrorist synonymous with Muslim,” Isa Hodge, organizer of the march, told US News & World Report last month.
“Our government either sits idly by and does nothing to protect our freedoms or it exacerbates the problem with its constant war on terrorism in Islamic countries, congressional hearings on Islam in America, and its changes to the [National Defense Authorization Act],” he said in a press release, in which he notes that Muslims have faced constant oppression and discrimination over the past decade.
Protesters will also urge the government to reveal “the truth” about 9/11, which Hodge claims has been partially covered up by the US government.
“We want to hold President Obama accountable for his empty promises of creating a transparent government” Hodge said. “What exactly have we spent all our money, lost lives and taken lives for? The entire record of the 9/11 Commission [Report] has never been released.”
In the press release about the event, Hodge did not specify what sort of “truths” remain hidden, but groups that’s aren’t predominantly Muslim but adhere to 9/11 conspiracy theories – including some Tea Party groups – have already pledged to join the March. The Pennsylvania-based Williamsport Tea Party is one of the groups that have already put the march on its schedule.
Minister Louis Farrakhan of the National of Islam has not yet responded to a request to join the march, but Hodge said that lower-level ministers are interested in getting involved. The AMPAC has also extended an invitation to former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Are these alliances normal?
Posted by: somebody | Aug 16, 2013 12:58:54 PM | 51
This is Israeli mindset at its worst (by which I mean, largely average):
Israeli official warned over offensive Facebook postings
Daniel Seaman, in charge of promoting Israel's image online, ordered to stop posting 'unacceptable' comments
At the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, Seaman posted: "Does the commencement of the fast of the Ramadan means that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?"
How hilarious, from a country that encourages and arms the cannibal terrorist army. Funny how god would pick such a bunch of gold medal assholes as his chosen ones, huh? Never has a nation carried out such a vicious campaign of occupation, war, and terror with such smug "humor".
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 16, 2013 10:47:39 PM | 52
Abu Ghraib torture victims sued by 'torturers'
Yes... you read that right. The US torture corporation tried to sue their victims.
American defense contractor CACI International has sued four former detainees in Abu Ghraib prison to compensate the legal expenses it paid over their dismissed lawsuit regarding the company’s role in torturing the plaintiffs in the notorious jail in Iraq.
The four Iraqi nationals had earlier filed a lawsuit in a District Court in Alexandria against the company accusing it of torturing, humiliating and dehumanizing them when they served time in the prison.
But in July, the judge dismissed the case, saying the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit because the incidents happened overseas.
The Arlington-based company has now demanded the plaintiffs pay over $15,000 for travel allowances, deposition transcripts and witness fees, Common Dreams reported.
The lawyers for former Abu Ghraib prisoners in a federal court filing rejected the request.
Our clients “have very limited financial means, even by non-US standards, and dramatically so when compared to the corporate defendants in this case,” according to the filing.
“At the same time, plaintiffs’ serious claims of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and war crimes were dismissed on very close, difficult - and only recently arguable - grounds.”
“Given the wealth disparities between this multi-billion dollar entity and four torture victims, given what they went through, it's surprising and appears to be an attempt to intimidate and punish these individuals for asserting their rights to sue in US courts," said Baher Azny, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights and the attorney for the plaintiffs.
Just when you thought the US security corporations could get no more depraved...
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 16, 2013 10:55:54 PM | 53
You're not just encouraged to spy on your neighbors and customers, you're REQUIRED to under threat of prison:
Feds Threaten To Arrest Lavabit Founder For Shutting Down His Service
from the either-you-help-us-spy-on-people-or-you're-a-criminal dept
The saga of Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is getting even more ridiculous, as he explains that the government has threatened him with criminal charges for his decision to shut down the business, rather than agree to some mysterious court order. The feds are apparently arguing that the act of shutting down the business, itself, was a violation of the order:
... a source familiar with the matter told NBC News that James Trump, a senior litigation counsel in the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., sent an email to Levison's lawyer last Thursday – the day Lavabit was shuttered -- stating that Levison may have "violated the court order," a statement that was interpreted as a possible threat to charge Levison with contempt of court.
