Archive | November 17th, 2010

HEAD OF ZIO=NAZI GESTAPO CANCELS TRIP TO SPAIN FOR FEAR OF ARREST

NOVANEWS

17 November 2010 

Member of Zio=Nazi Knesset Avi Dichter, former Head of Zionist Gestapo ‘Israeli General Security Services (GSS)’, recently canceled a trip to Spain, due to fear he would be detained or arrested by Spanish authorities for his involvement in war crimes against Palestinians.

Zio=Nazi Dichter was set to attend a “peace conference” ?? in Madrid at the end of October, organized by the Madrid Coalition, a collection of Israeli, Palestinian, and European civil society organizations working to support a multilateral resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative.

 

The Madrid Coalition confirmed that it invited Nazi Dichter. Leading members of the organization declined to respond to AIC questions, so it remains unclear why a suspected war criminal would be invited to participate in a conference on peace.

 

The former GESTAPO  chief has been charged in the Spanish state with possible war crimes for his part in the 2002 killing of Hamas member Salah Shehade and 14 other Palestinian civilians, including 9 children, who were in his Gaza Strip apartment building when a one-ton Nazi bomb was dropped on it.

 

There are additional charges pending in Spanish court against Nazi Dichter for his possible role in the the Gaza Holocaust in December 2008-January 2009, at which time he was Zio=Nazi’s minister of internal security.

 

Madrid officials told Nazi Dichter that Spain did not intend to offer him immunity from arrest or interrogation, after which he cancelled his participation in the event, reported Zionist Ynet news.

 

In March 2009, Nazi Dichter also signed a number of injunctions banning a series of events celebrating Jerusalem as the seat of the Arab Capital of Culture, scheduled to be held under the auspices and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, Nazareth and other parts of the country, according to Zionist’s Ynet News.

 

Nazi Dichter instructed Zionist Gestapo to “suppress any attempts by the PA to hold events in Jerusalem and throughout the rest of the country.”

 

According to the minister, “the events would constitute a violation of the interim agreement between Zionist and the Ab-A$$, which includes a clause that forbids the PA from organizing events in Zionist territory,” reported Zionist Ynet.

 

Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jeraisi responded to Nazi Dichter saying, “I never thought they (Israeli authorities) would take it this far. After all, this is a cultural event.”

 

“Dichter is trying to compete with Avigdor Lieberman’s anti-Arab trend, and anyone who holds democracy and freedom of expression dear must condemn his position,” he said.

 

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AIRPORT SCANS: TAKING MEDICAL TOURISM ONE STEP FURTHER

NOVANEWS

November 16, 2010

by Sibel Edmonds

TSA TODAY

Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz: Obama’s New Healthcare Plan to Bridge TSA, Department of Health & Human Services, & the Tourism Industry

Taking Medical Tourism One Step Further

By Sibel Edmonds for Veterans Today and BoilingFrogsPost

The Obama administration is getting ready to unveil a new innovative healthcare initiative geared to bridge TSA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Tourism Industry to provide airline travelers with several major physical examinations at No Cost. Based on the proposed plan US travelers will be offered thorough colon, prostate and breast exams, and will be given health certificates as part of their routine and mandatory TSA security checks at airports.

The White House has already begun its unofficial rounds to garner support from key congressional offices. According to several congressional sources the administration has coined the initiative ‘Triple Win’, a new policy based on the following premises:

  • –       It will increase public trust, dependency on, and respect for TSA, and improve its highly tarnished image. For the first time the multi-billion dollar TSA will be able to show tangible usefulness for its existence.

  • –       It will result in significant revenue increases for the long-struggling travel industry. Many Americans will purchase airline tickets and travel solely for these no-cost security checkpoint check-up services.

  • –       It will provide several highly crucial health check-up services, such as colon and breast exams, to many citizens who are unable to receive these services due to lack of healthcare coverage.

The details of this new initiative have not been released, however the general outline of the proposed initiative that was provided for Congress has been leaking to the media in bits and pieces. From what we have gathered so far, the general proposed guidelines are as follows:

At airport security checkpoints airline passengers will be offered entrances to two separate screening tracks.

Those who ‘Opt-In’ for enhanced security checks with added general sexual health certificate benefits will proceed to Track ‘B’ – which will lead them to enhanced X-Ray screening machines. After going through the enhanced screening machine (able to detect certain general lumps and unusual growths), these passengers will follow a marked pathway to enhanced physical pat-down & examination cubicles. Inside the cubicle an authorized TSA officer will examine the naked passengers and look for lumps, bumps, and unusual growths in colons and or breasts, and or enlarged prostates. Any noticeable unusual odor or discharge will be noted and recorded by the examining TSA officer. Upon exit the airline passenger will be given a stamped certificate detailing the results of the examination.

Thos passengers who ‘Opt-Out’ of the enhanced security check will go through existing security checks by following Track ‘A.’ They will be subject to screening machines and possible pat-downs, whether due to random selection or based on unusual screening results (setting off alarms), or completely at the discretion of the agent(s) overseeing the machines and passengers.

The White House declined to provide comments until the official announcement is released. However, one of my sources with the National Security Council had the following to say on condition of remaining anonymous:

‘This is truly a win-win-win proposition. The airlines love it. Think about it. Many Americans, those without the means or coverage, may very well purchase tickets only for the purpose of getting some of their organs checked out for free! This will restore confidence in the TSA, which has been taking a beating lately; it elevates agents from badge-wearing probers to badge-wearing health-care officers!! I mean this is killing three birds with one stone! I can’t see a single soul opposing this initiative.’

When I asked about logistics my source appeared a bit vague and noncommittal:…READ THE REST AT BOILINGFROGSPOST.COM

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PHILIP TOURNEY: ISRAEL COULD NOT POUR PEACE OUT OF A BOOT….

NOVANEWS

November 16, 2010

by tourney

GAZA

WHAT KIND OF AMERICAN WEAPON DOES THIS IN GAZA?
ISRAEL COULD NOT POUR PEACE OUT OF A BOOT…
WITH THE DIRECTIONS ON THE HEAL

By Phil Tourney STAFF WRITER

As a boy, there was a statement (similar to the title of this piece) I always heard my elders use when they wanted to describe someone so incompetent that even the laws of gravity and physics wouldn’t work in their favor.

Now, a much older and wiser man, I can see how that statement applies in other matters as well, and particularly the daily news dealing with Israel. As the old saying (sort of) goes, Israel “couldn’t pour peace out of a boot with the directions on the heal”. Peace in the Middle East? Not as long as Israel is there, and definitely not as long as Uncle Same is feeding her addition to the tune of $30 million a day, to say nothing of al the political protection she gets from us when fleeing the wrath of an outraged world. As the bible said in describing a future time of seemingly never-ending conflict, “Men cry ‘peace, peace,’ but there is no peace”, and so it goes with Israel. Funny, we never hear Israel’s favorite preachers in America such as John Hagee citing THAT verse when he is busy bearing false witness in propping Israel up as the apple of God’s eye.

And so it goes with Israel. Not a minute of peace since the day she slithered her way back into the Middle East and corrupted the politics of the land of the free and home of the brave. Whether it has been the hundreds of Palestinian civilians she has killed, the 34 friends of mine she murdered aboard the USS LIBERTY or the 5,000+ American servicemen who lost their lives fighting Israel’s wars for her, peace is as elusive as warm days in January.

Those who would disagree should take a short stroll with me down memory lane. Israel gets a state for her people, and what does the world get in return? War, war, and more war. A billion Muslims and a billion Christians at war with each other. Economic destitution. Political corruption. Senators and Congressmen bought off like the politicians living in Al Capone’s Chicago.

Israel got what she got by pure theft and terrorism. Massacre after massacre of Arab civilians–women and children just like those in the supermarkets and malls of America–by Jewish terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang and the Irgun, and yet we hear nothing about it.

And what is the justification for all this? Because Jews suffered during WW II. Because they suffered, we all must as well. Because they have no peace of mind when remembering what took place 60 years ago, the rest of the world must forfeit its peace of mind also. Newsflash Israel and her supporters–MILLIONS OF PEOPLE SUFFERED IN WWII. In fact, if we are to do the numbers, you are the low man on the totem pole when compared to the tens of millions of others who suffered and died.

