Archive | November 12th, 2013

Demonizing Muslims: America’s Worldwide Witch Hunt

NOVANEWS
Global Research

The U.S. has launched a witch hunt “reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition” to “demonize” Muslims. “While President Obama may uphold freedom of religion, the U.S. inquisitorial social order has institutionalized patterns of discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia directed against Muslims,” writes Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Montreal.

“Ethnic profiling applies to travel, the job market, access to education and societal services and more generally to social status and mobility,” he writes in his latest book,Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (Global Research).

“What is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group. Muslims are… considered a potential threat to national security. The threat is said to be ‘much closer to home’, ‘within your neighborhood’. In other words what is unfolding is an all-out witch-hunt reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition,” Chossudovsky writes.

“The arrests, trials and sentences of so-called ‘homegrown terrorists’ (from within America’s Muslim community) on trumped up charges sustain the legitimacy of the Homeland Security State and its inquisitorial legal and law enforcement apparatus,” he asserts. Chossudovsky writes:

“The objective is to sustain the illusion that America is under attack and that Muslims across the land are complicit and supportive of ‘Islamic terrorism’. The demonization of Muslims sustains a global military agenda. Under the American Inquisition, Washington has a self-proclaimed holy mandate to extirpate Islam and ‘spread democracy’ throughout the world.”

Chossudovsky explains, “The ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT) requires going after the perceived terrorists using advanced weapons systems. It upholds a pre-emptive religious-like crusade against evil, which serves to obscure the real objectives of military action… Its ultimate objective, which is never mentioned in press reports, is territorial conquest and control over strategic resources.”

“Supported by the Western media, a generalized atmosphere of racism and xenophobia directed against Muslims has unfolded, particularly in the US and Western Europe, which provides a fake legitimacy to the U.S. war agenda,” Chossudovsky contends. “The latter is upheld as a ‘Just War’. The ‘Just War’ theory serves to camouflage the nature of US. war plans, while providing a human face to the invaders.”

Next Target: Iran

The objective of GWOT, Chossudovsky writes, “is to instill fear, rouse and harness citizens’ unbending support for the next stage of America’s ‘long war’, which consists in waging ‘humanitarian’ aerial attacks on the Islamic Republic of Iran, portrayed by the media as endorsing the terrorists… All terrorist attacks (planned or realized) are reported by the media as being perpetrated by Muslims.”

“Muslims are demonized, casually identified with ‘Islamic terrorists,’ who are also described as constituting a nuclear threat,”Chossudovsky writes. “In turn, the terrorists are (allegedly) supported by Iran, an Islamic Republic which threatens the ‘civilized world’ with deadly nuclear weapons (which it does not possess). In contrast, America’s ‘humanitarian’ nuclear weapons will be ‘accurate, safe and reliable.’”

“Beyond the process of inquisitorial arrests and prosecution, an expedient extrajudicial assassination program sanctioned by the White House has been launched. This program, which outshines the Spanish Inquisition, allows U.S. special forces to kill citizens and suspected homegrown terrorists,” he writes.

“Realities are twisted and turned upside down and Iran is being accused of wanting to start World War III. Inherent in U.S. military doctrine, the victims of war are often heralded as the aggressor.”

This global killing machine is sustained by “an embedded cult of killing and destruction which pervades Hollywood movies, not to mention the prime-time war and crime TV series on network television. This cult of killing is endorsed by the CIA and the Pentagon which also support (finance) Hollywood productions as an instrument of war propaganda,” Chossudovsky adds.

The Pentagon has unleashed a major propaganda and public relations campaign with a view to upholding the use of nuclear weapons for the ‘defense of the American homeland’,” Chossudovsky believes. He says it is “utterly twisted logic” that nuclear weapons are being presented as a means to building peace and preventing “collateral damage.”

“The Pentagon has intimated, in this regard, that the ‘mini-nukes’ (with a yield of less than 5,000 tons) are harmless to civilians because the explosions ‘take place under ground,’” he writes. Yet each of these ‘mini-nukes’, nonetheless, constitutes — in terms of explosion and potential radioactive fallout — between one-third and six times the force of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.”

Calling it “The American Inquisition,” he writes: “‘A war of religion’ is unfolding, with a view to justifying a global military crusade. In the inner consciousness of many Americans, the ‘holy crusade’ against Muslims in justified.”

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The Offshore Outsourcing of American Jobs: A Greater Threat Than Terrorism

NOVANEWS
Global Research

Is offshore outsourcing good or harmful for America? To convince Americans of outsourcing’s benefits, corporate outsourcers sponsor misleading one-sided “studies.”

Only a small handful of people have looked objectively at the issue. These few and the large number of Americans whose careers have been destroyed by outsourcing have a different view of outsourcing’s impact. But so far there has been no debate, just a shouting down of skeptics as “protectionists.”

Now comes an important new book, Outsourcing America, published by the American Management Association. The authors, two brothers, Ron and Anil Hira, are experts on the subject. One is a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the other is professor at Simon Fraser University.

The authors note that despite the enormity of the stakes for all Americans, a state of denial exists among policymakers and outsourcing’s corporate champions about the adverse effects on the US. The Hira brothers succeed in their task of interjecting harsh reality where delusion has ruled.

In what might be an underestimate, a University of California study concludes that 14 million white-collar jobs are vulnerable to being outsourced offshore. These are not only call-center operators, customer service and back-office jobs, but also information technology, accounting, architecture, advanced engineering design, news reporting, stock analysis, and medical and legal services. The authors note that these are the jobs of the American Dream, the jobs of upward mobility that generate the bulk of the tax revenues that fund our education, health, infrastructure, and social security systems.

The loss of these jobs “is fool’s gold for companies.” Corporate America’s short-term mentality, stemming from bonuses tied to quarterly results, is causing US companies to lose not only their best employees-their human capital-but also the consumers who buy their products. Employees displaced by foreigners and left unemployed or in lower paid work have a reduced presence in the consumer market. They provide fewer retirement savings for new investment.

