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Muhammad Allen's Suspended Detention Can Be Reversed

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 23/08/2015 - 02:34
Muhammad Allan’s Suspended Detention Can Be Reversed
by Stephen Lendman
Despite Israel’s High Court suspending Allan’s detention for medical reasons as a first step toward freeing him, Israel may reimpose it if his health improves.
He’s been lawlessly imprisoned since last November - uncharged and untried because he committed no crimes. Yet Israel’s police state process permits kidnapping and indefinite detention - or rearrest any time if he’s released.
Allan remains a marked man whatever his health status. Thousands of other Palestinians endure the same fate - victims of vicious apartheid injustice.
Allan remains hospitalized at Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center in serious condition - fed intravenously after ending 65 days of agonizing hunger striking for justice, now as a patient, no longer a painfully shackled prisoner.
His ordeal left him brain damaged - whether reversible it’s too soon to know. On Friday, he filmed a video from his hospital bed thanking supporters for backing his struggle for justice.
“I thank each and every one of you who stood by our side, by the side of the family, in front of the hospital and everywhere else, to the (Arab citizen) brothers inside (Israel),” he said.
“I kiss them on the forehead and hands for taking a stand. It proves that we are one people, and no distance or border will separate us.” 
“I hope we won't have to deal with more struggles and crises. I thank everyone again and God who helped me out of this crisis.”
Earlier he said through his attorney: “Administrative detention returns us to slavery, and therefore I refuse to be a slave to anyone.” 
“The truth is that I currently prefer hunger as long as freedom is the goal in the absence of law in Israeli courts. So, I found myself forced to fight this battle.” 
Israel lawlessly imprisons many thousands of Palestinians unjustly - criminalized for wanting the same fundamental rights as Jews, what international law mandates, Israel’s obligation as an occupying power, what it systematically denied an entire population for nearly half a century, under more repressive rule now than earlier.
Allan was earlier arrested in 2006 on bogus charges, sentenced to three years in prison. In 2011, he was kidnapped and lawlessly detained for 50 days. 
Israel brutalizes Palestinian prisoners - held in gulag hell solely for political reasons. Wanting to live free is criminalized. Israel calls it “terrorism.”
Allan and other Palestinian political prisoners represent the longstanding struggle of an entire  population persecuted for not being Jewish - treated viciously by a ruthless occupying power.
Over 1,000 notable African-American figures affirmed solidarity with Palestinians by letter, stating in part:
“(W)e the undersigned Black activists, artists, scholars, writers, and political prisoners offer this letter of reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.”
“We remain outraged at the brutality Israel unleashed on Gaza through its siege by land, sea and air, and three military offensives in six years.” 
“We remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools, UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals. We remain heartbroken and repulsed by the number of children Israel killed in an operation it called ‘defensive.’ “
“Israel’s injustice and cruelty toward Palestinians…extends throughout the occupied territories, within Israel’s 1948 borders, and into neighboring countries.” 
“The Israeli Occupation Forces continue to kill protesters - including children - conduct night raids on civilians, hold hundreds of people under indefinite detention, and demolish homes while expanding illegal Jewish-only settlements.”
“Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries.”
“Soldiers, police and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat.” Decades of Israeli brutality toward Palestinians “would be impossible without” US funding and support, they explained.
They “wholeheartedly” endorse BDS activism to continue pressuring Israel for justice. They “sen(t) a loud and clear message to Palestinians,” Israel’s government and America’s.
“(N)ow is the time for Palestinian liberation, just” like it is for millions of denied Americans.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Everything Western Media Report About Russia Is a Big Fat Lie

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/08/2015 - 21:59
Everything Western Media Report About Russia Is a Big Fat Lie
by Stephen Lendman
Vital truths are systematically suppressed. Willful disinformation, distortions and bald-faced lies substitute - why Western media are called presstitutes, making street whores look good by comparison. More on this below.
Longstanding regime change plans lie at the root of US anti-Russian policy - not how the country is governed, its geopolitical agenda or who leads it. Previous articles explained. 
Washington wants pro-Western stooge governance replacing Russia’s sovereign independence, its vast land mass balkanized for easier control, its resources looted, its people exploited like serfs - a pure evil Hitlerian agenda wrapped in the American flag.
Outlandish anti-Russian propaganda rages - way exceeding hostile Cold War rhetoric. Virtually all major Western publications and electronic media are in lockstep - reporting vicious Big Lies instead of hard truths.
Nonexistent “Russian aggression” is the common denominator along with calling Putin an existential threat - perhaps to US hegemonic aims, nothing else. 
“Vladimir Putin Hides the Truth,” claimed New York Times editors - about war in Ukraine Washington and its Kiev proxies bear full responsibility for waging.
They continue blaming Moscow for downing MH17 despite clear evidence proving one of more Ukrainian warplanes were responsible.
“Don’t back down on sanctions,” they blustered” - ignoring their illegality and harm to EU countries imposing them, yielding to US pressure against their own best interests and common sense.
Who Threatens America Most,” they asked? They quoted incoming Joint Chiefs chairman General “fighting Joe” Dunford calling Russia the top “existential threat” Washington faces.
In testimony before congressional committees, other US officials say the same thing - despite no evidence suggesting it, plenty indicating otherwise.
Times editors continue promoting the Big Fat Lie about “Russian aggression” - claiming hordes of its forces invaded Ukraine, yet no one spotted them because none exist.
Last May, Bloomberg outrageously claimed Russia uses “mobile crematoriums” to hide its nonexistent war dead. The source: NATO and US officials.
In March, former US Assistant Defense Secretary/current Deputy NATO Secretary-General (de facto boss) Alexander Vershbow lied saying “Russian leaders are less and less able to conceal the fact that Russian soldiers are fighting - and dying - in large numbers in eastern Ukraine.”
“The Russians are trying to hide their casualties by taking mobile crematoriums with them. They are trying to hide not only from the world but from the Russian people their involvement.”
Fact: No Russian aggression exists nor does any evidence suggest it’s planned. Vershbow flat-out lied claiming otherwise.
Fact: Putin, Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials are consummate  peacemakers.
Fact: US-led NATO and Israel support endless wars of aggression. They represent the world’s greatest existential threat - risking mass annihilation advancing their imperial agendas.
The Economist is a London-based propaganda mouthpiece for wealth and power interests - operating since the mid-19th century. 
In the last year alone, it published numerous Russia-bashing articles - claiming nonexistent “Russian aggression,” provocative Western confrontation, and posing a greater threat than during the 1962 missile crisis.
Canada’s largest circulation national newspaper (its New York Times equivalent), the Globe and Mail,  published a late July right-wing Prime Minister Stephen Harper op-ed headlined “Our duty is to stand in the face of Russian aggression,” saying:
“There can be no weakening of our resolve to punish the Putin regime for threatening the peace and security of eastern and central Europe.”
Harper’s government partners with America’s imperial wars. Canadian warplanes bombed Libya in 2011. They’re currently attacking Syrian targets on the pretext of fighting ISIS.
Canadian like American media scoundrels lie for power - substituting propaganda for what people need to know.
Obama boasts about bombing seven countries since taking office. “I have not shied away from using force when necessary,” he blustered.
Including against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, as well as partnering in Israeli wars - plus covert destabilizing operations in Venezuela, Ecuador, Iran and numerous other countries worldwide, naked aggression and lawless interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
Russia and China represent America’s final frontier. Its master plan calls for asserting dominance over both nations - the only challengers to its hegemonic aims, risking nuclear war to achieve them.
Instead of condemning the madness of possible mass annihilation, media scoundrels march in lockstep with recklessness threatening everyone.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Greece's SYRIZA Party Splits Ahead of Snap Elections