The proof that Israel desires peace like an infection desires antibiotics is simple history. It has been nothing but war ever since 1948 and even before. And in order to keep war going, Israel had to make sure that gas is always on hand to throw on the fire.

The Lavon affair–Israeli agents snuck into Egypt with plans of blowing up American buildings in order to blame it on Muslims, just as they later tried to do with the attack on my ship, USS LIBERTY. She tried denying it, but when one of the bombs went off in the pocket of one of the terrorists, the gig was up. There was no punishment from America–who would have been the victim of this act of terror, and in later years, those who had been sent to kill Americans were given medals of honor in Israel.

Am I saying that Israel should not have a homeland? No, I’m not saying that. But if she wants to join the family of nations, she needs to start behaving like civilized nations behave, which means living in peace with your neighbors, and respecting boundaries, just as has been set fourth in many UN resolutions mainly, 242.

Israel has gotten by with the murder of my shipmates aboard USS LIBERTY June 8 1967. Any other country had done what she did and the only evidence of that country’s existence would be in history books. For Israel however, she got a free pass from the United States–the very country whose men were murdered and has been rewarded with billions of dollars. And lest some think that the Lavon Affair and the LIBERTY were isolated events–they weren’t. The 1983 bombings of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed almost 250 brave Americans as they slept in the bunks, one day closer to going home–Israel knew about it and refused to warn us, saying, “The Americans wanted to stick their nose into this thing, let them pay the price…” We can just imagine what we would all be subjected to if the US had information on a terrorist attack against Israel and refused to warn them about it. They would demand apology after apology accompanied with even more of our treasure and blood.

I could go on and on with examples from history, but the best proof of Israel’s aversion to peace is what is going on now. Simply listen and watch. Peace is an unwanted pregnancy for the Jewish state and we all know how unwanted pregnancies typically end up, and that is what we are facing, only in this case it is not just a stillborn baby, but rather millions of people in the Middle East and beyond DEAD.

Israel knows how to make peace–it’s as easy as pouring you-know-what out of a boot with the directions on the heel. At this point, the world wants peace as much as that you-know-what wants to come pouring out of the boot when it’s turned over. It–the world’s desire for peace–is a matter of gravity at this point, simply allow it and it will come, unless of course you are Israel.

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WHAT REALLY IS THE OBAMA-CLINTON GAME PLAN FOR ISRAEL/PALESTINE?

NOVANEWS

November 15, 2010

by Alan Hart

Obama/Clinton

What, really, is the Obama-Clinton game plan for Israel/Palestine?

By Alan Hart STAFF WRITER

On the face of it the package of “incentives” Secretary of State Clinton offered Prime Minister Netanyahu to persuade him to buy and sell to his coalition government a one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank could be summed up with one “c” word – criminal.

Criminal because by excluding occupied Arab East Jerusalem from the desired freeze, the Obama administration is not only going back on its own previous demands which were in accord with international law and various UN Security Council resolutions. It is effectively endorsing Israel’s illegal settlement activities there. Simply stated the U.S. is now openly complicit in Israel’s defiance of international law.

It doesn’t matter that Netanyahu may have said to Hillary Clinton in their seven or eight-hour conversation something like:

“There’s no point in you asking for a freeze in Jerusalem. I couldn’t deliver it even if I wanted to, and I don’t.”

What any Israeli prime minister can or cannot deliver because of the pathological mindset of most Israelis is not the point. It is that if peace is to have a last chance, the Zionist (not Jewish) state must be obliged to comply with international law (not to mention a host of UN Security Council resolutions).

In my analysis there are three possible readings of the Obama-Clinton game plan.

One is that terrified of offending the Zionist lobby too much, they are desperate and hoping that if they can develop a little momentum, something positive might happen.

Another is that Obama believes that, with the assistance of the Arab regimes, he will be able to bribe and bully Abbas and his quisling Palestinian Authority into accepting crumbs from Zionism’s table if negotiations can be re-started. (If the PA agrees to re-start talks with Israel while it goes on colonizing Arab East Jerusalem, Obama will imagine that he has a chance of earning his Nobel peace prize. He would, of course, be wrong – I really mean deluded – to think that).

It is interesting to note that there are Israeli leaders who believe that a way must be found to “force” the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. One who has said so openly is Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He said on Army Radio that Israel has two options. “Either we reach understandings with the Americans to find a way to force the Palestinians to sit around the negotiating table, or the Palestinians and the Arab world will reach understanding with the Americans and it will be us eating frogs.” (Whatever that means).

A third possibility – my speculation here will convince many that I have taken leave of my senses  – is that Obama might have an ace up his sleeve.

Via Secretary of State Clinton, Obama told Netanyahu that if he put in place a 90-day moratorium on construction on the West Bank, he (Obama) will guarantee to continue the American presidential tradition of vetoing UN Security Council resolutions which are not to Israel’s liking. That would mean, among other things, blocking any Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood on the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and preventing Israel from being called to account for war crimes.

Probably Hillary Clinton did not say so to Netanyahu, but one possible implication of the American incentives package is that if Netanyahu fails to deliver a 90-day moratorium, or does and is still only playing games, the U.S. will NOT block a Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood, and will NOT obstruct efforts to call and hold Israel to account for war crimes.

As regular readers of my contributions to informed and honest debate know, I do not believe Obama entered the White House programmed to do Zionism’s bidding. I think, as I have written, that he was naïve and inexperienced.

The question for the coming days is whether Obama has the will and courage to play his ace card if Netanyahu continues to humiliate him and demonstrate, with or without a 90-day moratorium, that he and virtually all of his leadership colleagues are not interested in peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could just about accept.

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RIGHT-WING ”RADICAL ISLAM” CAMPAIGN TRACED TO ISRAEL

NOVANEWS

November 16, 2010

by Michael Leon  

Who put up the money to send out all those millions of anti-Islamic DVDs in the 2008 campaign? Clarion, which has strong links to the right-wing Israeli group Aish HaTorah and is listed in government records as a foreign nonprofit, would never say. Now, Clarion has a new DVD banging the war drums for a strike at Iran. –

By Justin Elliot at Salon

In the heat of the 2008 presidential election, an obscure nonprofit group called the Clarion Fund made national news by distributing millions of DVDs about radical Islam in newspaper inserts in swing states.

The DVDs, 28 million in all, were a boost to Republican candidates who were trying to paint Democrats as weak on terrorism — and they arguably helped fuel the anti-Muslim sentiment that boiled over in the “ground zero mosque” fight last summer. The film, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War With the West,” was widely criticized for its cartoonish portrayal of Muslims as modern-day Nazis.

But who put up the money to send out all those millions of DVDs?

Clarion, which has strong links to the right-wing Israeli group Aish HaTorah and is listed in government records as a foreign nonprofit, would never say.

Indeed, the group does not have to release detailed donor information because of its nonprofit tax status. We knew only that there was serious money behind the effort: Clarion spent nearly $19 million in 2008, the year it sent out the DVDs.

Now, just as Clarion is gearing up to release a new film hyping the threat of Iran, the money mystery has deepened: According to a document submitted to the IRS by Clarion and obtained by Salon, a donor listed as Barry Seid gave Clarion nearly $17 million in 2008, which would have paid for virtually the entire “Obsession” DVD campaign.

Nonprofit groups must submit financial information including the identity of donors to the IRS — but ordinarily only basic revenue and spending data are made available to the public. In the case of Clarion, an extra page with donor information seems to have been inadvertently included in its public filing. See it here. (It was previously available on public websites that collect IRS forms submitted by nonprofits.)

There’s only one Barry Seid Salon could find who might fit the profile of a $17 million donor to Clarion. That would be businessman Barre Seid (note the different spelling) of Illinois, a longtime contributor to right-wing and Jewish causes. But his representative flatly denied to Salon that he has ever given money to Clarion.

The elderly and press-shy Seid is president of Tripp Lite, a large Chicago-based manufacturer of power strips that got into the personal computer market on the ground floor back in the 1980s. Seid has personally poured millions of dollars into Republican campaigns and conservative causes, and his foundation has given generously to the Cato Institute, the Americans for Limited Government Foundation, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This year, Seid received an honorary degree from Bar-Ilan University outside Tel Aviv for his work “supporting those organizations which will fortify Israel’s position in the world.”