Nothink economists assume that new, better jobs are on the way for displaced Americans, but no economists can identify these jobs. The authors point out that “the track record for the re-employment of displaced US workers is abysmal: “The Department of Labor reports that more than one in three workers who are displaced remains unemployed, and many of those who are lucky enough to find jobs take major pay cuts. Many former manufacturing workers who were displaced a decade ago because of manufacturing that went offshore took training courses and found jobs in the information technology sector. They are now facing the unenviable situation of having their second career disappear overseas.”

American economists are so inattentive to outsourcing’s perils that they fail to realize that the same incentive that leads to the outsourcing of one tradable good or service holds for all tradable goods and services. In the 21st century the US economy has only been able to create jobs in nontradable domestic services-the hallmark of a third world labor force.

Prior to the advent of offshore outsourcing, US employees were shielded against low wage foreign labor. Americans worked with more capital and better technology, and their higher productivity protected their higher wages.

Outsourcing forces Americans to “compete head-to-head with foreign workers” by “undermining US workers’ primary competitive advantage over foreign workers: their physical presence in the US” and “by providing those overseas workers with the same technologies.”

The result is a lose-lose situation for American employees, American businesses, and the American government. Outsourcing has brought about record unemployment in engineering fields and a major drop in university enrollments in technical and scientific disciplines. Even many of the remaining jobs are being filled by lower paid foreigners brought in on H-1b and L-1 visas. American employees are discharged after being forced to train their foreign replacements.

US corporations justify their offshore operations as essential to gain a foothold in emerging Asian markets. The Hira brothers believe this is self-delusion. “There is no evidence that they will be able to outcompete local Chinese and Indian companies, who are very rapidly assimilating the technology and know-how from the local US plants. In fact, studies show that Indian IT companies have been consistently outcompeting their US counterparts, even in US markets. Thus, it is time for CEOs to start thinking about whether they are fine with their own jobs being outsourced as well.”

The authors note that the national security implications of outsourcing “have been largely ignored.”

Outsourcing is rapidly eroding America’s superpower status. Beginning in 2002 the US began running trade deficits in advanced technology products with Asia, Mexico and Ireland. As these countries are not leaders in advanced technology, the deficits obviously stem from US offshore manufacturing. In effect, the US is giving away its technology, which is rapidly being captured, while US firms reduce themselves to a brand name with a sales force.

In an appendix, the authors provide a devastating expose of the three “studies” that have been used to silence doubts about offshore outsourcing-the Global Insight study (March 2004) for the Information Technology Association of America, the Catherine Mann study (December 2003) for the Institute for International Economics, and the McKinsey Global Institute study (August 2003).

The ITAA is a lobbying group for outsourcing. The ITAA spun the results of the study by releasing only the executive summary to reporters who agreed not to seek outside opinion prior to writing their stories.

Mann’s study is “an unreasonably optimistic forecast based on faulty logic and a poor understanding of technology and strategy.”

The McKinsey report “should be viewed as a self-interested lobbying document that presents an unrealistically optimistic estimate of the impact of offshore outsourcing and an undeveloped and politically unviable solution to the problems they identify.”

Outsourcing America is a powerful work. Only fools will continue clinging to the premise that outsourcing is good for America.

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I$raHelli forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS

  • 4 members of Palestinian armed groups were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
  • A Palestinian civilian was killed by Israeli forces in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin.
  • Israeli forces opened fire at open areas in the northern Gaza Strip; no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces have continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank.

–       6 Palestinian civilians were wounded.

–       Dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

  • Israeli forces conducted 50 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

–       At least 50 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, were arrested.

–       The detainees include a number of political leaders of Hamas.

  • Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

–       Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.

–       At least 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were arrested at checkpoints in the West Bank.

  • Israeli navy forces have continued targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

–       Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

  • Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

–       Israeli forces issued notices to demolish houses and civilian facilities in area (C)[1].

–       Israeli settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property.

–       340 olive trees were damaged by Israeli settlers in the north and south of the West Bank.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (31 October – 06 November 2013).

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 members of Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip and one civilian in the West Bank.   They also wounded 6 Palestinian civilians, during peaceful protests against the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, on 31 October 2013, Israeli forced killed 4 members of the Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) during an armed clash between the two sides, when Israeli forces moved into the area along the border with Israel between al-Qarara and Bani Suhaila villages, east of Khan Yunis.  Three of these members were killed inside a tunnel, a part of which was blown up over them.  The body of one of them was recovered on the following day, while the bodies of the other two members are still missing.

Also in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israeli opened fire at open areas in the northern Gaza Strip on 31 October and 04 November 2013.  No casualties were reported.

On 04 November 2013, Israeli gunboats stationed in Gaza sea opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the northern Gaza Strip.  No casualties or damage were reported.

In the West Bank, on 31 October 2013, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin.  Israeli forces had moved into the village to arrests a number of Palestinian civilians.  While they were leaving the village, a number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles.  Israeli forces opened fire at these young men killing one of them.

During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded.

The full report is available online at:

http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9884:weekly-report-on-israeli-human-rights-violations-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory-31-oct-06-nov-2013-&catid=84:weekly-2009&Itemid=183

 

 

 

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New Mischief about Pak ‘Nukes’

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

US-led some western countries including India and Israel have accelerated their deliberate

campaign against the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. It can be judged by the new

mischief of the BBC about Pak nukes.

In this regard, in its programme Newsnight, BBC reported on November 7, this year, “Saudi

Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic

bombs at will…it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more

quickly than the Islamic republic,” of Iran.

While quoting various anti-Pakistan sources, BBC elaborated, “A senior NATO decision maker

told BBC Newsnight that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in

Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery. Amos Yadlin, a former

head of Israeli military intelligence, told a press conference that if Iran got the bomb, the Saudis

will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what

On the same day, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman rejected BBC’s report as baseless

and mischievous, saying, “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state, with robust command and

control structure and comprehensive export controls.” He added that its “nuclear programme

is purely for its own legitimate self-defence and maintenance of a credible, minimum

deterrence…Pakistan supports objectives of non-proliferation as well as nuclear safety and

It is notable that on September 3, 2013, The Washington Post, while quoting American former

intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, published a 178-page summary of the US intelligence

community’s “black budget”, which disclosed that the US has ramped up its surveillance of

Pakistan’s nuclear arms. The Post allegedly elaborated, “US intelligence agencies are focused

on the possibility that Pakistan’s nuclear facilities might come under attack by Islamist militants,

Pakistan has dozens of production and storage sites scattered across the country and the

budget documents indicate that US intelligence agencies suspect that Pakistan is adding to that

stockpile. Little is known about how it moves materials among its facilities, an area of potential

vulnerability. Concerns persist that extremists could seize components of the stockpile or trigger

a war with neighbouring India.”