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/08/2015 - 19:31
Greece’s SYRIZA Party Splits Ahead of Snap Elections
by Stephen Lendman
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was widely expected to call snap elections - Greece’s fifth general election in six years. 
Twenty-nine anti-austerity SYRIZA party members bolted. They’ll challenge Tsipras despite virtually no chance to prevail. They formed a new Popular Unity party headed by former energy minister/vocal Tsipras critic Panagiotis Lafazanis.
They call it a “wide, anti-memorandum (austerity), progressive democratic front that will go to the elections with the agenda to cancel all memoranda,” a statement they issued said.
They accused Tsipras of breaching his anti-austerity campaign pledge. He signed a new austerity memorandum without approval of other SYRIZA members, they explained. They continued saying:
“The snap elections Alexis Tsipras decided, will be held in order to bury the proud ‘no’ of the referendum. To bury the anti-memorandum struggles and anti-memorandum expectations of the people, Greek people are asked to put a noose around their necks and approve a new memorandum.”
“The Left Platform, faithful to the SYRIZA commitments, consistent with the ‘no’ of the Greek people, carries the flag of the struggle to get out of the crisis, for productive reconstruction and progress…” 
“The Left Platform will immediately form a wide, anti-memorandum, progressive democratic front that will go to the elections with the agenda to cancel all memoranda.” 
“To move toward the write-off of the biggest part of the debt…To cancel austerity in wages, pensions and social spending. To stop the sellout of Greece’s state property. To put the country on a new path of national independence, sovereignty, recovery and a new progressive course.”
Lafazanis said “(a) new power is coming to the fore…(W)e will not fall victim to blackmail. We want to become a great movement that will sweep the bailouts aside.”
“The country cannot take more bailouts. We will either finish off the bailouts, or the bailouts will finish off Greece and the Greek people. The country cannot breathe and stand on its feet unless a big part of the debt is cancelled.”
Popular Unity’s stated objectives are canceling Greece’s three bailouts, writing down or renouncing its odious debt, and leaving Eurozone bondage “if necessary” to regain Greek sovereignty and help it recover and grow.
It remains to be seen how voters react to this message. With snap elections a month away, there’s precious little time to enlist enough support to matter.
Candidate Tsipras made glowing pledges. Straightaway in office he breached them. Are Popular Unity members different? Politicians of all stripes notoriously make promises they systematically compromise or violate if elected.
It’s hard imagining anything in prospect able to end Greece’s long nightmare. Its political class is beholden to Troika monied interests running things.
No party is strong enough to win majority control. SYRIZA will likely retain enough support to govern with one or more coalition partners. 
Popular Unity has no chance to change bailout terms or end what Paul Craig Roberts calls Greece’s “foreign occupation.” 
Western monied interests intend looting the country, pillaging its crown jewels, keeping it debt entrapped, exploiting its people more than already, destroying its sovereignty, and making it a dystopian Troika controlled colony - a testimony to predatory capitalism’s viciousness no one should tolerate.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Once Again, Megaupload User Asks Court for His Files Back

eff.org - Sat, 22/08/2015 - 07:50

Three years ago now, EFF’s client Kyle Goodwin, a sports videographer, asked the court to allow him to retrieve the files he stored in an account on the cloud storage site Megaupload. When the government seized Megaupload’s assets and servers in January 2012, Mr. Goodwin lost access to video files containing months of his professional work. Today, EFF filed a brief on behalf of Mr. Goodwin asking, once again, for the return of the files.

We originally asked the court for help back in 2012. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia took briefing, and even held a hearing. Unfortunately, since that time not much has happened. The U.S. government has continued pursuing a criminal case and a civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and its owners, but the data stored by millions of Megaupload customers, including material like Mr. Goodwin’s sports videos that had nothing to do with the alleged copyright infringement that Megaupload is accused of, languished in a warehouse on hundreds of servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, Megaupload’s former contractor.

Recently, however, a new company took control of Carpathia. This new company, QTS Realty Trust, took the opportunity to remind the court that it’s still paying to store and preserve the servers that it can’t dispose of. EFF and the firm of Williams Mullen, on behalf of Mr. Goodwin, took this opportunity to remind the court that Mr. Goodwin, and those like him, still need to get their files back.

Kyle Goodwin, and others like him, did nothing but legitimately use a cloud storage service to house legal files. In Kyle’s case, it was business files, but many others lost access to personal and private information as well. We believe the time has come for those folks to get their data back. We hope the court agrees.

Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceRelated Cases: Megaupload Data Seizure
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Categories: Aggregated News

Iran to Get Upgraded Russian S-300 Missiles

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/08/2015 - 04:21
Iran to Get Upgraded Russian S-300 Missiles
by Stephen Lendman
In 2007, Russia agreed to supply Iran with five battalions of S-300 medium-range air defense missiles. They designed to defend military, industrial and other strategic sites against enemy air attacks.
Russia’s technology is the most sophisticated air defense systems in service, able to destroy targets with pinpoint accuracy. Its newest generation S-400s have both medium and long range capability.
In 2010, then President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to observe Security Council Resolution 1929 - imposing new sanctions on Iran on top of earlier ones. He annulled the 2007 S-300 contract.
It’s reinstated. On August 19, responding to whether selling S-300s to Iran violated Washington imposed sanctions, Sergey Lavrov said:
“The US sanctions are no concern of ours. We only fulfill our international obligations, above all, with regard to sanctions. This is the decision of the UN Security Council.” 
“All other unilateral restrictions imposed bypassing the Security Council in violation of the general norms of the international law are of no interest to us.” 
“So, let our American colleagues study the issue. Perhaps it will useful for them to come to the conclusion that far from all corresponds to their vision of international law.”
Days earlier Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said “the decision on possibly supplying S-300 to Iran has already been made by the Russian president, and technical issues of this matter are being discussed. This is an exclusively bilateral issue. Participation of third countries is not envisaged and is not required.”
In April, Putin lifted the ban on supplying Tehran with S-300s after P5+1 countries and Iran signed a preliminary nuclear agreement.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov calls it a done deal. “As things stand now, this topic is closed,” he said.
“We have reached full understanding on the matter together with our Iranian partners. The question has been fundamentally solved. The rest is just technical details.”
Delivery will be later this year, fulfilling earlier agreed on terms. Other countries sold S-300s include China, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.
State Department spokesman Admiral John Kirby said “(w)e certainly object to” the sale. He commented following Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan saying Tehran would receive Russia’s latest S-300 technology.
“All (upgraded) changes (made) by the Russians over these years will be implemented on the S-300 system that is going to be delivered to Iran, and we will receive the system soon,” he explained.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said “(w)e have long expressed our concerns over reports of the possible sale of this missile system to the Iranians.”
Last April, Netanyahu railed against it - demanding Russia halt its planned delivery. “Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend the security of the state and its citizens,” he blustered.
Washington and Israel want Tehran vulnerable to US and IDF air attacks. S-300s installed make them less likely. Security Council sanctions don’t ban them.
Putin military and technical cooperation aide Vladimir Kozhin said Iran will get fully upgraded S-300s, the latest technology for this generation of surface-to-air defense missiles.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