But Seid assistant Joan Frontczak told Salon in an e-mail: “Mr. Seid did not make any contributions to the Clarion Fund.” And she added: “Mr. Seid is a very private person and doesn’t seek publicity of any kind.”

Furthermore, Clarion Fund spokesman Alex Traiman denied that the inadvertently released document is accurate.

“The sources of anonymous donations to the Clarion Fund in 2008 have been incorrectly identified,” Traiman said in an e-mail to Salon. “As like many other not-for-profit organizations, we respect the right of private donors to remain anonymous.”

But there’s another wrinkle here. As first reported by Counterpunch, a right-leaning Alexandria, Va.-based outfit called Donors Capital Fund revealed in its 2008 IRS filing that it gave $17.7 million to Clarion that year, the same year the DVDs were sent out. Donors Capital Fund is what’s known as a donor-advised fund: It offers various tax and other advantages to people who want to make large donations to nonprofits.

Whitney Ball, president of Donors Capital Fund, told Salon that the group acts as a charitable vehicle for individuals who give Donors Capital Fund money and tell it where they would like the money to go. “One of our clients made a recommendation for Clarion and so we did it,” she said. Ball declined to identify the client or comment on Seid.

Seid’s private foundation has in the past made at least one donation to Donors Capital Fund. Seid’s assistant did not respond to a request for comment about whether he had made a donation to Donors Capital Fund and recommended that the money go to Clarion. So, for now, it’s impossible to say for sure why the name “Barry Seid” showed up on Clarion’s tax forms.

Finally, here is the trailer for Clarion’s new film, “Iranium.” It will be interesting to see if any donor steps forward to pay for wider distribution.

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AMERICAN IDLE

NOVANEWS
November 17, 2010

   

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by Keith Johnson, Revolt of the Plebs

 Live every day as if it were your last…
 and then some day you’ll be right.
                                                 
~H.H. “Breaker” Morant~

History is not likely to speak well of today’s Americans.  While the people of nations around the globe stand up to their oppressors, Americans sit idly by as their government runs roughshod over their life, liberty and property. 

As we speak, large-scale protests and mass demonstrations continue in more than a dozen countries as citizens strike back against injustice, criminality and brutal austerity measures imposed by their corrupt governments. 

In the UK, more than 50,000 students recently took to the streets to protest a spike in tuition costs. 

In Greece, workers clashed with police outside the Finance Ministry over frozen pensions and cuts in their salaries. 

In Germany, tens of thousands demonstrated over the weekend to protest government policies and social inequities in advance of Merkel’s Democrat party’s national meeting.

In early October, thousands of Icelanders stormed their parliament with renewed anger over the deepening financial crisis, and against those responsible for it.  Many of their politicians were forced to flee out the back door, where they were pelted with eggs, flour and tomatoes. 

In France, transportation and commerce was brought to a virtual standstill throughout vast portions of the country, as angry citizens railed against their government for increasing the retirement age from 60 to 62.

Press coverage of these events gets little attention here in the United States.  When the press does cover it, they portray the demonstrators as greedy layabouts who have become dependant on government handouts.  In reality, people of these countries know full well that they are being made to do without in order to enrich powerful central banks that conspired with  corrupt politicians to loot their economies.  The people have had enough, and they’re letting their governments know it. 

If only we had the same spirit.  When will the American people recognize the full frontal assault being perpetrated against them?  When will they realize that, they too, are being made to do with less, so that their corrupt politicians can fulfill the unlawful arrangements they have made with the very same central banks and financial institutions that are bringing down nations around the globe?

Right now, millions of Americans have lost (or are losing) their homes to foreclosure as a result of the same kind of collusion between politicians and the banking cartels. 

In 2008, the banking elite threatened to shut down the U.S. economy unless corrupt politicians in Washington D.C. forced through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).  Though more than 90% of the American public voiced opposition to the bill, their words fell on deaf ears.  To add insult to injury, the passage of TARP was actually celebrated by members of congress, who stood at the podium with broad smiles and giggled as they signed the hellish legislation.

Billions of taxpayer dollars went to the bankers to rescue them from foolish investments in mortgage-backed securities. The TARP funds were supposed to be used to clear the bank’s books and free up lending to the American people.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead, the bankers tightened lending even more and used their newfound wealth to pay debts, acquire other banks, pay huge bonuses to their employees, and engage in more irresponsible investment activities. 

To their credit, the American people found the gumption to confront those politicians in town hall meetings across the nation.  But the media—being the obedient lapdogs to the federal government that they are—quickly pounced upon these unhappy citizens; labeling them as dangerous upstarts who were working outside the parameters of civil and polite discourse that the government deems manageable.  Raising your voice was equated with violence, hoisting signs was considered racist and gatherings were announced as potential staging grounds for domestic terrorism. 

How absurd—that the mainstream media would think it could even be possible to kowtow the American people into compliance—especially when you measure these relatively mild examples of public opposition against the large-scale strikes and civil unrest we are witnessing in other countries. 

But—ironically—many Americans did take the bait that the mainstream media was dishing out and decided to temper their speech after all.  This was facilitated by Judas goats like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who corralled the people like livestock into GOP controlled rallies that advanced the Republican agenda and insured them an easy victory in the mid-term elections. 

Glenn Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” summoned thousands of disgruntled Americans to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Days before, he pleaded with his audience to abandon their signs and silly clothes because it was making them easy targets of ridicule by the “progressive” left.  The people complied—and when they attended the function—they were treated to a ceremony of military worship and religious devotion to the state of Israel.  It was a Hollywood production.  It was organized, polite, and nobody raised their voice.  People soon forgot about the imminent financial threats that were bearing down upon them.  Instead, they embraced what every American should feel good about:  a bloated defense budget and a toxic relationship with a country that has caused us nothing but trouble.

Shortly after the Beck event, the left staged a demonstration of their own.  Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” was a mockery of demonstrations, an anti-demonstration if you will. 

The people who attended that function did so—not to address the criminality of their government—but to mock those who did.  They came out enmass to parody the “Teabaggers,” fellow citizens enraged over Obama’s spending policies and mandatory healthcare legislation. 

Both events were completely partisan efforts, used to define the line between Democrat and Republican voters.  Both events were used to quell dissent and stifle speech.  Both were a success—but not for the American people.  It was a success for the government, and a major testament on the power the mainstream media has over the American public.

Americans—in large part—have become nothing more than stupid, scared, spoiled rotten slaves to their favorite TV programs, politicians and electronic toys.  Accusing them of such is just about the only thing that will make them angry.  Americans still maintain that they are the freest, wealthiest and most moral people on the face of the planet.  But they are the only ones who think so.  In a Newsweek article entitled “Post Anti-Americanism,” Howard Fineman writes:

“When you read about America in European newspapers, what you are likely to find is a tone bordering on pity. The U.S. is depicted as a fraying empire of obesity, ignorance, debt, gridlock, stagnation, and mindless war. Sure, the iPad is cool, but it is evidence of what America was, not what it will be again. The stories are not angry, accusatory, or even ideological. It’s worse: they are condescendingly elegiac.”

I think most will agree that being pitied is far worse than being hated.  Pity is leveled against those who are unwilling, or unable, to stand up for themselves.  People of other nations pity us because they see in us what we are unable to see in ourselves:  that we are weak. 

But we weren’t always like this.  In fact, just twenty years ago, we were far more resilient than we are today.

We’re closing in on the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beatings in Los Angeles.  Almost twenty years ago, the American public was shocked and appauled as they watched one of the first incidents of police brutality—to ever be caught on tape—broadcast on television screens across the nation. 

The ensuing trial was held in a predominantly white, suburban city (Simi Valley) that is a well known “Cop Land,” where off duty police officers from three counties reside in great numbers.  The biased trial found the officers “not-guilty” on all counts.

Public outrage at the verdicts sparked the “L.A Riots” of 1992 that found thousands of people taking to the streets.  Businesses were looted, cars were torched, and widespread violence spread through the city over a period of six hellish days. 

Some may say that the manner in which the public used to express their discontent was unconstructive—but they certainly made their point.  The United States Department of Justice was forced to bring federal charges against the four officers for civil rights violations.  Two of the four officers were aquitted, but two were convicted and handed out 30 month prison sentences.

If the Rodney King beatings were caught on tape today, it would not even make the evenning news.  The circumstances leading up to the arrest of King would most certainly be enough to close the books on any further inquiry, and any ensuing protests would be met with even more brutality from the police.