Again, Foreign Office spokesman of Pakistan on September 3 rejected the story published

in The Washington Post as baseless and stated that as a nuclear state, Pakistan’s policy was

characterized by restraint and responsibility.

In fact, overtly, US high officials state that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they

continue to destabilize this lonely ‘nuclearised’ country in the Islamic World through multi-
faceted subversive activities of the American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. With

the assistance of these secret agencies, Indo-Israeli lobbies which are working in Europe and

especially, penetrated in the US administration including their media manipulate any major terror

event in Pakistan in order to show to the international community that this country’s atomic

weapons are not safe as militants can possess them.

It is of particular attention that in 2009 when the heavily-armed Taliban entered Swat, Dir, Buner

and other adjoining areas, US high officials and their media had exaggerated the ‘Talibinisation’

of whole Pakistan, while showing concerns about Pakistan’s atomic arms. In that context, on

April 22, 2009, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that Taliban “advances

pose “an existential threat” to Pakistan, while on April 23, she had warned that Pakistan’s

nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. But when Pakistan’s armed forces ejected

the Taliban insurgents out of Swat, Dir and Buner by breaking their backbone, then American

top officials had admired the capabilities of Pak Army.

When insurgents had attacked on Pakistan’s Naval Airbase in Karachi on May 23, 2011, US-led

some western countries including India and Israel exploited the situation through disinformation

about the security of Pak nukes. Particularly, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony misperceived

that India was concerned about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal after a group of terrorists

laid siege to a heavily guarded naval air base.” He explained, “Naturally it is a concern not only

Similarly, terrorists’ assault on Kamra Base was successfully foiled by the personnel of Pakistan

Air Force, but, a baseless report, published in the New York Times on the same day indicated

that suspected militants attacked a major Pakistani Air Force base where some of the country’s

nuclear weapons were considered to be stored in the early hours of the militants’ attack. The

report also presumed, “The base is part of Pakistan s nuclear stockpile, estimated to include at

The ex-US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also stated on the same day, “There is a danger of

nuclear weapons of Pakistan, falling into hands of terrorists.”

It is noteworthy that while taking cognizance of the anti-Pakistan developments, Iran’s

former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad disclosed on June 7, 2011 that there was “accurate

information…Americans are to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear facilities to find dominance over the

country.” While also indicating Zionist regime behind the conspiracy, he revealed that for this

purpose, the US can also use “the United Nations Security Council and some other international

organisations as tools to exercise pressure on Pakistan and weaken its national integrity.”

Notably, US and other hostile countries which feel jealousy in relation to Pakistan’s atomic

assets should better have concerns about India’s nuclear weapons which are quite insecure.

Indian past record proves various kinds of security lapses regarding various nuclear plants and

the related sensitive materials. In this context, events of nuclear theft, smuggling and killing have

become a regular feature of Indian atomic plants which still continue in one or the other way.

In July 1998, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seized eight Kg. of nuclear material

from three engineers in Chennai, which was stolen from an atomic research center.

On November 7, 2000, International Atomic Agency (IAEA) disclosed that Indian police had

seized 57 pounds of uranium and arrested two men for illicit trafficking of radioactive material.

IAEA had revealed that Indian civil nuclear facilities were vulnerable to thefts.

On January 26, 2003, CNN pointed out that Indian company, NEC Engineers Private Ltd.

shipped 10 consignments to Iraq, containing highly sensitive equipments entailing titanium

vessels and centrifugal pumps.

In February 2004, India’s Ambassador to Libya, Dinkar Srivastava revealed that New Delhi

was investigating that retired Indian scientists could possibly be engaged in “high technology

programs” for financial gains during employment in the Libyan government.

In December 2005, US imposed sanctions on two Indian firms for selling missile goods and

chemical arms material to Iran in violation of India’s commitment to prevent proliferation.

In the same year, Indian scientists, Dr. Surendar and Y. S. R Prasad had been blacklisted by

Washington due to their involvement in nuclear theft.

In December 2006, a container packed with radioactive material had been stolen from an Indian

fortified research atomic facility near Mumbai.

In June 2009, India’s nuclear scientist, Lokanathan Mahalingam missed from the scenario and

after a couple of days; his dead body was recovered from the Kali River. Indian police concocted

a story that Mahalingam had committed suicide by jumping into the river. It is a big joke to hide

some real facts behind his death because wisdom proves that if an educated person decides to

commit suicide, he will definitely adopt a soft way to eliminate his life. Afterwards, Dr. Haleema

Saadia said that death of the scientist was a conspiracy.

It is regrettable that by setting aside the Indian irresponsible record of proliferation, while

showing double standard, the US signed defence agreement with India on July 20, 2009 as part

of the deal about civil nuclear technology, agreed upon by the two countries in 2008.

Surprisingly, despite the repeated assurances of Pakistan’s military and civil leadership that Pak

nukes are well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having well-coordinated

command and control system, a deliberate propaganda campaign against the safety of these

armaments keeps on going by the Europe, particularly US and India. In this respect, the new

mischief of the BBC about Pak nukes is also part of the same scheme.

Nevertheless, Pakistan’s civil-military leadership must be well-prepared to cope with any drastic

situation due to the real intentions of the US-led foreign enemies, while our media must counter

the external propaganda in this regard.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

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PCHR Calls for Investigation into Death Palestinian Prisoner in I$raHelli Hospital

NOVANEWS

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for an immediate and independent investigation into the circumstances of the death of a Palestinian prisoner, Hassan al-Turabi, in Affoula Hospital inside Israel on Tuesday, 05 November 2013. PCHR is deeply concerned that the Israeli authorities may have delayed offering Abu Hamdiya timely and adequate medical treatment for his condition. Furthermore, PCHR further condemns Israel’s ignorance of repeated calls to release al-Turabi who was suffering from leukaemia.