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17, 2013 12:25:14 AM | 54
I'm not fan of NPR, but this is an interesting agle on an important story:
Switching To Gmail May Leave Reporters' Sources At Risk
by STEVE HENN
August 16, 2013 6:22 PM
In the digital world, almost everything you do to communicate leaves a trace. Often, emails are stored on servers even after they're deleted. Phone calls create logs detailing which numbers connected, when and for how long. Your mobile phone can create a record of where you are.
If you're a journalist trying to protect a confidential source, this is a very difficult world to work in.
"I have been running around in my newsroom, screaming about this ... for years," says Julia Angwin, who covers computer security and privacy at The Wall Street Journal. "There's so much evidence now that journalists are being targeted, that our communications are vulnerable and, mostly, that our sources are being put in jail."
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17, 2013 12:36:06 AM | 55
I expect you’d like to know what I make of the 9-hr detention of Glenn Greenwald’s boyfriend David Miranda at Heathrow airport. Well, I only have a few observations to report. Greenwald himself says:
David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. The British security officers spent their time interrogating him about the NSA reporting which Laura Poitras, the Guardian and I are doing, as well the content of the electronic products he was carrying. Before letting him go, they seized numerous possessions of his, including his laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials.
While in Berlin, Miranda had visited Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on the Snowden files with Greenwald and the Guardian. The Guardian paid for Miranda’s flights.
The NYT appears to have manufactured a number of fictitions Greenwald quotes. They have this to say
Miranda was in Berlin to deliver documents related to Greenwald’s investigation into government surveillance to Poitras, Greenwald said. Poitras, in turn, gave Miranda different documents to pass to Greenwald. Those documents, which were stored on encrypted thumb drives, were confiscated by airport security, Greenwald said. All of the documents came from the trove of materials provided to the two journalists by Snowden.
The evil Rob Crilly of the Torygraph then exploits the above fictitious admissions by Greenwald to conclude
Miranda was essentially acting as a document mule. He was deeply involved in the work to disseminate the NSA leaks. He is no mere friend or relative being squeezed in order to stop a journalist doing his job.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 19, 2013 10:19:02 AM | 57
Another post censored at Mondoweiss. WQhat is Phil afraid of? The truth?
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August 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm
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Which is precisely why I am sick and tired of having to mince my words, and mouth the blame onto the "zionists" or "Israel" when criticizing our politicians subservience to the AIPAC agenda. Truth be told, "zionists" are but a small faction of our citizens that continue to vote the AIPAC slate when voting Representatives into office. When do you hear the term "zionist vote" used to describe the motivation for our politician's obscene support for all things Israel? Fact is, it is the "Jewish vote" that these politicians hope to garner by voicing unflinching support for the AIPAC agenda. And, they are successful at getting it. The more "pro-Israel" they are, the greater percentage of the "Jewish vote" they manage to attract. Were it not so, AIPAC wouldn't last a week. Yes, the wacko evangelists are a percentage too, as are the brainwashed Fox News Conservatives. (But why are the Fox News Conservatives BEING brainwashed into a pro-Israel mindset??) So too the leftists that subscribe to the Rachel Maddow style of "see no evil", "speak no evil" when it comes to Israel and AIPAC's corrosive influence on our body politik.
Point being, there are far more culprits than those much maligned "zionists" when we seek to assign blame for our politician's unwavering defense of the indefensible, and support for the crimes and travesties committed as a matter of course in Israel's pursuit of more and more real estate.
Me?? I'm sick of having to qualify my criticisms out of the fear of being labeled a bigot.
If the majority of American Jews support Israel unconditionally, which seems to be the case, (or else our politicians would be acting differently in thier quest for the "Jewish vote"), than they are deserving of my criticism, bigotry aside.