The King case pales in comparison to some of the more recent incidents of aledged police brutality. 

Take the case of Jordan Miles for instance.  Miles, an 18 year old black student, with no criminal record, was simply walking down a street in Pittsburg when he was approached by three plainclothes police officers.  According to Miles, the officers did not identify themselves.  Instead, they shouted, “Where’s the money…Where’s the gun?…Where’s the drugs?” Thinking he was about to be robbed, Miles ran and slipped on the ice.  Before he could get to his feet, the officers converged and began beating, kicking and choking him.  They also used a taser, thinking that he was concealing a weapon.  No weapon was found.  Miles sustained severe facial injuries.  His face was swollen, almost to the point of being unrecognizable, and he continues to suffer from the severe physical and psychological pain caused by the assault.  Eight months have since passed, and still, not one of the officers has been held accountable.

Compare that to the King case.  King, a convicted felon, led police on a high speed chase.  When he was finally stopped, he emerged from the vehicle and taunted the police officers.  The officers ‘swarmed’ him and proceeded to beat him repeatedly with batons.  At one point, when it was apparent that King was still making attempts to resist, a taser was used twice in an attempt to incapacitate him.  It was later determined that King had a blood alcohol level that was almost twice the legal limit.

In reaction to the Miles brutality case, a few peacful protests and marches were held in the local community but received very little press.  In reaction to the King case, part of an entire city burned to the ground and coverage of the riots and subsequent trials were nationwide spectacles. 

American attitudes have changed.  Today, the public cowers in fear of their oppressors.  What’s worse is that a vast majority will stick out their tounges, as they lie bloodied on the street, and lick the boot of the man who put them there.

Late last September, Gene Cranick of Obion County, Tennessee watched his home burn to the ground as firefighters from neighboring South Fulton stood by without lifting a finger to help put out the blaze. 

There seemed to have been a problem with a $75 annual fee that Cranick apparently forgot to pay for fire services extended to residents who live outside the city limits. 

In addition to his house and all of his belongings going up in smoke, three family dogs and a cat shared the same fate.

But instead of expressing outrage, the browbeaten property owners actually came to the defense of the apathetic public servants.

Cranick’s wife, Paulette, doesn’t blame the firefighters. “They’re doing what they are told to do. It’s not their fault.”

How have we come to adopt these kinds of attitudes?  Where is the public outrage?  Is there any limit to what the American people will put up with?

Part of the problem stems from our society turning from one that loves liberty to one that loves the gifts that liberty brings.

For well over one hundred years, social engineers have indoctrinated Americans into believing that indulgence is synonymous with freedom.  But nothing can be further from the truth.  Freedom delivers one from dependency, while indulgence delivers one into it.

John Adams, an American statesman and champion of independence, feared that the American people would some day enjoy their newfound freedoms, but neglect the daily struggle required to protect them.  Adams was well aware of the dangers of complacency, and warned that a society that chose indulgence over vigilance would quickly fall into the hands of tyrants, who would deliver a once free people back into the chains of bondage.

When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour.

Adams went on to describe what would happen to that society once these destructive influences took hold.

The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.

This is where we are today.  We have become a self-defeating society, drunk off the spoils left to us by our forefathers.  We have fallen prey to an elitist cartel of bankers and warmongers who have, and continue to, loot the population of its wealth and treasure.

But it isn’t too late to turn things around. 

Right now, the American people have an opportunity to get back that old fighting spirit.  On November 24, many Americans traveling abroad can stand defiant against their tyrannical government. 

“National Opt-Out Day” is something that everybody can get behind, regardless of their partisan politics.  Finally, across the board, we have found an issue that all can agree upon.  We are not terrorists, and we refuse to allow our government to treat us as such.  Let us make the TSA a poster child for tyranny and the over reaching of our corrupt government.  

If you travel this holiday, refuse to allow yourself to be degraded and poisoned by the cancer inducing pornography scanners that have been installed in our nation’s airports.  You won’t be alone.  Perhaps that man or woman standing there next to you is someone you don’t see eye to eye with concerning the health care bill.  But at least you can agree that having your body ravaged by strangers is something that no one should be forced to endure.  At least that’s a start. 

It might be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but fighting for your liberty and freedom always has been—and it’s about time we started getting used to that.

Posted in USAComments Off on AMERICAN IDLE

NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

NOVANEWS

Iran: Foreign planes violated airspace

In first claim of invasion, military drill spokesman says planes were intercepted by Iranian jets

Iran says that unidentified foreign planes violated its air space six times as the country kicked off an air defense drill, but that they were intercepted and forced back by Iranian jets.

The remarks by Gen. Hamid Arjangi, a spokesman for the exercise, are the first Iranian claim of an intrusion. His comments were carried Wednesday by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Initially, he had only said that foreign planes had approached Iran’s air space.

Arjangi says Iran’s radar stations and observation posts reported six cases of foreign planes entering the air space during the exercise.

The five-day drill, which started Tuesday, is meant to showcase Iranian capabilities in defending its nuclear facilities from possible attack.

Cantor Recants

By MJ Rosenberg

Soon-to-be House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is desperately trying to explain away the promise he made to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last Wednesday.Cantor huddled with Netanyahu just prior to the prime minister’s meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Clinton was expected to reaffirm the American commitment to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.  Cantor wanted Netanyahu to know that he had his back.

Cantor’s office itself put out a statement bragging about his pledge to Netanyahu:

Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington,” the readout continued. “He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.

For now, forget Cantor’s ridiculous assertion that the security of Israel and the United States are “reliant upon the other.”  No, the United States provides Israel with the security assistance to survive — it is not the other way around.

But lay that aside.  It is Cantor’s statement of loyalty to Netanyahu that is the shocker. Specifically, it is his promise that he would ensure that Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives “will serve as a check” on U.S. Middle East policy.

Almost immediately, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s bureau chief in Washington, Ron Kampeas, declared that Cantor’s statement was “extraordinary.”  He wrote that he could not “remember an opposition leader telling a foreign leader, in a personal meeting, that he would side, as a policy, with that leader against the President.”

Kampeas was clearly shocked, but he was understating the enormity of Cantor’s offense.  Cantor’s pledge of allegiance to a foreign leader would be remarkable, and deeply offensive, even if the foreign country in question were Canada or the United Kingdom, our two closest allies with whom we have few policy differences.

The United States has major policy differences with Israel, and has had them for decades, most notably over settlements, the occupied West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, etc.  Israel is also the largest recipient of US foreign aid in the world, which means that the President of the United States has every right to express those differences firmly and clearly.

On the other hand, no American official — by any stretch of the imagination — has the right to tell the government of Israel, or any foreign government, that he stands with the foreign leader against his own president.  It is one thing to oppose particular US policies; it is quite another to tell a foreign leader, “I’m with you, not my president.”

Of course, Cantor was just being honest.  Although he does oppose virtually all of President Obama’s policies (he’s a Republican and that is what Republicans do), he supports 100% of Israeli policies.  And although an extreme partisan domestically, when it comes to Israel, he supports whichever government is in power.  He believes in the right to criticize this government, just not that one.

Cantor’s mistake was not telling Prime Minister Netanyahu what everyone knows is true anyway, but telling the world what he said.

This is the classic Washington definition of a gaffe (i.e., inadvertently speaking an inconvenient truth).

In this case, the gaffe produced a firestorm.

And this is where I consider the possibility that Cantor simply doesn’t understand what he’s doing.

After all, he has been an AIPAC cutout since he first was elected to office.  He’s been to more AIPAC meetings than he can probably count.  And he should have figured out by now that the lobby is extremely careful, obsessively careful, to always emphasize loyalty to the United States while simultaneously endorsing Israeli policies that undermine our foreign policy objectives.

AIPAC officials never, ever, say that when push comes to shove their loyalty is with Israel not the United States.  In fact, the accusation that this is the case is the charge AIPAC hates most.

But the soon-to-be Majority Leader came right out and said it: Israel, right or wrong.

It took a few days for Cantor to understand how utterly offensive his statement was.  (He might have heard from a few Tea Party types who, say what you will about them, tend to take their patriotism seriously.)

So today Cantor explained he was misunderstood.  His inconvenient truth, his gaffe, was replaced by a laughable untruth.