Hassan ‘Abdul Halim ‘Abdul Qader al-Turabi, 23, from Surra village near Nablus, died on Tuesday morning, 05 November 2013, in Affoula Hospital inside Israel where he was receiving medical treatment for leukaemia.

Israeli forces arrested al-Turabi from his house in Surra village on 07 January 2013 although they knew that he was suffering from leukaemia.  The Israeli military prosecutor accused al-Turabi of being a member of Islamic Jihad and joining and one of its armed cells.  His health condition deteriorated 3 weeks ago in Mageddo Prison inside Israel as a result of a burst of blood vessels and severe blood vomiting, so he was evacuated to ‘Affoula Hospital.  He was admitted into the intensive care unit, where it was found that he was suffering from 3 clots in the neck, the chest and the abdomen.  Two days later, Israeli forces cancelled the order of his detention, but he was kept in the hospital because his condition was critical.

Al-Turabi’s death highlights the deterioration of detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including repressive measures against them, medical negligence they are subject to and the failure to provide necessary medical treatment to hundreds of patients, especially those who suffer from serious diseases.

With al-Turabi’s death, the number of Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli jails in 2013 has risen to 3.  On 02 April 2013, Maisara Abu Hamdiya, 64, from Hebron, died in Soroka Military Hospital in Israel, where he was receiving medical treatment for throat cancer; and on 23 February 2013, Arafat Jaradat, 30, from Hebron, died as a result of torture methods he was subjected to during interrogation in Mageddo Prison inside Israel.

PCHR holds Israeli authorities fully responsible for al-Turabi’s death, and:

1.     Calls for an immediate and independent investigation into al-Turabi’s death;

2.     Calls upon the international community to compel Israel to respect international law and humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and

3.     Expresses concern regarding the deterioration of health conditions of hundreds of Palestinians who are currently detained in Israeli prisons and detention centres due to medical negligence, and calls for immediately transferring prisoners who suffer from serious diseased to hospital in order to receive adequate medical treatment.

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Nazi Forces Use Excessive Force Killing 2 Palestinian Civilians at Military Checkpoint in the West Bank

NOVANEWS

 

In an excessive use of force, on Thursday evening, 07 November 2013, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, and the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, in the West Bank.  

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 18:00 on Thursday, 07 November 2013, Basheer Sami Salem Habnain, 29, from Marka village south of Jenin, was traveling in a taxi from Ramallah to Nablus.  When he became 20 meters far from Za’tara intersection, south of Nablus, he stepped down from the taxi and crossed the main road towards the other side.  He was carrying a box of fireworks, from which flares were unleashed.  Soon, an Israeli soldier descended from a military observation tower and fired directly at Habnain, killing him with 7 bullets to the legs and thighs and an 8th one which entered the back and exited the chest.  Israeli forces kept the victim’s body until 03:00 on Friday, 08 November 2013, when they handed the body to the Palestinian liaison department.  The victim was a lecturer at the fashion department in Palestine Technical University (Kadoorie) in Tulkarm.

Israeli forces claimed that “Habnain was carrying a flare gun, from which he fired at soldiers, so the soldiers responded by firing at him, and he was instantly killed.”  A video clip published on Youtube shows an Israeli soldiers descending from an Israeli military observation tower to the southeast of Za’tara checkpoint, and then firing at the area to the southwest of the checkpoint.  Another 2 soldiers are seen in the video clip coming from the checkpoint.  Even according to the Israeli narrative, Israeli forces could have used less lethal means against the victims, such as arresting him.

In a similar crime, at approximately 21:30, Isma’il Fu’ad Refa’ei al-Atrash, 25, and his brother Anas, 23, arrived at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, traveling from Jericho to their home in Hebron.  They were traveling in a civilian car driven by Isma’il.  When they arrived the checkpoint, Isma’il slowed down to cross road bumps.  Anas opened the door, and once he stepped down, Israeli soldiers shot him dead with 2 bullets to the chest.  Israeli soldiers took Anas’ body and put it in a plastic sac near the checkpoint.  Residents of the area and a number of members of the victim’s family arrived at the checkpoint and skirmishes erupted between them and Israeli soldiers.  Later, the family received Anas’ body.  Israeli forces claimed that “the young man attempted to stab a soldier, so the latter fired at him directly, killing him.”  PCHR’s field worker in Hebron reported that he was not able to obtain a statement from the victim’s brother who was accompanying him during the attack, because the brother is suffering from a shock.  PCHR will continue to investigate this crime.

PCHR is deeply concerned over these crimes, which further prove the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

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Psychological Warfare against Pakistan

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

The US drone strikes which killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the Chief of the Tahreek-e-Taliban

Pakistan (TTP) on November 1, this year, cannot be seen in isolation because it is ingredient of

continued subversive activities, especially taking palace in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Balochistan

and Karachi arranged by the foreign powers against Pakistan. As part of psychological warfare,

these terrorist acts coincide with malicious propaganda against Pakistan and its security agencies.

Different war between our country’s sovereign and no-sovereign entities has also added a new

However, the US, India and Israel are in collusion to weaken Pakistan because it is the only

nuclear country in the Islamic World. Based in Afghanistan, these countries’ secret agencies

CIA, RAW and Mossad have been supporting subversive attacks in various cities of the country

through their affiliated militant groups in order to fulfill collective secret strategic designs

against Pakistan. While backing similar acts of sabotage in the province of Balochistan, these

agencies have also been assisting Baloch separatist elements.

While, leaders of the ruling and opposition parties including prominent figures and Unlmas

(Religious scholars) termed drone attacks which targeted Hakimullah Mehsud as a conspiracy to

sabotage the expected peace dialogue with the militants. In this regard, Prime Minister Nawaz

Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad Khan recently decided to begin

negotiations with all the Taliban groups, particularly TTP so as to restore peace in the country, as

decided in the All Parties Conference (APC) in September, 2013.