US Dark Forces Stoke Violence and Instability in Latin America

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/08/2015 - 03:59
US Dark Forces Stoke Violence and Instability in Latin America
by Stephen Lendman
US orchestrated plans to topple Ecuador’s Rafael Correa continue. On August 17, Telesur reported disruptive elements attacked Ecuadorian soldiers and police with live fire. Eleven injuries were reported.
Last week, violence rocked Quito. Dozens of police and several journalists were injured. Correa blasted opposition elements trying to destabilize Ecuador.
“I’ve never seen them so violent, so aggressive,” he said. “Those who used violence will be punished with the full vigor of the law.”
Ecuarunari (movement of Ecuadorian indigenous people of Kichwa nationality) leader Carlos Perez was videotaped encouraging violence. Attacks on police followed.
Conaie indigenous leader Jorge Herrera called on National Assembly members to reject constitutional amendments being considered - including scrapping presidential term limits, letting Correa run again in 2017. Perez demands he resign. 
He publicly urged insurrection, saying “I call on the military (and) police (to) rebel. You cannot blindly follow an illegitimate act. You cannot do this. If I go to prison for saying this, I welcome this.”
Correa enjoys strong popular support. He blasted both opposition figures for their disruptive actions.
He said opposition groups turned to violence because their general strike called last week failed. It drew little support.
Ruling PAIS Alliance party Secretary-General Doris Soliz said “(t)he Ecuadorian people turned their backs on this strike. There was no strike.” 
“This is very important to point out, for there to be a strike that means that you need to shut down factories, halt economic activities, but there was not a single strike in any factory in the country. Workers, business owners, people in the transportation sector, economic sectors did not go on strike."
Political analyst Isabel Ramos said opposition forces “want to show their political strength through violence, not through popular support, not through organization, not through legitimate forms of social protest. Social protest is profoundly democratic. But what is going on here is what actions they are taking and what interests are at play."
Expect no letup in US-orchestrated anti-Correa violence and destabilization any time soon. He can’t be defeated democratically. Color revolution tactics continue in plain sight - so far with no success. 
It remains to be seen what opposition forces plan next. Right-wing extremism doesn’t back down easily.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro expressed solidarity with Correa and Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff - her country wracked by what analyst Joao Feres calls right-wing media orchestrated protests.
Her supporters call demands she step down a coup plot. Washington’s dirty hands may be involved. Feres believes protests will fade. Support for reconciliation and dialogue are strong, he said.
Maduro denounced “US imperialism (and national) oligarchies.” He accused them of “sabotaging” left and center-left governments throughout Latin America.
He praised Correa as an “undefeated leader” - victorious in three presidential elections. He denounced indigenous leaders “bought by NGOs” to appear Ecuadorians “are against Correa.”
He said Brazil’s for right “has not stopped conspiring against Dilma.” He ordered Venezuela’s border with Colombia closed in response to paramilitary violence - at least for 72 hours, maybe longer.
He acted after paramilitaries from Colombia ambushed and injured three Venezuelan soldiers in Tachira state.
“It's outrageous,” he said. “Everyone should show solidarity with the armed forces, the military personnel who are at the border to defend the homeland.”
“Enough of paramilitary terrorism! It's time for justice for Tachira.” Its local government expressed support for border closure. 
Maduro has called on Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to cooperate in cracking down on cross-border crime.
He warned about numerous paramilitary groups operating in Venezuela - vowing to deal with them harshly saying “(w)e will capture all paramilitary groups who want to hurt Venezuela.”
Washington’s dirty hands are involved in all Latin American violent and destabilizing activities  - part of US policy aiming to establish client states throughout the region, what millions of people wanting to live free oppose.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israel Bombs Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/08/2015 - 21:22
Israel Bombs Syria
by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported Israeli warplanes bombed a military post near Quneitra in Syrian controlled Golan killing one soldier, wounding eight others.
The pro-Western London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported two deaths - possible military officials close to Assad. It indicated raids struck other targets outside Damascus, including a weapons depot.
Israel said the IDF “targeted 14 Syrian military posts in the Syrian Golan Heights” - without further explanation. Israeli media reported artillery batteries, army outposts and communications antennae struck.
The attack was perhaps the largest one since the 1967 Six Day War. Is it possible prelude to US/Israeli/Turkish full-scale war on Assad? Things have been heading toward it for many months.
Israel has multiple objectives - eliminating Syria as a rival regional state, balkanizing the country for easier control, blocking the Iran nuclear deal, blaming nonexistent Tehran-orchestrated rocket fire on northern Israel to influence Congress, and ultimately replace Islamic State sovereignty with pro-Western governance.
Israeli officials outrageously blamed Syria and Iran for alleged rocket fire they had nothing to do with if it occurred at all. SANA said Israel bombed Syrian territory “(i)n a bid to support the armed terrorist organizations and boost their low morale…” 
“(A)n Israeli helicopter fired rockets on Quneitra (early Thursday evening) targeting the Transport Directorate and the Governorate’s Building…caus(ing) material damage only.”
Unnamed Israeli sources irresponsibly blamed Iran and Syria for allegedly planning rocket attacks on northern Israel carried out by Damascus-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad elements. The organization denied any involvement in what allegedly happened.
Hawkish Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon claimed Thursday’s incident was a “coming attraction” of more to come - from “a richer and more murderous Iran” aided by sanctions relief.
“This is the intention of the bloody regime from Tehran, and the Western world cannot just sweep that fact under the rug,” he blustered.
Israel’s campaign to undermine the Iran nuclear agreement and eliminate its two main regional rivals includes concocting fabricated accusations only morons or liars would accept.
Iran and Syria didn’t attack Israeli territory - not now or earlier. Nor will they except in self-defense.
Separately, Obama told congressional Democrats he’ll continue economic pressure on Iran, maintain the military option, and increase missile defense and other aid for Israel if the nuclear deal is approved next month.
The World Bank weighed in claiming oil prices will drop another $10 a barrel if Iranian sanctions are lifted - while providing an economic boost, saying:
“Just as the tightening of sanctions in 2012 led to a sharp decline in Iran’s oil exports and two years of negative growth, we expect the removal of sanctions to boost exports and revive the economy.”
Foreign investors are eager to do business in Iran. German vice chancellor/energy and economics minister Sigmar Gabriel visited Tehran - pledging to restore economic ties. He led a delegation of 60 German corporations eager to gain entry to Iran’s market.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius came for the same reason. The Hollande government intends sending a delegation of 80 French companies to Tehran in late September.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is expected to come. Britain, Spain, Sweden and other European countries plan visits.
Israel is going all-out to keep Iran isolated. Expect more baseless accusations ahead.
Maybe Netanyahu has a major false flag attack in mind next - anything to keep demonizing Iran, block the nuclear deal, as well as maintain pressure against Western investment and trade.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Greek PM Calls Snap Elections

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/08/2015 - 18:41
Greek PM Calls Snap Elections
by Stephen Lendman
On Thursday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned and announced snap elections, likely in late September - a ploy hoping for enough voter support to remain in power before ordinary Greeks feel the pain of greater austerity he agreed to after pledging no more in January.
His SYRIZA-led coalition holds a slim majority. Polls astonishingly show he remains popular - at least compared to alternative choices.
Greece is like most other nations. Monied interests rule. Ordinary people have no say. Whatever party or coalition rules, their welfare gets short shrift at best, entirely ignored at worst.
Tsipras and most SYRIZA officials proved they’re as supportive of monied interests as right-wing parties PASOK and New Democracy.
However snap elections turn out, business as usual will triumph. Long-suffering Greeks are assured of greater pain and sacrifice ahead - leaving them increasingly out-of-luck on their own.
Greece’s dominant political establishment doesn’t give a damn about their welfare - just its own and the monied interests it serves.
Announcing his decision to step down on national television, Tsipras said “(t)he political mandate of the January 25 elections has exhausted its limits, and now the Greek people have to have their say.”
It bears repeating. They have none whatever. Elections in most countries are meaningless - worthless exercises achieving nothing for ordinary people. A previous article quoted famed political and social activist Emma Goldman (1869 - 1940) once saying if they “changed anything,” they’d be banned.
Tsipras, like Obama, promised hope and change. They delivered worse than ever business as usual. Nothing in prospect suggests relief for millions of ordinary Greeks deserving better than crushing austerity gravely harming their welfare, security and futures.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Jerry Hartfield: Victimized by US Police State Injustice