This is how the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reports it:

Brad Dayspring, Cantor’s press guy, tells me Cantor’s promise that the Republican majority would “serve as a check on the administration” was “not in relation to U.S./Israel relations.”

Mmmm.  So Cantor’s pledge to stand with Netanyahu against Obama was “not in relation to US/Israel relations” despite the context of Cantor’s statement — just before Netanyahu’s meeting with Clinton — and the fact that the person he was talking to was the Prime Minister of Israel.

So, what was Cantor’s pledge “in relation to”?

Was it in relation to either repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or the Bush tax cuts for millionaires?  Maybe it was about farm subsidies.

Come on, Eric. Don’t make us laugh.

It is eminently clear what you said and what you meant.  And this time we will take you at your word

Zionist Organization of America–”Congress must pass legislation to protect Jewish students from anti-semitic harassment”

(thehill.com) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that colleges and universities redress racial and ethnic discrimination, or risk losing their federal funding.  Thus, if African American or Hispanic students are harassed on campus, they can complain to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is mandated to enforce Title VI and ensure that their schools fix the problem.  But Title VI does not clearly protect Jewish students, as we found out after the Zionist Organization of America filed a Title VI complaint with OCR on behalf of Jewish students at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

To correct this problem, Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) introduced legislation last week that would require that Jewish students be protected from harassment and intimidation on their campuses.  The legislation would add protection from religious discrimination to Title VI, which presently prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, or national origin.”  The Specter-Sherman bill will fill a legal loophole that, right now, effectively permits colleges and universities to ignore when Jewish students are harassed or discriminated against.  Lawmakers should enact this bill quickly, so that Jewish students are assured a campus environment that is safe and conducive to learning, which all students deserve.

The many troubling incidents of campus anti-Semitism highlight the need for this amendment.  For example, at UC Berkeley last March, a Jewish student was holding a sign at a pro-Israel campus rally, which said “Israel Wants Peace.”  She was rammed from behind with a filled shopping cart. The attack was unprovoked and the victim required medical attention.

At UCI, a Holocaust memorial was destroyed, and swastikas have defaced campus property.  Posters have depicted women in traditional Muslim garb saying, “God bless Hitler.”  A Jewish student was told to “go back to Russia where you came from.”  Jewish students have been threatened and physically assaulted.  The campus regularly hosts one to two-week-long events that demonize Israel and Jews.  At the May 2009 event, a speaker compared Jews to Satan.  Last May, this speaker referred to Jews as “the new Nazis.”

In October 2004, the ZOA filed a Title VI complaint with OCR, on behalf of Jewish students at UCI.  The complaint detailed years of increasing anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination, and charged that the university had either ignored the problems or made token efforts to address them.

At the time the complaint was filed, OCR had clarified its policy for enforcing Title VI, concluding that the law applied to religious groups that also share ethnic characteristics, such as Jews.  Based on this policy clarification, OCR proceeded with the ZOA’s case, rendering it the first case of anti-Semitism that OCR ever agreed to investigate under Title VI.

Soon after the investigation started, the leadership at OCR changed, resulting in a change in the agency’s Title VI policy.  OCR reverted back to denying Title VI protection to Jewish students, perceiving Jews simply as a religious group and not also an ethnic group that would be protected from “racial” and “national origin” discrimination under the law.  As a result, even though OCR had overwhelming evidence that Jewish students were facing severe and persistent anti-Semitism at UCI, and that the university hadn’t responded adequately to the problem, OCR dismissed the ZOA’s complaint, concluding that many of the allegations fell outside the agency’s jurisdiction. 

Our appeal of that decision has been pending since April 2008.  Even now, with new leadership at OCR under President Obama, the policy of denying Jews the same protections as other minority groups has not changed.

The injustice of the UCI decision inspired the ZOA to advocate for a change in the law.  We communicated with many members of Congress, educating them about the problems that Jewish students are facing on their campuses and about the law’s failure to afford them the same protections as other ethnic and racial groups.  At our annual Advocacy Mission to Washington, D.C. last April, these problems were a centerpiece of our lobbying efforts with lawmakers. 

When Congressman Ron Klein (D-Fla.), co-chair of the Congressional Taskforce Against Anti-Semitism, convened a briefing last June on campus anti-Semitism and the federal government’s role in redressing it, the ZOA briefed congressional members and their staff.  The briefing led to letters from 38 members of Congress to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, urging the Education Department to enforce Title VI to protect Jewish students.  We’ve also led the effort to educate the public – through letters, articles, speeches, press releases, ads and petitions – about campus anti-Semitism and Jewish students’ right to legal protection.

Senator Specter and Congressman Sherman have taken a leadership role in ensuring that Jewish students are protected.  We have worked closely with them on the issue, including helping to craft the language in the bill that was introduced last week.

All of us should urge our representatives in Congress to support this bill so that an unjust gap in the law will finally be filled, and Jewish students will no longer have to tolerate anti-Semitic harassment on their campuses.

Settler convicted of kidnapping, abusing Palestinian teen

Zvi Struk from the settlement of Shiloh was convicted Sunday of kidnapping and abusing a bound 15-year-old Palestinian boy.

The 28-year-old settler is the son of Yesha Human Rights Organization head Orit Struk.

The indictment stated that Struk, arrived at an outpost located between Shiloh and Kfar Kusra in the West Bank. He arrived on a mini tractor and began to chase Palestinian youths at the scene.

The youths attempted to escape, but Struk cornered one of them and his friend, armed with Struk’s M-16 rifle, began to fire in the air. According to the prosecution, Struk then began to beat the boy, who had put his hands up in surrender, and knocked him to the ground.

The indictment went on to say that Struk’s friend continued to beat the boy while he chased another youth, beat him, and dragged him to the mini tractor bleeding. He then proceeded to blindfold and tie him to the tractor, and rode off with his hostage in tow.

The prosecution claimed that the boy, Amran Farah, lost consciousness during the ride, and was brought to an open field where the two suspects beat him, undressed him, and left him blindfolded and tied. He remained there for a number of hours, until he managed to untie himself and find a car to take him home.

The boy was hospitalized in Nablus, and diagnosed with multiple contusions and lesions all over his body.

Struk had attacked the boy two months earlier, the indictment stated, while the latter was herding sheep with a friend near the village. Struk told them to leave the land, claiming it was his, and then beat the two boys. The settler also killed a young goat belonging to the Palestinian.

Ynet reported Tuesday that Jerusalem District Court Judge Amnon Cohen convicted Struk of assault under severe circumstances, kidnapping with intent to cause severe bodily injury and three more counts of assault.

The Yesh Din human rights group, which accompanied the Palestinian boy throughout the trial, expressed satisfaction with the verdict, but said, “According to our data, some 90% of complaints filed by Palestinians against Israeli citizens that hurt them or their property end without an indictment.”

Yesh Din stressed that Struk’s accomplice was never caught. 

 

Gruesome Find Told at US Hearing into Afghan Killings

(AFP) The gruesome testimony came as a third US soldier faced a pre-trial hearing over the alleged killings — after which the rogue soldiers allegedly posed for photos with their victims — in southern Afghanistan earlier this year

If proved in a full court martial, the crimes would be among the worst committed by US forces in Afghanistan, and could deal a blow to efforts to win over the support of ordinary Afghans in the war-torn country.

Private Andrew Holmes, one of five soldiers accused of going rogue, listened quietly as Special Agent Benjamin Stevenson described finding severed fingers near where members of the unit lived.

Army prosecutors allege Holmes participated in the execution of an Afghan the southern Kandahar province in January, kept a finger bone from an Afghan corpse and smoked hashish with some of the other killers.

On Monday, Stevenson, testifying by speakerphone, said he had a map provided by the army’s star witness, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, showing where investigators could find the digits allegedly taken from Afghan civilians.

Using Morlock’s map, Stevenson said he and another agent located a large, protective dirt barrier near the soldiers’ residences in Forward Operating Base Ramrod.

On top of the barrier, they found a plastic bottle containing two fingers, wrapped in cloth.

“Right where we were told the fingers would be, there they were,” Stevenson said. Another bone was found nearby.

Investigators also discovered a bone over a foot (30 cm) long, possibly a leg, in a house believed to be that of another soldier, Adam Kelly, who faces charges over covering up the alleged killings, but is not charged with murder.