But, all this optimism received a blow on November 7 when TTP appointed Maulana Fazlullah

as their new chief who dismissed proposed peace talks with the government as a “waste of

time”, and vowed to target the chief of army staff and corps commanders. During Swat and

Malakand military operations, Fazlullah fled Swat and took shelter in Afghanistan. Having close

connections with Pakistan-based TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud, and hiding in the Afghan

region of Kunar and Nuristan, in the recent years, his insurgents accelerated subversive activities

in Pakistan—and he was sending suicide bombers and heavily-equipped militants in the country.

Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest with their counterparts in

Afghanistan, but no action was taken against these terrorists-led by Maulana Fazlullah who has

been playing a double game with Pakistan because he is supported by Indian RAW and Afghan

spy service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) which also have tactical backing of the

US. These entities have been conducting target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, beheadings,

assaults on civil and military personnel, installations and forced abductions including ethnic and

In this regard, the capture of a senior TTP leader Latifullah Mehsud by US Special Forces (USF)

from Afghan custody, confessed that Afghanistan and India were involved in promoting terrorist

activities inside Pakistan. He also revealed that while waging proxy wars in Pakistan, terrorist

attacks on Gen. Sanaullah Khan Niazi in Upper Dir, at Peshawar Church, in Qissa Khawani

Bazar and elsewhere had been planned by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies.

Notably, Pakistan’s top civil and military officials, and former Interior Minister Rehman Malik

have repeatedly disclosed that training camps are presence in Afghanistan, and supply of arms

and ammunition to the Baloch separatists and Pakistani Taliban keeps on going by the external

elements as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan.

At this critical hour, Pakistan is passing through multi-faceted crises of grave nature, but as part

of psychological warfare, external entities like the US-led India and Afghanistan are operating

without restraint to damage the core fiber of national edifice of Pakistan by creating political

instability, economic problems, social strife, poor governance, menace of terrorism and scourge

of corruption which are further encouraging the enemies of the country. Intelligence agencies

belonging to foreign hostile forces, especially India are working against the national interests of

our country, while their propaganda machines and media openly use malicious expressions to

call Pakistan, a country allegedly sponsoring terrorism. They also feel no hesitation when they

covertly propagate against vital institutions of Pakistan including Pak Army, intelligence and

other law-enforcing agencies. These hostile elements also misperceive that Pakistan’s nuclear

It is mentionable that recently, tension arose between New Delhi and Islamabad when Indian

military conducted a series of unprovoked firings at the Line of Control (LoC), and international

border, killing a number of soldiers of Pak Army and innocent civilians in wake of war-
mongering diplomacy which still continues. In this context, Indian military high command failed

in producing dead bodies of alleged terrorists who had crossed the LoC from Pakistan to Indian-
occupied Kashmir. The ground realities proved that it was just propaganda against Inter-Services

Intelligence (ISI), and Pak Army, as indicated by the Indian media, statements of Congress Vice-
president Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the Hindu fundamentalist party, BJP.

Quite contrarily, former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed that special

intelligence unit like Technical Services Division were raised by India to operate inside Pakistan,

particularly in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir to conduct terrorism and to bribe the politicians in

the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

It is regrettable that New Delhi is offensive in its posture, while Islamabad has gone apologetic

and defensive in its approach to deal with the foreign blame game. So, our leaders, media

analysts and intellectuals must counter external propaganda by proving that Pakistan is not

a terrorism-sponsored state, while external elements are encouraging, financing and fostering

terrorism in Pakistan. They must indicate that their country denounce terrorism in all its forms

and also condemn foreign-illegitimate involvement in Pakistan. These internal entities must also

play positive role in image-building of Pakistan.

At this crucial juncture, instead of entangling in controversial debate regarding various issues

like closure of NATO supply and drone attacks which need solution through selfless unity, our

internal elements must cope with the propaganda campaign of foreign countries, particularly

India which are acting upon every tactic of psychological warfare against Pakistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Psychological Warfare against Pakistan

Messing with Our Minds: Psychiatric Drugs, Cyberspace and “Digital Indoctrination”

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Brain-altering drugs and digital “indoctrination” pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself.

At least 10 percent of all Americans over six-years-old are on antidepressants. That’s more than 35 million people, double the number from less than two decades ago. Anti-psychotics have meanwhile eclipsed cholesterol treatments as the country’s fastest selling and most profitable drugs, even though half the prescriptions treat disorders for which they haven’t been proven effective. At least 5 million children and adolescents use them, in part because more kids are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

This raises some troubling issues: Are a growing number of people experiencing psychological troubles? Have we just become better at recognizing them? Or is some other dynamic at work?

One possibility is that the criteria for what constitutes a mental illness or disability may have expanded to the point that a vast number appear to have clinical problems. But there’s an even more insidious development: the drugs being used to treat many of the new diagnoses could cause long-term effects that persist after the original trouble has been resolved. That’s the case made by Robert Whitaker in his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.

Speaking of long-term impacts on the brain, we’re also heading toward a world where humans are directly linked with computers that profoundly influence their perceptions and ideas. Despite many potential benefits, there is danger here as well. Rather than simply augmenting our memories by providing neutral information, the brain-computer connection may lead people into separate realities based on their assumptions and politics.

Brain-altering drugs and digital “indoctrination” – a potent combination. Together, they pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself. Seduced by the promise that our brains can be managed and enhanced without serious side-effects, we may be creating a future where psychological dysfunction becomes a post-modern plague and powerful forces use cyberspace to reshape “reality” in their private interest.

Do prescription drugs create new mental problems? And if so, how could it be happening? For Whitaker the answer lies in the effects of drugs on neurotransmitters, a process he calls negative feedback. When a drug blocks neurotransmitters or increases the level of serotonin, for instance, neurons initially attempt to counteract the effects. When the drug is used over a long period, however, it can produce “substantial and long-lasting alterations in neural function,” claims Steven Hyman, former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health. The brain begins to function differently. Its ability to compensate starts to fail and side effects created by the drug emerge.

What comes next? More drugs and, along with them, new side effects, an evolving chemical mixture often accompanied by a revised diagnosis. According to Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, it can go this way: use of an antidepressant leads to mania, which leads to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which leads to the prescription of mood stabilizers. Through such a process people can end up taking several drugs daily for many years.