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/08/2015 - 05:51
Jerry Hartfield: Victimized by US Police State Injustice
by Stephen Lendman
Blacks and other people of color in America are systematically denied due process and judicial fairness. Killer cops murder innocent victims with impunity. African Americans like Hartfield are imprisoned unjustly.
In his case, for nearly four decades despite an appeals court in 1980 throwing out his 1977 conviction for the killing of Bay City, TX bus station ticket agent Eunice Lowe.
He was on death row until then Governor Mark White commuted his sentence to life in prison - despite no sentence to commute. A Texas appeals court ruling annulled it. He should have been freed straightaway.
He’s mentally impaired. At an early August hearing, a psychologist said testing showed his IQ at 67 - considered intellectually deficient below the 70 threshold. 
In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the Supreme Court ruled against executing intellectually disabled individuals - saying the practice violates 8th Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment, but let states define who’s mentally impaired.
In Hall v. Florida (2014), the High Court narrowed the discretion states can use to decide who’s too intellectually incapacitated to be executed. 
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said Florida’s “rigid rule creates an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed, and thus is unconstitutional.”
Hartfield was ordered retried. In court documents, defense attorney Jay Wooten said “(r)egardless of how the time is parsed out, the delay between the initial conviction in 1977 and the trial…is extraordinary.”
Matagorda County District Attorney Steven Reis admitted partial prosecutorial responsibility for not retrying Hartfield earlier - while outrageously claiming he’s responsible “for not filing for nearly a quarter-century,” ignoring his mental inability to understand his legal rights.
He didn’t know about the appeals court ruling until 2006 - after another inmate told him. With his help, he learned for the first time to read and write.
He filed a handwritten court writ demanding retrial or release. The Texas Criminal Appeals Court rejected it twice. Hartfield appealed in federal court.
In 2009, US District Court Judge Lynn Hughes agreed his convicted was reversed. “Hartfield’s position is as straightforward and subtle as a freight train,” she said.
A US appeals court agreed. Hartfield was ordered retried. Texas District Court Judge Craig Estinbaum presided.
In pretrial motions, defense attorney Wooten argued his client was compromised because of a 30-year delay, most prosecution witnesses are dead or can’t be located, Hartfield’s so-called confession was “bogus,” and “two most important pieces of physical evidence” weren’t available: the murder weapon and victim Lowe’s car.
On August 19, justice delayed was denied. Hartfield, now aged 59, was convicted unjustly a second time. Sentencing is scheduled for August 20.
He faces additional imprisonment from five years to life. He’s been in custody since 1976, beginning days after Lowe’s murder. No credible evidence proves his guilt - for sure not after nearly four decades.
He’s eligible for parole based on time served. Prosecutors and defense attorneys withheld comments on the verdict.
During closing arguments, defense counsel Wooten said missing, unreliable evidence and likely forced confession from a mentally impaired man should automatically exempt a second conviction.
“A lot of things are missing from this case,” Wooten stressed. “Like anything you had in your home in 1976, there are parts missing. There are parts that no longer fit.”
Hartfield is one of many African Americans facing systemic injustice. Equal protection under the law is pure fantasy. The Fourteenth Amendment states:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” 
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
America’s privileged alone are afforded constitutional rights. Its least advantaged citizens and residents are entirely left out.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Obama Administration Supports Privacy-Invasive "Cybersecurity" Bill

eff.org - Fri, 21/08/2015 - 01:26

Right before Congress left for its annual summer vacation the Obama Administration endorsed the Senate Intelligence Committee's Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). EFF opposes the bill because its vague definitions, broad legal immunity, and new spying powers allow for a tremendous amount of unnecessary damage to users' privacy. Just last week the Department of Homeland Security agreed and criticized CISPA for its lack of privacy protections. More importantly, CISA fails to address the causes of the recent highly publicized data breaches.

The Obama administration's endorsement is a complete reversal from its previous stance on privacy-invasive cybersecurity bills. In 2012, the White House published a detailed two-page veto threat against CISA's antecedent, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). In the letter the Administration noted CISPA:

lacks sufficient limitations on the sharing of personally identifiable information between private entities

and that it would

inappropriately shield companies from any suits where a company's actions are based on cyber threat information identified, obtained, or shared under this bill, regardless of whether that action otherwise violated Federal criminal law or results in damage or loss of life.

The same is true of CISA, which is why the Administration should've vetoed the bill. Like CISPA, CISA

  • Adds a new authority for companies to monitor information systems to protect an entity's hardware or software.
  • Fails to mandate companies and the government remove unrelated personal information before sharing it with government agencies like the NSA.
  • Grants broad legal immunity to companies for sharing more private information with the government than they’re currently permitted to do.

Lastly, CISA, like CISPA, doesn't address problems identified by recent data breaches like unencrypted filespoor computer architecture, un-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links.

The administration has invested immense capital into looking strong on cybersecurity since January. And instead of publishing another veto threat, the White House Press Secretary urged the Senate to pass CISA. There was no deep analysis as in 2012. There was no explanation about CISA's own privacy problems. And there was no acknowledgement about the White House's sudden change in position. 

Even though the President wants to sign the bill, the Senate must pass CISA first. Privacy advocates have defeated these "cybersecurity bills" five times in the past five years. In July, users and privacy advocates postponed a vote on CISA after sending over 6 million faxes opposing CISA to Senators during a Week of Action. Unfortunately, the vote was only postponed to mid-September when Congress gets back from vacation.

We must continue the pressure on the Senate to stop this bill. Please join us in continuing to tell our Senators to say no to CISA.