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 19, 2013 1:44:38 PM | 58
Guardian says Britain forced it to destroy Snowden material
WASHINGTON/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The Guardian, a major outlet for revelations based on leaks from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, says the British government threatened legal action against the newspaper unless it either destroyed the classified documents or handed them back to British authorities.
In an article posted on the British newspaper's website on Monday, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said that a month ago, after the newspaper had published several stories based on Snowden's material, a British official advised him: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back."
Rusbridger's disclosure follows Sunday's detainment at London's Heathrow Airport under British anti-terrorism laws of David Miranda, domestic partner of U.S. journalist and Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald.
Miranda, a Brazilian citizen in transit from Berlin to Brazil, said he was released without charge after nine hours of questioning but minus his laptop, cellphone and memory sticks.
Greenwald, who met face to face in Hong Kong with Snowden and has written or co-authored many of the newspaper's stories about U.S. surveillance of global communications, vowed on Monday to publish more documents and said Britain will "regret" detaining his partner.
Rusbridger said that after further talks with the British government, two "security experts" from Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the ultra-secretive U.S. National Security Agency, visited the Guardian's London offices.
In the building's basement, Rusbridger wrote, government officials watched as computers which contained material provided by Snowden were physically pulverized. "We can call off the black helicopters," Rusbridger says one of the officials joked.
A source familiar with the event said Guardian employees destroyed the computers as government security experts looked on.
Rusbridger, in his article, said he told British officials that due to the nature of "international collaborations" among journalists, it would remain possible for media organizations to "take advantage of the most permissive legal environments." Henceforth, he said, the Guardian "did not have to do our reporting from London."
A source familiar with the matter said that this meant British authorities were on notice that the Guardian was likely to continue to report on the Snowden revelations from outside British government jurisdiction.
Posted by: somebody | Aug 20, 2013 3:11:11 AM | 59
US Muslim Brotherhood strategy unraveling further ...
Libyans fear standoff between Muslim Brotherhood and opposition forces
Tripoli is braced for armed confrontation and threat of a coup as rebels mobilise across the country and blockade key oil ports
Fears are growing in Libya of an Egypt-style standoff between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and opposition forces, with rebels blockading key oil ports and the capital, Tripoli, braced for armed confrontation.
Leaders in the provinces of Cyrenaica and Fezzan are considering breaking away from the centre with rebel militias mobilising across the country.
With oil exports plunging 70%, the government has threatened to use force to capture oil terminals held by armed protesters, raising the risk of civil war.
The capital is tense, with nightly exchanges of gunfire. Diplomats, along with many ordinary Libyans, observe a self-imposed dusk-to-dawn curfew. The president of congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain, has summoned militias allied to the Brotherhood to the capital, deploying troops across the city to forestall what his commanders say is the threat of a coup.
This emergency measure has prompted the main opposition party, the centre-right National Forces Alliance, to desert congress, followed by several smaller ethnic parties, leaving the Brotherhood's Justice and Construction party heading a government with crumbling authority. "Congress has basically collapsed," said one diplomat in Tripoli.
On Sunday, the interior minister, Mohamed Khalifa al Sheikh, resigned, accusing the prime minister, Ali Zaidan, of failing to support him. His resignation, following that of the deputy prime minister, Awadh al Barasi, has further weakened the government's authority.
Zaidan has taken a hard line with protesters, threatening to storm the two biggest oil ports by force and warning international oil companies that their ships will be attacked if they buy oil from the rebels. "Any vessel not under contract to the National Oil Company that approaches the terminals will be bombed from the air and the sea," he said.
The rebel guards blockading the ports in the eastern province of Cyrenaica, home to the bulk of Libya's oil, say they will resist if attacked. But the threats to bomb oil tankers has sent a shudder through the international shipping industry. John Hamilton, a London oil analyst, said: "It's deeply disturbing for [international] companies, that's the problem."
The civil standoff stems from a demand for autonomy by the Cyrenaica Transitional Council, headed by a relative of Libya's former king, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Senussi. The province's MPs have already left the capital. Libya faces the prospect of a blockade of its remaining oil reserves after leaders of the southern province of Fezzan met in solidarity with Cyrenaica.