Holmes’s attorney Dan Conway pointed out that the bones were found near the housing unit of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, the alleged ringleader of the rogue unit.

Speaking with reporters during a break, Conway said his client did once have a bone that a superior officer forced him to take and that Holmes got rid of it “as soon as practically possible.”

Specialist Ryan Mallet, an eye-witness to the January shooting leading to Holmes? murder charge, testified that he was on a hill in a small village when he saw Morlock call a man over from a field.

Mallet looked away, but then heard Morlock yell: “Grenade, he?s got a grenade. Holmes, shoot him.”

Holmes fired several rounds, according to Mallet, after which the man was still standing. The defense contends that Holmes did not fire the fatal shots and is fighting with the army to release photos Conroy says will show that.

After the rounds were fired, a grenade exploded, Mallett said.

When the dust cleared, the Afghan man was on the ground, unmoving.

Another soldier shot him twice.

Mallet, who described Holmes as a friend, said that the odd thing about the shooting was that despite shouting a grenade warning, Morlock “never raised his rifle that I could see.”

Conway told reporters that Holmes did not know that his team leader was staging a killing and that his team leader was using him as an unwitting participant in a cover story.

The soldiers participating in the alleged execution plots, allegedly orchestrated by Gibbs, were all members of the Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Division’s Stryker brigade at Ramrod.

Morlock, the army’s main witness against the accused killers including Holmes, is also charged with murdering Afghan civilians. He was the first to face a pre-trial hearing in September, and his case will now go to a full court martial.

Monday’s proceeding is part of a series of pre-trial hearings to determine if the soldiers accused in the murders and the cover-up of the killings will face full courts-martial.

The Holmes pre-trial hearing is due to wrap up on Tuesday. 

 

F.B.I. Seeks Wider Wiretap Law for Web

(NYT) WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.

Mr. Mueller and the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions. How Mr. Mueller’s proposal was received was not clear.

“I can confirm that F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller is visiting Facebook during his trip to Silicon Valley,” said Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s public policy manager. Michael Kortan, an F.B.I. spokesman, acknowledged the meetings but did not elaborate.

Mr. Mueller wants to expand a 1994 law, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, to impose regulations on Internet companies.

The law requires phone and broadband network access providers like Verizon and Comcast to make sure they can immediately comply when presented with a court wiretapping order.

Law enforcement officials want the 1994 law to also cover Internet companies because people increasingly communicate online. An interagency task force of Obama administration officials is trying to develop legislation for the plan, and submit it to Congress early next year.

The Commerce Department and State Department have questioned whether it would inhibit innovation, as well as whether repressive regimes might harness the same capabilities to identify political dissidents, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

Under the proposal, firms would have to design systems to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. Services based overseas would have to route communications through a server on United States soil where they could be wiretapped.

A Google official declined to comment. Mr. Noyes said it would be premature for Facebook to take a position.

 

AIPAC dirty laundry aired as former staffer sues for defamation

Accusations of porn-viewing and nefarious activities abound as ex-employee sues after fired following espionage charges.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Jewish community has been scandalized by details of an increasingly dirty lawsuit, brought by a former AIPAC staffer who was dismissed after he was charged with attempting to spy for Israel.

Steven Rosen was sacked by the America Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2004 after he and fellow staffer Keith Weissman were charged with espionage and passing sensitive information to Israeli diplomats and journalists. The charges against the two, however, were dropped before the case reached a courtroom.

The FBI claimed that it had enough evidence for convictions, but all the charges were dropped nonetheless. The controversial case made headlines again in March 2009 after Rosen filed a civil suit in a Washington, D.C. court against his former employers for defamation.

In his suit, Rosen demanded damages of $21 million for comments by AIPAC officials, which Rosen claims they knew to be lies, while criminally disregarding the damage it would do to his reputation.

AIPAC submitted a detailed declaration in court at the beginning of November, requesting the dismissal of Rosen’s lawsuit. The document included transcripts of conversation between Rosen and his lawyer and other AIPAC senior officials, intending to prove that the organization had legitimate reasons to fire him.

The AIPAC declaration included recorded statements made by Rosen to a Washington Post reporter in which he says that he does not want to ‘run into trouble’ – a phrase that AIPAC claims proves that Rosen knew that he was doing something wrong.

Later in the conversation, Rosen expresses relief that the United States does not have a law on the books similar to the British law of ‘national secrets,’ according to which journalists can be tried for publishing classified information.

“The significance of this is that the plaintiff knew that the information he passed to the journalist was classified, otherwise there would be no need to mention the law,” the AIPAC deposition read. The organization spent $4.9 million on Rosen’s trial. The deposition mentioned that although the case never came to trial, Rosen was never exonerated.

A large part of the deposition relates to Rosen’s ‘inappropriate behavior,’ claiming that he experimented with sexual liaisons with other married men on Craig’s List and used his AIPAC office computer to surf pornographic websites.

The deposition also claimed that pornographic files were found on Rosen’s computer, a clear violation of AIPAC policy. Additionally, the deposition notes, criminal charges are not something that AIPAC expects from its employees.

For his part, Rosen sees himself as a victim and scapegoat that AIPAC knowingly put at risk with untrue accusations and by ignoring the facts. Rosen rejects AIPAC’s accusations that his actions should not be considered to be work done for the organization, claiming that they are considered to be normal behavior for the lobby.

In reponse to a request from haaretz, AIPAC issued the following statement:

“As is demonstrated in detail in the pleadings that AIPAC has filed, this is a frivolous lawsuit with no merit. AIPAC has made it clear during the course of this litigation that it disagrees with Mr. Rosen’s characterization of events relevant to the litigation.

“As the pleadings demonstrate, it is AIPAC’s position that Steve Rosen’s claims are wildly inaccurate, are undermined by Rosen’s own admissions under oath in his deposition, and constitute a blatant attempt to detract attention from the true and relevant facts. We have filed a motion for summary judgment in this case with the court and look forward to resolving these matters in that venue.”

At the time of publciation, Rosen had not replied to Haaretz’s request for comment.

Posted in UK1 Comment

NON-ACCOUNTABILITY & UN-DEMOCRACY

NOVANEWS

Non-Accountability and Un-Democracy

The two items below present what I see as telling, if limited and even evasive, probes into the extent and depth of Israel’s militarization, each revealing a different manifestation of it.

The first item (truncated in the English version which omitted the passages of personal testimony from soldiers and police, included in the Hebrew original) looks at the confusing, contradictory maze of authorities in charge of the checkpoints that monitor the passage of West Bank Palestinians into Israel . Chaim Levinson erroneously calls these Green Line checkpoints, despite the placement of some of them inside the West Bank, as part of Israel ‘s ongoing drive to re-draw the Green Line to its convenience.

These highly sensitive, loaded meeting points between Israeli authorities and the stateless, non-citizen Palestinians whom they control are, Levinso says, operated under an entangled-to-non-existent chain of accountability. He lays the blame with bureaucracy and extremely faulty administration. These “checkpoints are … run by no fewer than six different agencies, and no single body coordinates their work. … Adding to the confusion … two different bodies are responsible for each checkpoint: One is in charge of operating it, while the other is responsible for security.”

Some of the bodies in question are no longer state agencies but, rather, privatized “security” contractors. Following detailed research on such contractors (published 2009; see: http://unu.edu/unupress/2009/sexedpistols.html, Chapter 9) I hold these private “security” firms, relatively new players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to represent a new phase of militarization. Precisely because they serve to sow confusion and dilute transparency, they make a key contribution towards dissolving the state’s accountability for deploying organized violence. Even without them, though, “Haaretz found that none of … [the relevant state] organizations were certain who has overall responsibility for these checkpoints.” Put more bluntly, no one is certain who is responsible therefore no one is responsible.

While this may look like an exercise in logic, its practical implications have direct and horrific impacts on the thousands of lives and bodies being herded, literally, day by day, through these checkpoints. Rather than limiting or undermining the use of force wielded by the agencies in question, dissolved responsibility effectively gives them free or freer reign. Tangled bureaucracy, then, would seem to be a useful policy rather than “just” the result of inept administration.

Reign is indeed the key question arising from the second item. Whose is it? The “people’s” through our/their elected representatives? While journalist Ari Shavit insists that, “Even though Israel looks and acts like a banana republic, it is not a banana republic,” his item – in spite of itself – indicates the opposite; that militarization has already successfully destroyed the infrastructure of democracy in Israel .