What may happen after that is deeply troubling. Researcher Nancy Andreasen claims the brain begins to shrink, an effect she links directly to dosage and duration. “The prefrontal cortex doesn’t get the input it needs and is being shut down by drugs,” she explained in The New York Times. “That reduces the psychotic symptoms.” But the pre-frontal cortex gradually atrophies.

Anyone who has been on the psychiatric drug roller coaster understands some of the ride’s risks and how hard it can be to get off. But the new implication is that we may be experiencing a medically-induced outbreak of brain dysfunction caused by the exploding use of drugs. One big unanswered question at the moment: What does Big Pharma really know, and when did they learn it?

Drug companies are not the only ones experimenting with our brains. Bold research is also being pursued to create brain-computer interfaces that can help people overcome problems like memory loss. According to writer Michael Chorost, author of World Wide Mind and interface enthusiast who benefited from ear implants after going deaf, we may soon be directly connected to the Internet through neural implants. It sounds convenient and liberating. Ask yourself a question and, presto, there’s the answer. Google co-founder Larry Page can imagine a not-too-distant future in which you simply think about something and “your cell phone whispers the answer in your ear.”

Beyond the fact that this could become irritating, there’s an unspoken assumption that the information received is basically unbiased, like consulting an excellent encyclopedia or a great library catalog. This is where the trouble starts. As Sue Halperin noted in a New York Review of Books essay, “Mind Control and the Internet,” Search engines like Google use an algorithm to show us what’s important. But even without the manipulation of marketing companies and consultants who influence some listings, each search is increasingly shaped to fit the profile of the person asking. If you think that we both get the same results from the same inquiry, guess again.

What really happens is that you get results assembled just for you. Information is prioritized in a way that reinforces one’s previous choices, influenced by suggested assumptions and preferences. As Eli Pariser argues in The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, environmental activists and energy executives get very different listings when they inquire about climate science. It looks and feels “objective” but they’re being fed data that fits with their existing view – and probably not seeing much that conflicts.

A study discussed in Sociological Quarterly looked at this development by following attitudes about climate science over a decade. Here’s a strange but significant finding: Although a consensus emerged among most scientists over the years, the number of Republicans who accepted their conclusion dropped. Why? Because the Republicans were getting different information than the Democrats and others who embraced the basic premise. In other words, their viewpoint was being reflected back at them.

Does this sound dangerous? Pariser thinks so, and suggests that the type of reinforcement made common by search engines is leading to inadvertent self-indoctrination. For democracy to function effectively, people need exposure to various viewpoints, “but instead we’re more and more enclosed in our own bubbles,” he writes. Rather than agreeing on a set of shared facts we’re being led deeper into our different worlds.

Whether this is a problem depends somewhat on your expectations. For some people it is merely a bump in the road, a faltering step in the inevitable evolution of human consciousness. Techno-shamen and other cosmic optimists see the potential of drug-induced enlightenment and an Internet-assisted “hive mind,” and believe that the long-term outcome will be less violence, more trust, and a better world. But others have doubts, questioning whether we’ll really end up with technological liberation and a psychic leap forward. It could go quite differently, they worry. We could instead see millions of brain-addled casualties and even deeper social polarization.

How will current trends influence democracy and basic human relations? Increased trust and participation don’t immediately come to mind. Rather, the result could be more suspicion, denial and paranoia, as if we don’t have enough. In fact, even the recent upsurge in anger and resentment may be drug and Internet-assisted, creating fertile ground for opportunists and demagogues.

In False Alarm: The truth about the epidemic of fear, New York internist Marc Siegel noted that when the amygdala — the Brain’s central station for processing emotions – detects a threatening situation, it pours out stress hormones. If the stress persists too long, however, it can malfunction, overwhelm the hippocampus (center of the “thinking” brain), and be difficult to turn off. In the long term, this “fear biology” can wear people down, inducing paralysis or making them susceptible to diseases and delusions that they might otherwise resist. Addressing this problem with drugs that change the brain’s neural functioning isn’t apt to help. Either will the Internet’s tendency to provide information that reinforces whatever one already thinks.

More than half a century ago, Aldous Huxley – who knew a bit about drugs – issued a dire prediction. He didn’t see the Internet coming, but other than that his vision remains relevant. “There will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude,” he wrote in Brave New World, “and producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods.”

Pretty grim, but there’s no going back. Despite any dangers posed by computer algorithms and anti-psychotic drugs, they are with us for the foreseeable future. Still, what we have learned about them in recent years could help us to reduce the negatives. Not every illness listed in the DMS – that constantly growing, Big Pharma-influenced psychiatric bible – requires drug treatment. And the results of your online searches will very likely tell you what you want to know, but that does not mean you’re getting a “balanced” or comprehensive picture.

Posted in EducationComments Off on Messing with Our Minds: Psychiatric Drugs, Cyberspace and “Digital Indoctrination”

Media Censorship That Dare Not Speak Its Name: What is Radical Intellectual Activity?

NOVANEWS
Global Research

This is a revised set of remarks given at The Point is to Change It conference on November 1, 2013 at the University of San Francisco. The event was co-sponsored by Project Censored.

The panel on which I participated was organized by Project Censored Director Mickey Huff to address the contrast between the radical journalistic activity practiced by Project Censored and the decade-old US media reform movement that has sought to initiate broader policy changes at the federal level. In previous years PC has been excluded from media reform events, likely because of its research and criticism of foundation-funded progressive-left media and the censorial practices they impose on themselves and their peers.

The feedback from conference-goers to the panel’s observations was predictable. For example, “9/11 Truth has no facts. Look at how it relies on Alex Jones and Loose Change. Let’s move on.” [Read: I shall not be identified with amateurs and fanatics. Or, Why risk being perceived as politically incorrect.] And, “It is impossible to be radical without a vigorous critique of capitalism.” [Read: Extreme historical myopia is sometimes practical and necessary. Or, 9/11 is a career-ender.]

I appreciate Project Censored’s invitation to participate in the event and its continued endeavors to spread the word on the fundamental relationship between mass media and the broader political economy.