Ethnic Berbers in the western mountains last week cut one of three pipelines bringing oil and gas north, and Fezzan leaders, who claim that they are starved of funds by central government, are considering a complete shutdown.
"We don't want anything to do with a government that is now Muslim Brotherhood," said an ethnic Tobu delegate in the Fezzan meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We are forming an alliance with Cyrenaica, we have something in common with them – which is that we have nothing."
Critics of the Justice and Construction party accuse it of building up the Libya Shield, a militia organisation, as a parallel force to the army.
Much of Libya is resisting the so-called Isolation Law, which was directed at purging Gaddafi-era officials from the army, police and government, amid accusations that Brotherhood officials will replace them. Even the loyalty of Libya's small army is uncertain: its leaders are unlikely to accept dismissal. Amid these heightened civil tensions, the reach of the government's authority now stretches to the capital and the port city of Misrata, 100 miles west, but little further.
As Tripoli's nightly gun battles roll on, residents are growing weary. Ali Tarhuni, a former US-based dissident who headed the rebel oil ministry during the Arab spring, is trying to mediate between the two sides. "We have a crisis," he said. "The security issue is the only priority that this government should have."
Posted by: somebody | Aug 20, 2013 10:39:31 AM | 60
Fact is, it is the "Jewish vote" that these politicians hope to garner by voicing unflinching support for the AIPAC agenda. Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 19, 2013 1:44:38 PM | 58
It isn't actually the vote so much as the campaign funding. Jewish/Zionist organisations have become particularly skillful over the years at channeling essential funds back and forth according to who is more obedient to AIPAC. This is quite a complex subject and obviously it is something that is done as discreetly as possible, so it requires serious research to expose it. If you look at this "Contributions"
tab, and then look at the "Bills supported and opposed"
tab, you'll see how effective it is.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 20, 2013 11:02:35 AM | 61
More censored opinion at Mondowiess...on the following thread....
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August 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm
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"Just how crazy and malevolent is Israeli policy? .... particularly in it's roles (along with the Israeli Lobby in the US) in instigating the current civil wars in Syria and Egypt?"
Who (or what) is it that enables "the Israeli lobby" to exercise such power over American foreign policy? Does this "Israeli Lobby" exist in a vacuum, enabled simply by its existence? Or is there a voting bloc, here, that awards it such great sway over our body politik? Who is it that our politican's hope to woo for campaign cash and votes by thier continued support of the Israeli/AIPAC agenda? Are "zionists" a large enough constituency to provide the incentive for such loyalty to the Israeli agenda? Or is there a larger voting bloc that that in fact empowers AIPAC?
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August 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm
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Actually, no. It IS NOT the very discussion the ?machine? does not want to take place. The discussion that is taboo is the discussion of what voting bloc has the power that has so intimidated our Representatives, Congress, and the Executive Branch. And it ain't american "zionists" that supply such a large hunk of votes to politicians that toe the AIPAC line. Of course, even here, I am not allowed to mention what voting bloc ACTUALLY enables AIPAC to wield such power over our politicians.
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August 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm
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"If Israel tells them to continue aid, 99.9% of Congress will fold & obey"
Why? Whose vote and campaign money do they seek to acquire?
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August 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm
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"Rich and powerful Jews in the US ensure Aipac need not register"
Jews??? Aren?t you supposed to say "zionists" when addressing this topic, if you don't wish to be branded as an "anti-semite"???? And, "rich and powerful"??? Is it your contention that it is only the "rich and powerful" Jews that empower AIPAC and corrupt our Representatives through the phenomena known as "the jewish vote"?