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Categories: Aggregated News

No Letup in Anti-Russian Propaganda

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/08/2015 - 00:54
No Letup in Anti-Russian Propaganda
by Stephen Lendman
Russia bashing remains intense. Media scoundrels are in lockstep with US policy - irresponsibly blaming Putin for Obama’s war on Donbass, using Kiev foot soldiers as proxies, heading recklessly toward resuming full-scale conflict.
Facts on the ground are irrefutable. Kiev forces continue waging naked aggression begun last year, systematically violating ceasefire terms agreed on, shelling Donbass multiple times daily - including residential neighborhoods, schools and other civilian targets.
Things are very close to exploding in perhaps greater war than before. Sergey Lavrov expressed great concern, saying:
“(W)e are really very much concerned about the current state of affairs - developments…resembl(ing) preparations for hostilities.”
Poroshenko’s “crazy statements” about (nonexistent” “Russian aggression” show he’s “more concerned about supporting Russophobia in the West and thus diverting attention from his inability to fulfill” Minsk ceasefire terms.
Lavrov quoted his comments made to the French newspaper Liberation - outrageously saying “Putin wants all of Europe.” It’s hard believing anyone takes him seriously. He’s a reckless aggressor waging war on his own people.
He violated Minsk terms straightaway - wrongfully blaming Russia for his high crimes. On August 17, Wall Street Journal editors pointed fingers the wrong way headlining “Putin Escalates Again in Ukraine.”
They turned truth on its head claiming “Russian proxies in eastern occupied Ukraine shelled Ukrainian-government positions over the weekend and on Monday.”
Fact: Ukrainian forces shell Donbass targets dozens of times daily - flagrantly violating Minsk. 
Fact: Donetsk and Lugansk freedom fighters observe its terms unilaterally - responding only in self-defense when attacked.
Claims otherwise are Big Lies - including Ukraine’s chief of staff general Viktor Muzhenko saying “(s)ome days we can have 80 to 100 violations…It’s Russia’s intent to demoralize our forces, and using that mechanism they want to influence Ukraine’s military leadership as well as the state leadership.”
Journal editors lied claiming “devastation and human suffering wrought by indiscriminate Russian shelling…Kiev’s hands are tied and its capabilities are outmatched by the Kremlin’s.”
Fact: No evidence shows Russian direct or indirect involvement in Obama’s war on Donbass using Ukrainian proxy forces to do his dirty work - except as the continent’s leading peacemaker, going all-out to resolve conflict diplomatically, a futile effort because his US counterpart wants war.
Since conflict began last year, Washington supplied Ukraine with heavy weapons, despite claims otherwise. Journal editors saying “(t)he Obama administration refuses to provide lethal assistance to Kiev” is flat-out false.
They continue claiming Putin violates Minsk “with impunity.” They ignore his forthright peacemaking efforts along with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 
Germany is close to Ukraine’s border - separated by Polish territory, a reason why its Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed concern.
“The situation in Eastern Ukraine is explosive,” he said. (A) new military escalation could be triggered” anytime. He urged efforts to prevent things from spinning out-of-control. He stopped short of laying blame where it belongs.
Kiev aggression on Donbass continues with no letup. Supportive propaganda rages. Americans carpet-bombed with Big Lies believe them. 
Blaming Putin for Obama’s war is polar opposite clear facts. America is the greatest threat to world peace at a time super-weapons can kill us all. 
Expect it if a way isn’t found to stop its madness - waging endless aggression on humanity, risking potential life-on-earth-ending nuclear war.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Horrific Mistreatment of Migrants

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 20/08/2015 - 22:08
Horrific Mistreatment of Migrants
by Stephen Lendman
Refugees fleeing war zones, persecution, or poverty and unemployment are the world’s least welcome people. America bears full responsibility for millions leaving Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Donbass and elsewhere - seeking safe havens in Europe or countries bordering their own.
Hungary deployed thousands of police to its border with Serbia. It’s “under attack (by) increasingly aggressive migrants,” according to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff. Around 130,000 arrived this year so far - triple 2014’s number.
Over 160,000 arrived in Greece - about 50,000 in the last month alone. Welcome mats don’t greet them. Conditions are deplorable. Families sleep outside because of overcrowding. 
Sanitation is lacking. Little medical care or nutritious food is available. Babies are given sugar water instead of milk.
A UNHCR report said 60 million people were forcibly displaced by end of 2014. Globally one in every 122 people are asylum seekers, refugees or internally displaced persons. More than half the world’s refugees are children.
Last month, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Greece’s Dodecanese Islands reception center is on the verge of collapse.
Thousands of migrants sleep outside or in abandoned buildings for lack of accommodations. They haven’t enough food, clean water, medical care, and basic sanitation.
In Kos, hundreds sleep on floors “amidst rubble and shattered glass in an overcrowded, dilapidated building.” MSF teams do their best “treating conditions linked to unhygienic living conditions, including scabies and skin infections.”
Desperately needed humanitarian aid isn’t available in amounts needed. MSF’s Stathis Kyroussis called the situation “a violation of Greece’s and the EU’s obligations toward asylum seekers and migrants…”
Given Athens’ struggling economy, it can’t cope on its own. Help from EU member states is needed. MSF’s Lesvos emergency coordinator said “(l)eaving people to fend for themselves in a field full of garbage or in an abandoned building where there is hardly any water or latrines is simply unacceptable and is putting people's health at risk.”
Growing thousands needing shelter, toilets, organized food distribution, access to medical treatment and other essentials aren’t getting it.
Despite urgent calls for help, there’s been little or no improvement. Migrants are increasingly on their own to survive. Thousands perish at sea from drowning, starvation, thirst or weather conditions en route to safe havens. Arrivals don’t find it.
A July Amnesty International report said “migrants heading for Europe fac(e) abuse and extortion in the Balkans…at the hands of the authorities and criminal gangs…”
They’re abandoned by EU policymakers - left “trapped without protection Serbia and Macedonia…” Deplorable conditions await them wherever they arrive. According to AI’s Europe and Central Asia deputy director Gauri van Gulik:
“Refugees fleeing war and persecution make this journey across the Balkans in the hope of finding safety in Europe only to find themselves victims of abuse and exploitation and at the mercy of failing asylum systems.”
“Serbia and Macedonia have become a sink for the overflow of refugees and migrants that nobody in the EU seems willing to receive.”
Both countries “have to do much more to respect migrants and refugees’ rights. But it is impossible to separate the human rights violations there, from the broader pressures of the flow of migrants and refugees into and through the EU, and a failed EU migration system.”
“As increasing numbers of vulnerable refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants become trapped in a Balkan no-man’s land, the pressures on Serbia and Macedonia are mounting.” 
“These stresses, like those on Italy and Greece, can only be resolved by a much broader rethink of EU migration and asylum policies.”
Migrants come from the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey after arriving by sea, then to Greece followed by land travel to Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and other EU destinations.
They endure nightmarish conditions along the way and after arriving - including beatings, financial extortion and other abuses. 
A previous article discussed Britain’s appalling centers for refugees and asylum seekers. They’re locked up indefinitely like criminals with no concern for their welfare or right of appeal. They endure torture and other forms of abuse.
Conditions are so bad, some migrants attempt suicide. Detainees are left to rot. Some give up in despair.
A separate article discussed Syria’s refugee crisis - the gravest since WW II, nearly half the nation’s population internally or externally displaced, fleeing Obama’s war to hellhole refugee camps, largely on their own with minimal lifeline help.
RT International interviewed Dr. David Isaacs. He faces possible prison for exposing Australia’s horrific mistreatment of migrants on Nauru island 3,300km northeast of Brisbane, he explained.
“I am breaking the law by talking to you about this, and I could even go to prison for doing this,” he said. “Anyone who works there - doctors, teachers, nurses - could go to prison for two years for telling the truth about what is happening.”
Things are so bad, he felt he had no choice. One young girl “tr(ied) to hang herself,” he said. Many children developed PTSD. Migrants endure “mental torture.” Conditions are hellish.
Letters written by children said they live in dirty tents, flooded during rainstorms. Officers “treat (them) like animals.”
Isaacs compared Nauru  detention centers to “prisons.” A former employee responsible for security speaking on condition of anonymity said waterboarding and other forms of torture are used.
A May Australian parliamentary inquiry found rampant child abuse. Many detainees complained of sexual assault. No one was held accountable. No changes in deplorable conditions were made.
Refugees and asylum seekers increasingly are unwanted - especially as their numbers grow exponentially from mostly US-devastated war-torn countries and others where they’re abused. The end of their long anguished nightmare is nowhere in sight.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israeli High Court Frees Muhammad Allan