What does it mean to be radical? What is radical intellectual activity? It involves identifying, examining, and publicizing the root causes of major problems in the body politic that hinder the full realization of each individual’s human capacities.

What are the possible areas where such inquiry may take shape? The “News Clusters” that Project Censored has been using in its recent yearbooks provide a rough outline: the economy, war, health and the environment, the viability of the commons (as evidenced by Iceland), and civil liberties and freedom of expression, because without the ability to be able to express ourselves we cannot demonstrate our freedom and contest wrongdoing.

Around the time I was born Noam Chomsky wrote “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” suggesting that radical intellectual activity along these lines is necessary if we are to survive as a species. “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak truth and expose lies,” Chomsky asserted.[1]

Aside from Chomsky’s abandonment of this principal in terms of questioning deep events, the mid-to-late 1960s was a far different world from the one we inhabit today. In contrast to the 1960s, there is now a fast-emerging police state, the loss of Constitutional protections, a “war on terror” we are told will be without end, and huge economic disparities. And so any such responsibility is much greater than it was then because the stakes are much higher.

Scholars with institutional backing have some security from which to operate along these lines. Apart from the support afforded through an academic position, the greatest hindrance to carrying out radical intellectual activity involves the question of money and resources.

With this in mind there is a tendency for progressive-left media to inordinately rely on funding from tax-free foundations, with attendant consequences for their output. This is no better illustrated than in John Pilger’s first-hand account in Project Censored’s most recent volume.

In 2011 Pilger’s The War You Don’t See became “the film you don’t see” courtesy of the Lannan Foundation pulling the rug out from underneath Pilger as he was about to embark on a US tour promoting the work.

What is at least as disheartening here is how many figures that once stood by Pilger and his work, such as Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges, turned their backs on him as he sought to better understand Lannan’s abrupt and inexplicable change of heart.[2]

Indeed, this instance illustrates the problems central to media that claim to be “radical” today: the immense power of such foundations is more than capable of exerting a stealth form of censorship and conformity that is close to impossible to accurately detect and gauge.

Further, the financial wherewithal of liberal foundations–Ford, Carnegie, Gates, OSI –far exceeds that of their conservative counterparts–Bradley, Olin, Scaife, Koch. What does that mean for the integrity of our information and opinion environments?

With these things in mind I waned to read a few observations made by Global Research editor and University of Ottawa Professor of Economics Michel Chossudovsky, who was unable to be on the panel this morning. His remarks are significant particularly in terms of charting the independent nature and trajectory of radical media today. Once you start receiving money from tax-free foundations,” Chossudovsky notes in a GRT interview,

you lose your independence. We see it on the internet now. There are a number of internet [news] sites which look a little bit like the New York Times—the online version. They’re still doing good work but they’re becoming a little bit more politically correct.

So there’s a mainstream alternative media and then there’s an alternative media which I think is independent. There are not many, and that is the disturbing feature; many of the alternative media sites now are becoming corporatized. We want to avoid that. That’s they’re decision, but we have taken the decision that we do not seek any foundation funding which limits us from a budget point of view. It means that we [function] on a much more modest scale but we manage to be just as effective by doing that and we have the advantage of not being constrained to a particular perspective.[3]

How exactly does this dynamic play out in practical terms? Again, it is difficult to measure. Yet the FBI whistleblower Sibol Edmonds provides a clue. Edmonds notes how she received special guidance from foundation gatekeepers after she accepted money from a mainstream foundation as she was assembling a body of like-minded government insiders and whistleblowers.

Very quickly I realized that this money—these carrots they were dangling before our nose[s]—came with a bunch of string attachments. Because as I was talking with these people form these foundations I was adding more whistleblowers.

And in one case one [individual] from Clinton’s previous administration joined the coalition who had blown the whistle on Al Gore and some narcotics-related case with the Drug Enforcement Agency. When I added this particular whistleblower—and he’s still there on our list—these foundation people came and they said, “Why are you adding the Clinton administration whistleblower? Right now we are focused on [the] Bush administration. This is [a] distraction. And you should just limit [things] all this current wrongdoing and don’t get in to all the Clinton stuff. Basically this is just one example of many examples.[4]

How perhaps does this dynamic play out at a more macro level? Two areas where there has not been enough serious intellectual activity and rigor of late is climate change and the crimes of 9/11, and it is truly amazing how so frequently the former is embraced by the left while the latter is dismissed–equally out of hand.

Think about it. The annual amount of foundation funding going toward publicizing forms of environmentalism is gargantuan.[5] There is, after all, a lot at stake: A new derivatives market, and setting up the “smart grid,” both of which lay the groundwork for heightened government surveillance and eventually enforced austerity.

Is there any money devoted to a 9/11 truth commission or the equivalent? None. Is it discussed? Nope. How’d it happen? Blowback. Why is there a “war on terror” at home and abroad? They’re protecting us from Al Qaeda.

9/11 is a root cause of a vast number of major problems in the body politic–war, the police state, the illicit drug trade, and on and on. At present, almost all roads lead back to it. What progressive outlets are discussing it? Global Research and Project Censored. How much foundation funding do they get? Practically none. Coincidence?

More than ever, the responsibility of intellectuals remains “speaking truth and exposing lies.” Yet as the foregoing suggests, in the post-9/11 era particularly, the radical intellectual quest for “truth” itself has now become a commodity capable of being bought, sold and thus censored by some of the most wealthy entities on the planet. These murky forces do not just find the examination of topics like 9/11 unseemly; they also share an active interest in keeping them perpetually unexamined and suppressed.

Notes

[1] Noam Chomsky, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” New York Review of Books, February 23, 1967.

[2] John Pilger, “Censorship That Dares Not Speak Its Name: The Strange Silencing of Liberal America,” in Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth with Project Censored (editors), Censored 2014: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2012-2013, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2013, 287-296. See also “The War You Don’t See Pilger Film Banned By Lannan Foundation,” Information Clearing House, June 10, 2011.

[3] Devon DB, “Michel Chossudovsky on the Creation of Global Research,” GRTV, June 19, 2012.

[4] James Corbett, “The War on Whistleblowers: Sibol Edmonds on GRTV,” GRTV, October 11, 2011.