So what is Phil afraid of?? A conversation that actually gets close to the truth about the incentive for our politician's blind subservience to the AIPAC agenda, and continued support for the inhumane and illegal activities of Israel??? Does he really think that our domestic Jewish community shouldn't shoulder a huge proportion of the blame for our corrosive and self-defeating foreign policies as they apply to the middle east? The questions, seen above, (and not allowed on the Mondowiess website) are not legitimate questions to be asked when considering our politician's utter and complete disregard for truth and justice as it applies to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Who is doing the actual intimidation, committing the acts of political bribery? Zionists abroad, or the Jewish community here at home? Can we defeat the influence of AIPAC without severing the loyalty American Jews exhibit towards Israel and its inhumane and illegal policies?? Its time to ask the Jews, here, if Israel, (the self proclaimed "Jewish State"), acts at the behest of the American Jewish community, and if so, why do we non-jews have to pay for it with our tax dollars, the loss of national security, and the destruction of our credibility within the global community?
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 20, 2013 11:48:02 AM | 62
Phil is trying to assemble and maintain a particular constituency: mainly (or entirely) Jewish, 'progressive', ready to fight the vested interests that dominate US Jewish life, but from inside the tent, from a shared set of assumptions about the net value of US Jewish life: that US Jews are (or can be) important and prestigious and successful and self-satisfied and free and meritorious and good liberals and and. You aren't in the tent. You're, I fear wasting your time (& probably by reproducing them here, too because they're pretty much rhetorical questions).
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 20, 2013 12:24:52 PM | 63
The reason to post them here is not to pose the questions here. Most here know the answers. The reason is to give Phil's censorship of opinion an airing, as his site is regarded as fairly "open", when the truth is quite different. The "waste of time" is Phil's. If he employs the same tactics as the hasbarists and the zionists in his quest to change the dynamics of domestic Jewish opinion and circumstance, than he is simply pissing into the wind, and his "concern" for the actual plight of the Palestinians is a sham, a conjob.
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 20, 2013 12:55:00 PM | 64
So...they can't keep the cat in the bag any longer in regards to Fukushima. Interesting that last night on the web "Enenews" was reporting the latest tank leak as a Level 3 event. Then, this morning, the L.A. Times reported it as a Level 1 event. Now, on CNN, it was reported that "it is about to be declared" a Level 3 event. Media confusion is a sure sign of media manipulation of the facts.
With the spent fuel rods on top of #4 about to be removed without the aid of a computer assisted locating of the indivudual rods, the possibility of an accident is almost a probability. I believe this is going to rise to an epic disaster unprecedented in scale. It will be interesting to see how these corporate/political whores in the nuclear energy sector try to spin this as a minor incident. The chickens are coming home to roost at Fukushima. And we all might hafta eat the eggs.
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 21, 2013 7:55:07 PM | 66
"If the majority of American Jews support Israel unconditionally, which seems to be the case, (or else our politicians would be acting differently in thier quest for the "Jewish vote"), than they are deserving of my criticism, bigotry aside."
I don't think they're after the Jewish vote. I think they're after the Jewish organizations money and organizations.
The Holocaust Industry by Norman Finkelstein really gives an amazing overview. All the cash that these "Jewish" organizations managed to blackmail out of Germany and Switzerland - even though most of the survivors have long since passed away - went into trust that fund these huge Zionist organizations. Shocking amounts of money.
So I do think you are wrong in some sense to say that it is more about Jews voting patterns rather that the fact that is always the same fact: a group of wealthy powerful right wingers (who happen to be Jewish and wholly devoted to Israel) are doing everything they can to warp democracy to their favor. I'd suggest you save your attacks for those wealthy Zionist right wingers instead of attacking American Jews as a group.
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21, 2013 8:02:39 PM | 67
"I'd suggest you save your attacks for those wealthy Zionist right wingers instead of attacking American Jews as a group"
Ah yes, the ol' "anti-semite" canard. So tell me, do you condone the silence of the majority of these "American Jews" that you are giving a free pass? You can definitely point your fingers at the wealthy Jews, and deservedly so. But we are to ignore the fact that it is the Jewish community as a whole that are the recipients of the AIPAC marching orders, via email, organized hasbara efforts, campus activism, etc, that moves them to stand mute as the "wealthy Zionist right wingers" corrupt our Representatives and dictate our middle eastern foreign policies?