More insinuation than information, more innuendo than fact, Shavit’s item sounds an apparently informed, “insider’s” opinion on what lays submerged under the iceberg-tip of a recent scandal concerning the appointment of Israel ‘s new Chief of Staff. By no means left-leaning, journalist Ari Shavit, writes that this scandal has revealed all of the following: “corruption was rampant in one of Israel’s most sensitive security establishments … some of the state’s most highly classified secrets were leaked in a reckless manner … The IDF’s arbitrary, tribal and unfair enforcement of moral norms has emptied them of content and deprived them of validity … Even when the chief of staff appeared before the General Staff at the moment of truth, he did not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

He is discussing internal Israeli and organizational affairs. If all this is true within the confines of “the tribe,” what kind of conclusions are implied regarding the army’s corruption, recklessness, arbitrary tribal morality and lies in its dealings with Palestinians.

The whole truth, Shavit claims, has not yet emerged, intimating that he himself is privy to it or to parts of it. His piece, however, pointedly avoids disclosing it, while characterizing it as terrible enough to entail a series of very serious questions once it comes to light. Questions about “the media’s zealous protection of those in power” (which possibly includes his own evasiveness in the present piece), about the “powerful military-media combine [that] gained control of the public discourse by blocking and deflecting information.” About the High Commissioner of the Police who, Shavit hints, may be implicated. About the Attorney General and the military advocate general.

Shavit, who has criticized dissent at least as often if not more so than he has censured state policies, is presenting a very serious claim. His item describes a clandestine structure of deference to an exclusive group of high-ranking (ex-)soldiers on the part of all of Israel ‘s key democratic institutions and the best part of its mainstream media. A military regime or reign in all but name, this hasn’t even required a military coup to be put in place. It has been fully normalized and legitimized by Israel ‘s continuous militarization.

Rela Mazali

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http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/paper-jam-bureaucracy-causes-checkpoint-chaos-1.324235

Published 12.11.10

 

Paper jam: Bureaucracy causes checkpoint chaos Confusion reigns as several agencies share responsibility for security arrangements.

By Chaim Levinson 

Though a Defense Ministry unit was set up five years ago to oversee checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank , these checkpoints are still run by no fewer than six different agencies, and no single body coordinates their work, Haaretz has found.

The agencies running the checkpoints include the Israel Defense Forces, the Defense Ministry’s Crossing Administration, the Border Police and the regular police. In addition, staff work is carried out by the Counterterrorism Bureau, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Crossing Administration and the IDF Central Command. Haaretz found that none of these organizations were certain who has overall responsibility for these checkpoints.

Unlike checkpoints within the West Bank, which are all operated by the military or the Border Police, checkpoints on the Green Line, which separates Israel from the West Bank, deal exclusively with Palestinians seeking to enter Israel . They are positioned at every crossing from the West Bank into Israel .

The Green Line checkpoints are under the purview of the defense minister: He, together with his staff, is the one determines their location, size and operating procedures, the number of people allowed through, and so on.

In addition to the minister, three other organizations have responsibilities in this area, but are not connected to each other. The first is COGAT, headed by Brig. Gen. Eitan Dangot, who answers directly to the minister. COGAT’s main component is the Civil Administration, which answers both to Dangot and to the GOC Central Command.

The second is the Crossing Administration, which is mainly an operational body, but can occasionally influence policy. The third is the Defense Ministry’s political-security department, which deals with issues affected by the checkpoints, such as the West Bank economy.

And alongside these agencies, which fall under the Defense Ministry, is the Counterterrorism Bureau, which is part of the Prime Minister’s Office.

In 2003, the state comptroller published a report urging the development of an overall strategy for checkpoint administration. But only in 2005, when the comptroller began working on a follow-up report, did the cabinet finally decide to set up the Crossing Administration. It also decided to replace the soldiers at these checkpoints with private security companies answerable to the Defense Ministry.

The administration was formally established in July 2005, just a month before the comptroller released his follow-up report. This report attributed the delay in dealing with the problem to disagreements among the relevant ministries.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that two different bodies are responsible for each checkpoint: One is in charge of operating it, while the other is responsible for security. At the Tarqumiya checkpoint, for example, the body responsible for security is the Defense Ministry, but the actual operator is a private security contractor. In Shuafat, the organization in charge of security is the Jerusalem police, but the operator is the Border Police.

A large number of new checkpoints were set up around the outskirts of Jerusalem following the cabinet’s decision to build the separation fence. All of these fall under the purview of the Jerusalem police, which set up a special administration to deal with them.

A visit to the checkpoints around Jerusalem revealed that each organization involved sends representatives to every checkpoint. Thus military policemen stand alongside civilian security guards, Border Police officers, representatives of the special police administration and COGAT staff. A checkpoint known as the Rachel Terminal is operated by the regular police, while the nearby Wallaja checkpoint, which is closed to Palestinians, is run by the Border Police.

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http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-military-media-combine-1.324264

•     Published 02:44 12.11.10

The military-media combine

Just as in the years before the Yom Kippur War, today’s chief of staff wields control over several communications outlets.

By Ari Shavit

Three in-depth investigative reports by three different media outlets over the past three days painted an identical picture of reality: Boaz Harpaz was a disreputable officer. According to these reports, he was suspected in the past of leaking highly sensitive classified material, of forgery, of obscuring his tracks, of corrupt use of special military means and of defrauding the Israel Defense Forces.

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi granted his protection to this shady character. Both as deputy chief of staff and as director general of the Defense Ministry, he intervened on Harpaz’s behalf and protected him. This led the army’s top brass to conclude that the two had a very strong, close relationship. It gave them the impression that it was dangerous to oppose Harpaz and best to get on his good side. Many thought this dubious officer had clout and influence in the chief of staff’s bureau.

Gidi Weitz (Haaretz ), Ronen Bergman (Yedioth Ahronoth ) and the Raviv Drucker-Ofer Shelah team (Channel 10 ) have now completed the jigsaw puzzle on which Ayala Hasson (Channel 1 ) worked courageously for months. And it is a worrisome picture.

It shows that corruption was rampant in one of Israel ‘s most sensitive security establishments. It shows that some of the state’s most highly classified secrets were leaked in a reckless manner. It shows that the IDF’s ethical standards have become selective ones. And it shows that the IDF was not always scrupulous about telling the truth.

Corruption: Personal considerations and vested interests have penetrated the IDF’s operational networks and defiled them. State secrets: An unprecedented problem of field security has developed at the heart of the national security establishment, one that could have strategic implications. Selective ethical standards: The IDF’s arbitrary, tribal and unfair enforcement of moral norms has emptied them of content and deprived them of validity. Telling the truth: Even when the chief of staff appeared before the General Staff at the moment of truth, he did not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

A drama took place behind the scenes of these investigative reports’ publication. Heavy pressure was exerted on at least one journalist to refrain from publishing the truth. And this pressure was effective: The whole truth was not published.

Once again, it has been proven that it is difficult, perhaps even dangerous, to cross the chief of staff. Just as in the years before the Yom Kippur War, today’s chief of staff wields control over several communications outlets. Just as in the year before the Second Lebanon War, the chief of staff has the power to create an image of the IDF that has no connection to reality.

At the week draws to a close, this armor-plated immunity has been cracked, but it remains strong. The general public does not yet know how deep the rot runs in Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi’s kingdom.

The truth will come to light. It is not possible to fool all the people all the time. Even though Israel looks and acts like a banana republic, it is not a banana republic. It will not bury a scandal that is many times more serious than the Shin Bet affair of the 1980s or the Lavon affair of the 1950s. It will not ignore an attempt by senior officers to undermine Israeli democracy.

But when the truth does come out, trenchant questions will be asked. How could it be that even after the disengagement from Gaza and the Second Lebanon War, the “etrog syndrome” – the media’s zealous protection of those in power – continued? How could it be that even during the age of transparency, it was possible to tell the public that black is white and white is black? How could it be that in the Israel of 2010, an extremely powerful military-media combine gained control of the public discourse by blocking and deflecting information?

Personal questions will likewise be asked. Where was the military advocate general, Avichai Mendelblit? Did the police under Commissioner David Cohen and head of the investigations department Yoav Segalovich show sufficient courage? Did Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein act with neither fear nor bias? Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak behave like leaders?