[5] James F. Tracy, “The Forces Behind Carbon-Centric Environmentalism,” MemoryHoleBlog, July 12, 2013.

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You’ve Met Edward Snowden, Now Meet Jeffrey Silverman

NOVANEWS
By Janet C. Phelan

When Edward Snowden met with Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald to turn over documents revealing the extent of the NSA spying program, he did more than provide an education to the entire world concerning the reach of the American Empire.

BERLIN, GERMANY - Hans-Christian Stroebele, member of the German Greens Party and the Bundestag, holds up a letter from Edward Snowden, former contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA), that Snowden gave him the day before in Moscow as Stroebele arrives at a press conference on November 1, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Stroebele said he has passed on the letter, which contains information relevant to the charges of eavesdropping by the NSA on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other members of the German government, to the offices of the German Chancellery, Bundestag and State Prosecutor. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY – Hans-Christian Stroebele, member of the German Greens Party and the Bundestag, holds up a letter from Edward Snowden, former contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA), that Snowden gave him the day before in Moscow as Stroebele arrives at a press conference on November 1, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Stroebele said he has passed on the letter, which contains information relevant to the charges of eavesdropping by the NSA on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other members of the German government, to the offices of the German Chancellery, Bundestag and State Prosecutor. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(INTELLIHUB) — He also very likely protected himself from far-flung and illegal machinations to silence him. Safely ensconced in Russia, Snowden is now reportedly working for a Russian website. His revelations continue to impact the public persona of the US, worldwide.

Other whistleblowers and journalists have not been so fortunate.

Enter Jeffrey Silverman…

Silverman, who was born in Washington DC and served in the U.S. Army prior to receiving an MS in Agricultural Development/International Development, had been living in the Republic of Georgia since 1991. He has done in-depth investigative reporting on chemical and biological weapons, the alleged murder of the former Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and on black torture sites in the former Soviet Union.

Silverman, who also writes under the name Joni Simonishvili, had been working on articles concerning covert U.S. support for the Chechen rebels when he made a trip back to the US in 2004 to visit family. To his amazement, he was charged with failure to pay child support in Kentucky. Silverman states that he had been paying support for years without a court order. After a Kentucky judge ordered his passport seized and turned over to authorities due to the alleged non-payment of support, a Virginia judge subsequently reversed the order and gave Silverman back his travel documents.

Silverman had flown back to Georgia and was on a working trip to Azerbaijan to submit an article in Baku when he was picked up on orders of the US Embassy, beaten badly and his passport again seized. The U.S. Embassy then issued a document to Silverman stating that he is an alien. He was offered a trip back to the US under alien status but instead of accepting a tainted offer, Silverman jumped the border from Azerbaijan into Georgia.

There are strict laws governing the revocation of an individual’s citizenship. An U.S. native-born citizen cannot have his citizenship revoked unless he commits an expatriation act, such as serving in an army at war against the US. No such terms, however, apply to Jeffrey Silverman.

The FBI subsequently paid a visit to Silverman’s son’s mother, Donna Evans. She wrote:

I had two FBI agents visit me at my job in Kentucky. One was Detective Greg Wolf and the other was Mr. Steve Auvenshine. They came to my work site and told me they were investigating you but wouldn’t tell me why. They asked numerous questions about you and what you did for a living. “They showed me a picture of you and asked if it was you. They asked me questions about how we met, where you have lived, where you were born, who your parents were and what did they do for a living, whether they were still alive or not, what countries you had visited, what languages you spoke, how long you had visited each country, what religion you practiced and if you had ever been in the military. I asked them why they were asking so many questions about you but they would not say. I think they already knew all the answers to all the questions they asked me; I think they just wanted to see if I would verify what they knew. They also wanted me to send all the e-mails that you had sent me to them. Bourbon County [the local authority] said that they were already sending all the e-mails they receive from you to the US State Department.

The State Department declined to comment on Silverman’s citizenship, as did DHS and the DOJ.

Following the beating in 2004, Silverman was again detained in 2005. According to Silverman, “The police kidnapped me off the street in the middle of the day and took me to the Georgian Office of Counterintelligence and beat me….Embassy staff were waiting in the other room and when done, they came and asked if I needed any help in returning to the US. It so happens that the agent involved, Bryan Paarmann, is the same agent involved in the alleged murder cover up of the Georgian PM, Zurab Zhvania.

Someone else who was impacted by the mounting concerns about the nature of Jeffrey Silverman’s journalism was Silverman’s friend, Vahktang Maisaia, who served as counselor at the Georgian mission in NATO in 2004-2008. Maisaia writes of events that took place in May of 2009:

I was tortured and subjected to mock execution at the building two days later. I was accused in having relations initially with NATO special services, Slovak Republic military intelligence service and later on they extended the link with “Russian Federation Intelligence Service” (I quoted word-by-word the name of the Russian service – why because the service with such name does not exist at all even in accordance to the Russian Federation laws). It is long to history how well my case has been rigged but regarding Jeffrey I had to confess that in one of the night illegal interrogation session usually started at 6.00 PM till 6.00 AM by the Counter-Intelligence Department two teams almost every days since May 8th till June 23 of 2009 at Gldany prison #8), Otar Ordzhonikidze and his staff-member Data Datashvili and Valerian Zumbadze personally interested in Jeffrey Silverman’s personality and background, they tortured me in order to gain his contact points and whereabouts at that time in order to seize him in abduction manner, like “death squadron” way and execute him in somewhere unknown place because of his foreign citizenship and his popularity abroad (how they claim to me).
Another assault on Jeffrey Silverman in 2011 made the evening news in Tbilisi. Silverman has plates in his head from one of his beatings.

Jeffrey Silverman is now essentially a stateless person. Silverman states he has sought assistance from Reporters without Borders as well as the Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ did not respond to inquiries from this reporter as to that organization’s refusal to address Silverman’s plight. It is known in journalistic circles that the agencies pledged to protect press rights generally turn a blind eye to assaults on US journalists doing adversarial reporting.

Posted in USAComments Off on You’ve Met Edward Snowden, Now Meet Jeffrey Silverman

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