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 20/08/2015 - 19:30
Israeli High Court Frees Muhammad Allan
by Stephen Lendman
The court suspended his illegal detention, a first step toward freeing him. More on this below.
Food provides nutrients needed to survive. Without it, energy wanes. Bodily functions break down. Starvation follows, causing disability, organ failure and death, a painful way to die.
On Wednesday, Allan ended his hunger strike after 65 excruciating days - following Israel’s High Court order suspending his indefinite detention order, lawlessly imprisoning him uncharged and untried because he committed no crimes.
Justices acted after learning he suffered brain damage from his long ordeal. He can’t see, hear or communicate. He’s conscious but remains zombie-like. He’s in intensive care at Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center on life support in serious condition.
Justices said if his brain damage is irreversible, his detention order will be revoked. It never should have been imposed in the first place. 
It’s kidnapping by other means, a universally recognized abhorrent high crime. Not in Israel. It’s standard practice against Palestinians - reflecting police state ruthlessness, systematically spurning international law with impunity.
Allan’s lawyer, Jameel al-Khatib said “Mohammed Allan is now treated in the hospital as a patient, not as a prisoner. Right now, he's free and they will treat him as a free person…I believe that they will not renew his administrative detention.”
Barzilai Medical Center Dr. Hezy Levy said it’s too soon to know if his brain damage is reversible.” He’s “incoherent, not connecting with his surroundings.” 
He’s now afforded the same rights as other patients, including family visitations. He was abducted last November, extrajudicially imprisoned, refused food since June 16 for 65 days until ending his hunger strike for justice.
He’s been on life support for the past week. Hardline Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan calls releasing him “a prize for the hunger strike he initiated and may lead to mass hunger strikes among the security detainees, after they discover a new tool with which to extort the State of Israel.”
Hunger striking is the only tool political prisoners have to resist rogue state viciousness. Erdan calls it “a new type of suicide terror attack.”
He represents Israel’s racist, apartheid, fascist authority controlling Occupied Palestine, subjecting its entire population to ruthless oppression.
Other Israeli hardliners raged against suspending Allan’s illegal detention. Culture and Sport minister Miri Regev said “(t)he High Court gave in to the blackmail of terrorist Muhammad Allan instead of applying the (universally condemned force-feeding) law.”
“Thousands of terrorists are now setting their sights to Mohammed Allaan. Allan is a suicide bomber willing to die for the freedom of his murderer friends.”
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan said “(t)he High Court’s decision shows the Palestinians that you can beat us with terror and hunger strikes.”
Opposition Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog (a hardline racist masquerading as moderate) accused Netanyahu of “negotiating with terrorists.”
Arab MK Hanin Zoabi welcomed the High Court ruling as an “important victory for Muhammad, but the struggle is not over.” Thousands of other Palestinians are wrongfully imprisoned for resisting injustice.
Palestinian MK Yousef Jabareen said Allan enjoys widespread international support. His “struggle (is) an integral part of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and injustices.”
An entire population is ruthlessly persecuted. Their lives and welfare don’t matter. Sustained mass resistance is the only chance for change. Allan’s heroic sacrifice should inspire all Palestinians to join him in a common struggle for freedom.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Mass Support for Chelsea Manning

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 20/08/2015 - 05:16
Mass Support for Chelsea Manning
by Stephen Lendman
Manning was wrongfully imprisoned for courageously revealing US war crimes Pentagon officials want suppressed.
Kangaroo show trial proceedings sentenced her to 35 years imprisonment. Police states operate this way - persecuting their best, honoring their worst, terrorizing anyone challenging what no one should tolerate.
Prison authorities treat Manning horrifically. She faced indefinite solitary confinement for having a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell, reading the “wrong” books and magazines, as well as other outrageous charges - willful cruel and unusual punishment as long as she’s imprisoned, a flagrant 8th Amendment violation.
Free Chelsea.com, Fight for the Future, Roots Action, Code Pink and Demand Progress conducted a petition drive on her behalf - collecting over 102,000 signatures against indefinite solitary confinement, delivering them to the army head of her hearing. It states:
“Dear Boards Branch, Directorate of Inmate Administration: putting any human being in indefinite solitary confinement is inexcusable, and for offenses as trivial as these (an expired tube of toothpaste, and possession magazines?) it is a discredit to America's military and its system of justice.” 
“We demand that these charges against Chelsea Manning be dropped, and request that Chelsea's hearing on August 18th be made open to the public, to ensure she is treated fairly."
On August 18, Fight for the Future headlined “BREAKING: Chelsea Manning Found ‘Guilty,’ Punished for Expired Toothpaste, LGBTQ Reading Material.”
“Conviction Can Be Used Against Manning During Any Clemency or Parole Hearing Forever; Expects to Delay Transition to Minimum Security Custody By Years.”
She was declared guilty of all charges lodged - fabricated ones to continue persecuting her ruthlessly. Manning’s ACLU attorney Chase Stangio issued a statement saying:
“When I spoke to Chelsea earlier today, she wanted to convey the message to supporters that she is so thankful for the thousands of people from around the world who let the government know that we are watching and scrutinizing what happens to her behind prison walls.” 
“It was no doubt this support that kept her out of solitary confinement. But the fact that Chelsea had to face today’s four-hour Disciplinary Board without counsel, and will now be punished for daring to share her voice, sets a concerning precedent for the remaining decades of her incarceration.” 
“Not only does this punishment mean the immediate loss of library and recreation for Chelsea, but she also will carry these infractions through her parole and clemency process and will be held longer in the more restrictive custody where she is now incarcerated.” 
“No one should have to face the lingering threat of solitary confinement for reading and writing about the conditions we encounter in the world. Chelsea’s voice is critical to our public discourse about government accountability and trans Justice and we can only preserve it if we stay vigilant in our advocacy on her behalf.”  
Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer said “(p)eople around the world are outraged that a courageous whistleblower like Chelsea Manning is imprisoned in the first place, so it’s no surprise that people spoke out in droves when the US government threatened her.” 
“More than 100,000 supporters signed a petition demanding no solitary confinement for Chelsea, and the pressure worked.” 
“It’s absurd that Chelsea was found guilty, and that she has to endure any additional punishment beyond being wrongly imprisoned, but now the US government knows that the world is watching their treatment of Chelsea closely. If they continue this unwarranted harassment of Chelsea, they risk losing all legitimacy in the eyes of millions.”
America is a ruthless police state - waging war on humanity at home and abroad, systematically eroding fundamental civil and human rights, tolerating no challenges to it rage for world dominance.
We have a choice - slay this monster or it’ll crush freedom and destroy us! There’s no in between!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Muhammad Allan Suffered Brain Damage

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 20/08/2015 - 03:37
Muhammad Allan Suffered Brain Damage
by Stephen Lendman
Barzilai Medical Center tests showed Allan suffered brain damage - from over two months of agonizing hunger striking for justice denied him.
Israel bears full responsibility for this crime against humanity - one of countless others committed daily against millions of defenseless Palestinians.
Thousands of innocent victims rot in Israel’s hellish gulag - guilty only of being non-Jews, wanting equal rights they’re systematically denied, forced to live under brutalizing military occupation, illegal under international law.
It’s unknown if Allan’s brain damage is reversible. He’s been in critical condition for days. His brother describes him as virtual zombie-like - unable to hear or see.
On Wednesday, during a High Court hearing on his case, Israeli prosecutor Yochi Gensin said:
“If the examination shows that (Allan’s brain damage) is…irreversible permanent cognitive damage, the state will announce that his administrative detention is to be cancelled.”
Barzilai Medical Center said his condition is deteriorating. Over two months without sustenance may have left him in a permanent vegetative state, his cognitive functioning lost. Perhaps he’s too far gone to save. His life hangs by a thread, a victim of Israeli viciousness.
He remains in intensive care. It’s unknown if Israeli doctors are doing all they can to save him and try reversing his brain damage.
He regained consciousness after lapsing into coma for four days. Palestinian Prisoners Society head Qadura Fares said he’s unable to communicate.
Israel remains unaccountable for decades of high crimes too grave to ignore. Allan isn’t alone in his suffering.
Many other nameless, faceless Palestinians are victimized by Israeli ruthlessness. An entire population is terrorized - systematically denied justice.
Further reports will update Allan’s status. Support this courageous young man in solidarity. His struggle is ours.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Two Reports on Yemen Ignore Obama's Aggression