If you really want to change the influence AIPAC and "the wealthy Zionist right wingers" have in DC, you are going to have to do it by motivating the mainstream Jewish community into speaking out against the insidious influence of the zionist machine. And that is NOT happening on any substantive scale. In fact, the mainstream Jewish community is doing the opposite by continuing to allow this corruption of Washington DC by standing mute, and continuing to vote the AIPAC slate. Look at the AIPAC website, and note who their efforts are directed at. Our youth, and the Jewish VOTING community. And its working, in no small part because of the kind of denial, and veiled accusation of bigotry, that YOU exhibit in your response.
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 21, 2013 10:32:22 PM | 69
*At a time when we are having our own budget difficulties  but still spending north of 4 per cent of our very considerable GDP on *defence* [sic], it is only just to expect more from our partners,” he said, “particularly a partner like Australia, who has had over 20 straight years of pretty spectacular economic growth*
imagine someone boasting to his *friends*,
*just coz im up to my eyeballs in debt doesnt mean that i cant get myself another bmw* !
whats more, he demands his buddies to emulate his life stye !
well partner, if u lie down with a dog....
+Officials at the nation's third-largest school district have defended the proposed closings, saying they are necessary to help the district reduce the budget deficit and better distribute resources+
*better distribute resources* ?
do u mean more pork for the barrel hahahahaha
Posted by: denk | Aug 24, 2013 2:09:46 AM | 73
Got this link via Xymphora...
It's an article by Julian Assange setting out the degree of co-operation between Google and NSA together with fairly strong evidence that top-ranking Google execs seem to have been doing regime-change dirty work for the CIA.
There's also an amusing 'wheels within wheels' anecdote about a WikiLeaks insider trying to contact Shrillary Clinton at the State Dept, and being promised a call-back, which, when it came was from (Google's) Eric Schmidt's girl friend - NOT a State Dept employee, but still apparently considered to be approximately the same thing.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 25, 2013 3:02:23 PM | 75
*Apologies! For some reason [best known to ourself] our filter thinks your comment is SPAM. If our spam filter was overzealous, we are sorry for the inconvenience.*
Posted by: denk | Aug 28, 2013 12:40:36 PM | 76
for the past six months or so,
dissenters beat the crap out of the army of china baiters at atimes,
so much so that eventually they darent show up, we had the field all to ourself ;-)
obviously someone *up there* decide that this cant go on,
now that atimes has purged dissenters like me from its site for good,
the china baiters r back in force with a vengence,
now they have the field all to themselves , just like the good old days !
just two random exemples below,
the same china bashers that scurried away with tails between their legs are now yapping like some excited chiwawas again, coz there's no credible opposition around this time !
is atimes a psyop, u decide ?
the same can be said about *the diplomat*, *the asian sentinels* etc etc
its not enough that the msm like nyt, cnn, fox, reuters etc have already shaped 95 % of *world opinion*, the nwo demand 100% control, so they have to set up hordes of ostensibly *independent* sites [ala those *independent ngo] to sweep away remaining 5 %
coz if u control *world opinion*, u rule the world.
[think libya, syria.....]
ten yrs ago, an unsuspecting time mag conducted a survey on the biggest threat to peace in the world, fully expecting to see the *rogue states* hoarding the *limelight*, the result turned out to be a big embarrassment....
murikka top the list, practically all by itself lol
nk, china wasnt even in sight. !
ffw 2013, what do the press n tv tell u ?
china = jp circa 1930 which needs to be contained by.....murikka plus its remilitarised jp poodle !
such is the awesome power of cia's *wurlitzer*
*we play the world's press like a giant wurlitzer*
play it again, sam
Posted by: denk | Aug 29, 2013 12:43:34 AM | 77
@78 brilliant. Thanks. @79 too.
Posted by: guest77 | Aug 31, 2013 9:09:00 PM | 80