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is now faced with a tremendous mission. He must immediately obtain all the testimony and evidence police have gathered. He must separate the wheat from the chaff, the information from the disinformation. And when he has completed his work, he must present the public with the truth that has been hidden from it.

Only the light of day can heal the IDF of its affliction. Only the light of day can dismantle the military-media combine.

[Posted concurrently on Jewish Peace News , http://www.jewishpeacenews.net]

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on NON-ACCOUNTABILITY & UN-DEMOCRACY

NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

NOVANEWS

Nov 17, 2010i

F.B.I. Seeks Wider Wiretap Law for Web

(NYT) WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.

Mr. Mueller and the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions. How Mr. Mueller’s proposal was received was not clear.

“I can confirm that F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller is visiting Facebook during his trip to Silicon Valley,” said Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s public policy manager. Michael Kortan, an F.B.I. spokesman, acknowledged the meetings but did not elaborate.

Mr. Mueller wants to expand a 1994 law, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, to impose regulations on Internet companies.

The law requires phone and broadband network access providers like Verizon and Comcast to make sure they can immediately comply when presented with a court wiretapping order.

Law enforcement officials want the 1994 law to also cover Internet companies because people increasingly communicate online. An interagency task force of Obama administration officials is trying to develop legislation for the plan, and submit it to Congress early next year.

The Commerce Department and State Department have questioned whether it would inhibit innovation, as well as whether repressive regimes might harness the same capabilities to identify political dissidents, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

Under the proposal, firms would have to design systems to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. Services based overseas would have to route communications through a server on United States soil where they could be wiretapped.

A Google official declined to comment. Mr. Noyes said it would be premature for Facebook to take a position.

AIPAC dirty laundry aired as former staffer sues for defamation

Accusations of porn-viewing and nefarious activities abound as ex-employee sues after fired following espionage charges.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Jewish community has been scandalized by details of an increasingly dirty lawsuit, brought by a former AIPAC staffer who was dismissed after he was charged with attempting to spy for Israel.

Steven Rosen was sacked by the America Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2004 after he and fellow staffer Keith Weissman were charged with espionage and passing sensitive information to Israeli diplomats and journalists. The charges against the two, however, were dropped before the case reached a courtroom.

aipac - AP - March 27 2006 Logo of AIPAC (America – Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Photo by: AP

The FBI claimed that it had enough evidence for convictions, but all the charges were dropped nonetheless. The controversial case made headlines again in March 2009 after Rosen filed a civil suit in a Washington, D.C. court against his former employers for defamation.

In his suit, Rosen demanded damages of $21 million for comments by AIPAC officials, which Rosen claims they knew to be lies, while criminally disregarding the damage it would do to his reputation.

AIPAC submitted a detailed declaration in court at the beginning of November, requesting the dismissal of Rosen’s lawsuit. The document included transcripts of conversation between Rosen and his lawyer and other AIPAC senior officials, intending to prove that the organization had legitimate reasons to fire him.

The AIPAC declaration included recorded statements made by Rosen to a Washington Post reporter in which he says that he does not want to ‘run into trouble’ – a phrase that AIPAC claims proves that Rosen knew that he was doing something wrong.

Later in the conversation, Rosen expresses relief that the United States does not have a law on the books similar to the British law of ‘national secrets,’ according to which journalists can be tried for publishing classified information.

“The significance of this is that the plaintiff knew that the information he passed to the journalist was classified, otherwise there would be no need to mention the law,” the AIPAC deposition read. The organization spent $4.9 million on Rosen’s trial. The deposition mentioned that although the case never came to trial, Rosen was never exonerated.

A large part of the deposition relates to Rosen’s ‘inappropriate behavior,’ claiming that he experimented with sexual liaisons with other married men on Craig’s List and used his AIPAC office computer to surf pornographic websites.

The deposition also claimed that pornographic files were found on Rosen’s computer, a clear violation of AIPAC policy. Additionally, the deposition notes, criminal charges are not something that AIPAC expects from its employees.

For his part, Rosen sees himself as a victim and scapegoat that AIPAC knowingly put at risk with untrue accusations and by ignoring the facts. Rosen rejects AIPAC’s accusations that his actions should not be considered to be work done for the organization, claiming that they are considered to be normal behavior for the lobby.

In reponse to a request from haaretz, AIPAC issued the following statement:

“As is demonstrated in detail in the pleadings that AIPAC has filed, this is a frivolous lawsuit with no merit. AIPAC has made it clear during the course of this litigation that it disagrees with Mr. Rosen’s characterization of events relevant to the litigation.

“As the pleadings demonstrate, it is AIPAC’s position that Steve Rosen’s claims are wildly inaccurate, are undermined by Rosen’s own admissions under oath in his deposition, and constitute a blatant attempt to detract attention from the true and relevant facts. We have filed a motion for summary judgment in this case with the court and look forward to resolving these matters in that venue.”

At the time of publciation, Rosen had not replied to Haaretz’s request for comment.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

IN BOOK, BUSH DEFENDS USE OF WATERBOARDING

NOVANEWS

November 4, 2010

by Johnny Punish

Former President Says Torture Helped Thwart Attacks

by Steve Holland, Reuters 

WASHINGTON —  When then-President George W. Bush was asked to approve a tough interrogation technique known as waterboarding on September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he wasted little time in deciding.  “Damn right,” he said.

George W. Bush Book - Torture Buy DECISION POINTS at Amazon.com

Bush’s approval of waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning condemned by human rights activists as torture, to try to wrench information from captured al Qaeda operatives was among the most controversial decisions he made during eight years in the White House.

Memoir: Bush Considered Replacing VP Cheney

In his memoir, “Decision Points,” Bush strongly defends the use of waterboarding as critical to his efforts to prevent a repeat of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He says waterboarding was limited to three detainees and led to intelligence breakthroughs that thwarted attacks.

The book, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, is to hit bookstores on Tuesday. He writes that his ability to prevent another September 11 attack on U.S. soil was “my most meaningful accomplishment.”

Waterboarding, which human rights groups contend is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, was banned by Bush’s successor, President Barack Obama, shortly after taking office in 2009. Interrogators are now required to follow interrogation guidelines laid out in the U.S. Army Field Manual.

During Bush’s presidency, the United States came under international criticism for its treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan and foreign terrorism suspects held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Bush writes that waterboarding was first approved for Abu Zubaydah, an al Qaeda figure arrested in Pakistan in 2002 who was suspected of involvement in a plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport.

Putin to Bush: My dog is bigger than yours

When Abu Zubaydah stopped answering questions from the FBI, CIA Director George Tenet told Bush he thought the detainee had more information to offer.

Bush writes that CIA and Justice Department lawyers conducted a careful legal review and came up with an “enhanced interrogation program,” which he said complied with the U.S. Constitution and all applicable laws, including those that ban torture.

Bush writes that there were two techniques, which he does not describe, that he felt went too far even though they were legal and he ordered that they not be used. But he approved the use of waterboarding. 

‘No lasting harm’

Bush Lied: 100,000s dead, traumatized, wounded and tortured

“No doubt the procedure was tough, but medical experts assured the CIA that it did no lasting harm,” Bush writes.

He says the new methods proved “highly effective,” and Abu Zubaydah revealed large amounts of information about al Qaeda’s structure as well as the location of Ramzi bin al Shibh, who he called the logistical planner of September 11 attacks.

Abu Zubaydah later explained to interrogators why he began answering questions again, according to the book.

“His understanding of Islam was that he had to resist interrogation only up to a certain point. Waterboarding was the technique that allowed him to reach that threshold, fulfill his religious duty, and then cooperate,” Bush writes.

“You must do this for all the brothers,” Bush quotes Abu Zubaydah as saying.

Bush says Mohammed proved difficult to break, “but when he did, he gave us a lot.” He disclosed plans to attack American targets with anthrax and “directed us to three people involved in the al Qaeda biological weapons program,” among other breakthroughs, Bush writes.

In sum, Bush writes, the CIA interrogation program saved lives.

“Had we captured more al Qaeda operatives with significant intelligence value, I would have used the program for them as well,” he writes.

Original Story Posted at Reuters

 

Posted in LiteratureComments Off on IN BOOK, BUSH DEFENDS USE OF WATERBOARDING

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