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 20/08/2015 - 02:25
Two Reports on Yemen Ignore Obama's Aggression
by Stephen Lendman
Obama bears full responsibility for waging US-orchestrated, Saudi-led naked aggression on Yemen - raging nonstop for nearly five months with no end in sight, another horrific war crime on his rap sheet.
UNICEF and Amnesty International (AI) issued new reports omitting what’s most important to explain.
UNICEF titled its report “Yemen: Childhood Under Threat,” saying “nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 others injured since the violence escalated some four months ago.”
It began on March 25, nearly five months ago. Casualty figures reported way undercount reality. Total deaths by Saudi terror bombing, ground fighting, starvation, disease and overall deprivation can only be estimated - likely at least double official reports, maybe far more, along with many thousands injured, some maimed for life.
A humanitarian crisis of epic proportions exists nationwide. Over 80% of Yemenis are food insecure. People are starving to death out of sight and mind. Healthcare is unavailable or in short supply in most provinces.
UNICEF reported “(d)isrupted health services (hundreds of facilities shut down), increased levels of child malnutrition, closed schools and higher numbers of children recruited by fighting groups are among the effects of the conflict now ravaging the Arab world’s poorest country.” 
“This conflict is a particular tragedy for Yemeni children”, said UNICEF’s Julien Harneis. “Children are being killed by bombs or bullets, and those that survive face the growing threat of disease and malnutrition. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
Around 10 million Yemeni children don’t get enough to eat - 20 million overall, including youths and adults. Acute malnutrition reached epidemic proportions. Well over 1.5 million are externally or internally displaced.
UNICEF reports 900 hospitals and health facilities closed since March along with 3,600 schools. US supported Saudi blockade created a humanitarian crisis. Small amounts of aid only are allowed in - way too little to matter, a deliberate attempt to starve people to death or kill them for lack of medical treatment for wounds or diseases.
AI titled its report “Yemen: Bloody trail of civilian death and destruction paved with evidence of war crimes” - ignoring US/Saudi naked aggression, the supreme high crime against peace.
Yemenis face daily terror bombings - including against civilian neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, mosques, food storage areas, shelters and other nonmilitary targets.
Saudi-recruited death squads, its own forces and UAE’s commit horrendous war crimes. Houthi fighters are defending their country against foreign invaders.
AI’s Donatella Rovera holds both sides responsible for ongoing conflict - instead of laying blame where it belongs.
Saying “(a)ll the parties to this conflict have displayed a ruthless and wanton disregard for the safety of civilians. The report depicts in harrowing detail the gruesome and bloody trail of death and destruction in Ta’iz and Aden from unlawful attacks, which may amount to war crimes, by all parties.” 
It ignores Obama’s full responsibility for aggression complicit with Riyadh - to return Yemen to US client state status and give Saudi Arabia more influence over its southern neighbor, perhaps steal some of its territory.
AI is right accusing so-called “coalition forces” of (i)ndiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounting to war crimes.”
It fails to explain Houthi fighters respond in self-defense against foreign invaders threatening Yemeni sovereignty. It’s their fundamental right and responsibility.
No UN “commission of inquiry” is needed to “investigate alleged war crimes” when the whole world knows Washington, Riyadh and complicit partners bear full responsibility for horrific genocidal crimes against millions of defenseless Yemenis.
It’s time AI and UN authorities laid blame where belongs and demanded responsible officials in culpable countries be held accountable for their high crimes.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Updating Muhammad Allan's Status

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 19/08/2015 - 21:20
Updating Muhammad Allan’s Status
by Stephen Lendman
A same day article explained he regained consciousness from four days of coma following over two months of hunger striking for justice Israel ruthlessly denies him.
Until earlier today, he was offered release conditional on accepting four years of forced exile. Through his lawyer, Jamil al-Khatib, he categorically refused.
Later on Wednesday, he was offered release on November 3 when his current extrajudicial administrative detention expires - along with a meaningless pledge not to imprison him again uncharged and untried.
Though conscious, his ordeal took a horrendous toll on him physically. His brother Ameed said he’ll continue hunger striking for justice. “(E)ither I’ll die or I’ll return home,” he said.
“I don’t believe I saw a human being,” Ameed explained. “He’s not a human being. He’s what’s left of a human being. He doesn’t hear. He doesn’t see.”
His mother refusing food in solidarity with her son, holding a vigil outside Barzilai Medical Center where he’s held, said prison authorities won’t let her visit Muhammad.
“They didn’t let me enter,” she explained. “In the name of what law in the world do they prevent a mother from visiting her son? They don’t let me enter because I stand by his side in his just struggle.” 
Palestinian Prisoners Club head Qadoura Fares said his critical condition requires immediate release.
“He stopped communicating with his surroundings,” Fares explained. “He just stares. It seems like his brain has deteriorated.”
Reports indicate his lawyers will decide whether to accept a November 3 release date based on a medical assessment of his status being prepared by his doctors.
Earlier Allan said through his attorney: “Administrative detention returns us to slavery, and therefore I refuse to be a slave to anyone. The truth is that I currently prefer hunger as long as freedom is the goal in the absence of law in Israeli courts. So, I found myself forced to fight this battle.”
More updates will follow as news breaks.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

New York Times Mocks Palestinian Hunger Striker Near Death

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 19/08/2015 - 19:05
New York Times Mocks Palestinian Hunger Striker Near Death
by Stephen Lendman
Longstanding Times editorial policy one-sidedly supports Israel’s worst crimes - ignoring the brutality of a rogue regime run by fascists, racists and religious zealots masquerading as democrats.
Previous articles discussed hunger striker Muhammad Allan - a heroic young Palestinian lawyer extrajudicially imprisoned indefinitely uncharged and untried because he committed no crimes.
The Times mocked him saying his “refusal to eat puts Israel in a bind.” It ignored his outrageous mistreatment and plight of an entire persecuted population. More on this below.
Thousands of other Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israel’s gulag unjustly under hellish conditions. New victims join them daily.
Militarized Israeli occupation controls virtually all aspects of Palestinians’ lives - systematically denying them fundamental human and civil rights mandated under international law, incarcerating, brutalizing and murdering them unaccountably.
Allen’s hunger strike exceeding two months made him a worldwide iconic figure - a symbol of an entire population struggling to live free on their own land in their own country, what everyone deserves everywhere with universal support.
On Friday, he lapsed into coma. Yesterday he regained consciousness - vowing to continue hunger striking for justice until death if not achieved.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society said he “declared in front of his doctors that if there is not any solution to his case within 24 hours, he will ask for all (intravenous) treatment to stop and will stop drinking water.”
His heroic struggle for justice is in its 65th day. Through his lawyer, Jamil al-Khatib, he categorically refused Israel’s offer to release him on condition of accepting four years of forced exile - an outrageous proposal demanding rejection.
On Monday, Israel’s Supreme Court heard a petition on his behalf. They delayed ruling until Wednesday to get more information on his medical status. Al-Khatib explained Allan is determined to refuse food and water until death if not freed. He has worldwide support.
Hundreds of other Palestinian political prisoners began hunger striking for justice, including 250 held at a Negev prison camp. Allan’s mother began abstaining from food in solidarity with her son. She’s holding a vigil outside Barzilai hospital where he’s held.
Prison authorities may begin force feeding him imminently - perhaps pending on how Israel’s High Court rules on his case.
On August 17, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Prisoners’ Committee of Islamic and national Factions held a seminar titled “Force-Feeding is a War Crime.”
Palestinian political prisoners refuse food as their only way to resist injustice - hoping to bring attention to their abusive treatment.
PCHR Director Raji Sourani said the seminar and other supportive activities are a way to show Palestinian detainees aren’t abandoned.
Allan’s father expressed thanks for the solidarity campaign on behalf of his son and other persecuted Palestinian prisoners.
Last summer, The Times irresponsibly blamed Hamas for 51 days of premeditated Israeli aggression on Gaza, its criminal campaign to inflict mass casualties mainly against civilians, as well as destroy vital Gaza infrastructure - horrific war crimes by any standard demanding accountability.
Now they mocked Allan’s heroic struggle for justice - his willingness to die if not freed. He “flummox(ed) Israel’s legal, medical, political and security systems,” said The Times.
Not a word about decades of racist persecution, mass imprisoning thousands of Palestinians for political reasons, many uncharged and untried like Allan, torturing and otherwise abusing them, stealing Palestinian land for exclusive Jewish development, and waging genocidal wars like Protective Edge.
Nothing about a ruthless rogue state guilty of every high crime imaginable - waging slow-motion genocide against an entire population.
Allan’s struggle didn’t get worldwide attention because of Israel’s new force-feeding law, as the Times suggests. It’s because of his courageous resistance against Israeli viciousness - a ruthless, Arab-hating apartheid rogue state, persecuting Palestinians for not being Jewish.
Don’t expect Times reports to explain. One-sided support for Israel’s worst crimes is longstanding editorial policy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

The Peruvian “Stalker Law” Will Be Reviewed By Congress, We Can Still Stop It

eff.org - Wed, 19/08/2015 - 11:21

On July 27, Peru’s executive branch adopted a legislative decree (DL 1182) that allows warrantless access to Peruvians' location data, in cases of flagrante delicto. The decree has been dubbed "Ley Acosadora," or in English, "the Stalker Law," because of the way it creates a new power for the government to track the movements of vulnerable mobile and Internet users. The law requires telephone operators and Internet service providers to retain, for three years, data of millions of Peruvians who communicate via fixed, mobile, and/or computers. The retained data is accessible by law enforcement agencies with a court order at anytime in the future. This decree was adopted without public consultation, one day before Peru’s independence day, and may take effect by September according to statements made by the Peruvian deputy minister of justice.

However, the Peruvian Congressional Committee on Constitution and Regulations is set to review the decree adopted by the Executive branch in the coming weeks. During the review, the committee will decide to repeal, reform or agree to the decree. Regardless of the decision, the committee opinion will pass through Congress in plenary sitting; if there are any changes, they will be voted on and adopted or rejected.

The data retention requirements of this decree alone would drastically change how state surveillance of communications are conducted in Peru. Instead of retaining data from suspected individuals, the law will reverse the presumption of innocence and oblige operators to retain communications data of an entire population, including those who are not suspected of any crime.

Together with our partners, Hiperderecho.org, we’ve launched an online campaign to tell members of the Congressional Committee in Peru to protect our privacy and security in the digital age. Government-mandated data retention impacts millions of ordinary users. It compromises online anonymity, which is crucial for whistle-blowers, investigators, journalists, and those engaging in political speech. National data retention laws are invasive, costly, and damaging to the right to privacy and free expression.  (To learn more about the danger of the bill read here, here and here)

Take Action: The Stalker Law Affects Our Privacy and Creates Insecurity

If you are Peruvian, you need to make your voice heard.  Using EFF's action center, you can communicate via Twitter with the members of the Constitutional Commission in Peru to suggest the prompt review of DL 1182. Choose a congressman, select a tweet, and post it through your Twitter account using our Action Center.  Tell your friends and family, too!

Lawmakers read your tweets, and if more Peruvians express concern about the Stalker Law, we can make a positive change to protect privacy and start a public discussion on how to effectively solve the problems of public safety. Insecurity, one of the arguments used to adopt the bill, will not be efficiently fought by violating the fundamental human rights of millions of innocent Peruvians.

Stalker Law Post on your website or on social networks

We invite you to write about the dangers of this decree. On Twitter using the hashtag #LeyStalker, on other social media, or on your blog. Spread the news by sending links to articles, such as those written by Hiperderecho. We need every Peruvian to know what's going on.

Follow Hiperderecho and EFF for updates

As DL 1182 passes through the Constitutional Committee, take action and inform our allies about the problems with this dangerous legislation. To stay up-to-date on the status of the decree, follow Hiperderecho.org on Twitter, or Facebook. We will also be covering the latest developments on #LeyStalker here at EFF.

Related Issues: InternationalMandatory Data RetentionSurveillance and Human Rights
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Categories: Aggregated News

In Lawsuit Challenging DEA Bulk Surveillance, Judge Gives Rare OK to Discovery

eff.org - Wed, 19/08/2015 - 08:03

A federal judge in Los Angeles has given our clients, Human Rights Watch, the go-ahead to take discovery from the government in our ongoing lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the DEA’s bulk surveillance program. Friday's decision is rare, and it's a decisive victory—both for HRW and for the general public. EFF is not aware of any other case where discovery has been allowed into a government mass surveillance program. And the order forces the government to answer questions, under oath, about the steps it took to ensure that all illegally collected records have been fully purged from all government systems.

The case stems from the DEA’s disclosure in January of this year that it had secretly collected Americans’ international call records in bulk for over two decades. News reports described the program as massive—sweeping in billions of records of Americans’ calls to more than 100 countries around the globe, including Canada, Mexico, India, and Italy. The DEA relied only on an obscure administrative subpoena statute to obtain the records in bulk. That means, unlike the NSA’s bulk surveillance program, there was no judicial involvement whatsoever. Making matters worse, reports confirm that multiple agencies searched the illegally collected records for all kinds of cases—from terrorism, to drug trafficking, to export violations.

In April, immediately following a lengthy report in USA Today, EFF filed suit on behalf of Human Rights Watch against the DEA, DHS, FBI, and various unnamed agencies. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the program, and seeks to ensure that the program is permanently stopped rather than merely suspended as claimed by DEA. The suit further asks the court to ensure that all illegally collected records are accounted for and destroyed.

The government, instead, asked the judge to dismiss the case. DEA had previously said that it had “suspended” collecting records in bulk in September 2013. Now, it submitted an additional four-paragraph declaration from a DEA agent that said the DEA’s illegally collected records had been “quarantined” and “purged.” That, the government argued, required the court to dismiss the case. The government was trying to sweep two decades worth of unconstitutional activity under the rug with a single, four-paragraph declaration.

We pushed back. We’ve seen enough government double-speak concerning surveillance programs to know that there was more to the story. We argued that the government’s four-paragraph, summary declaration wasn’t enough to establish that all of the billions of records it collected, over a twenty-year span, had been accounted for and purged. Instead, we asked the court to allow HRW to take discovery—basically, a process by which one party to a lawsuit can compel the other side to provide information—from the government about the surveillance program.

Although the court narrowed the scope of the discovery HRW can take, the decision is still a victory. It will provide some much needed insight into the government’s surveillance program and whether or not the government continues to retain and use those illegally collected records. And we'll keep fighting for more information about the program and to ensure that the program is stopped, once and for all.

Related Cases: HRW v. DEA
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Categories: Aggregated News

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