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Civil Liberties Groups Call for Stronger Oversight by House Intelligence Committee

eff.org - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 09:46

Edward Snowden’s 2013 release of once-secret documents about U.S. intelligence surveillance of the private communications of Americans and non-U.S. persons focused much-needed attention on the problem of how to control the burgeoning U.S. surveillance-industrial complex. 

But while the USA Freedom Act began to limit national security surveillance to some extent—and we hope for more limits given that FISA Section 702 is scheduled to expire in December 2017—it did little to address the underlying problem of excessive executive branch secrecy.  We remain largely in the dark about many of the facts of surveillance conducted by the U.S. government and its foreign intelligence community allies. 

Clearly, Congress cannot fulfill its vital role in the constitutional scheme of separation of powers without clear knowledge about intelligence activities.  The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) was created in 1977 to exert meaningful oversight over the intelligence community in the wake of revelations of wide-scale abuses and violations of law.1 HPSCI and its Senate counterpart, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, were intended to consolidate review of intelligence matters, inform the entire Congress of intelligence activities and hold public hearings to inform the broader public.

Since 9/11, however, it’s been obvious that these special intelligence committees have not effectively overseen the NSA, FBI, and other members of the intelligence community.

A recent Guardian article aptly summed up the problem:

The intelligence committee is a culture all to itself. Unlike most congressional panels, the vast majority of its work occurs in secret. It is term-limited, so members’ expertise levels vary. The byzantine rules of classification restrict staffers who might bolster legislators’ knowledge from accessing significant relevant information. Membership, particularly on committee leadership, instantly boosts the profile of ambitious legislators, who become de facto surrogates for intelligence officials on cable news. All of this means that a committee tasked as the primary avenue for imposing accountability on secret agencies faces the ever-present risk of becoming captive to the agencies they oversee.

Today, we join with Demand Progress, R Street Institute, and FreedomWorks in a white paper calling on the House of Representatives to reinvigorate its commitment to provide a meaningful check on executive-branch surveillance and reform how it conducts oversight over intelligence matters. This paper is complemented by a letter from 33 organizations endorsing stronger oversight of the intelligence community. 

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When the House convenes for the 115th Congress in January, it should update its rules to enhance opportunities for oversight by HPSCI members, by members of other committees with related jurisdiction, and by all other representatives. The House also should establish a select committee to review how it engages in oversight.

EFF has previously called on Congress [.pdf] to engage in a thorough review of intelligence community activities based on the model set by the Seventies-era “Church Committee,” and we continue to urge such large-scale review.  

But internal reform of House rules that currently make it exceedingly difficult for the vast majority of our elected representatives to know and understand what the intelligence community is doing can also pave the path to meaningful reform. 

For example, most HPSCI members lack a personal staffer for their HPSCI work, which requires a security clearance, and instead depend on committee staff—hired by and answerable to the HPSCI chair. Yet when eight HPSCI members sought funding ($125,000) to allow a staffer from each member's personal office to obtain sufficient clearance to assist with intelligence oversight, that request went nowhere, as far as we know.

Under our constitution of separated powers, access to information is essential to democratic accountability. We were fortunate that Snowden leaked significant information about surveillance abuses, but oversight by whistleblower revelations is not a sustainable strategy.  Without reform of excessive secrecy and overclassification, the window of transparency provided by the Snowden troves will close as the government creates new surveillance programs protected by secrecy and invulnerable to Congressional oversight.

  • 1. For examples of the abuses, see the Report of the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, also known as the "Church Committee" report, S Rept. 94-755 (1976), detailing assassination plots against foreign leaders, surveillance of domestic political activities and much more, available at http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/churchcommittee.html; see also the Pike Committee Report, available in print format from the Library of Congress at http://www.worldcat.org/title/cia-the-pike-report/oclc/3707054.
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6 Questions for EFF's New Coordinator of Grassroots Advocacy Camille Ochoa

eff.org - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 06:38

EFF is pleased to announce the addition of Camille Ochoa to the Activism team as Coordinator of Grassroots Advocacy. Camille has already been with EFF on the Operations team for over a year, and has recently worked with the Activism team to call attention to California's flawed gang databases as well as problematic police surveillance. She is now moving to the Activism team full-time to drive forward EFF's Electronic Frontier Alliance.

I asked Camille a few questions to learn more about what led her to EFF and her vision for EFF's outreach efforts.

Why did you decide to work at EFF?

When I came to EFF about a year ago, I didn't necessarily need a job. I was living contentedly in San Diego, impacting and shaping the next generation of activists (i.e. raising my kids). When I was presented the opportunity to apply to such a socially significant organization, though, I had to jump on it. I read about the work they were doing to combat the spread of the surveillance state and hold those in power to account, and I wanted in! My family dropped everything and moved 500 miles north to support me in making this new dream a reality.

I have spent the past year in a part-time position on the Operations team, which afforded me an amazing view of the organization as a living, thriving entity. It is through my exposure to EFF's work in that capacity that I became better equipped to branch out and offer my talents to the Activism team.

What are you most looking forward to working on as Coordinator of Grassroots Advocacy?

I get really excited when I think about the goals we have for the growth of the Electronic Frontier Alliance. It necessitates me proactively reaching out to groups and individuals who may not have already had us on their radar, and that is something I've spent the past year yearning to see more of. I'm glad I get to be involved with something that's so experimental and fluid - to help build something that's so fresh.

What is the Electronic Frontier Alliance?

I'm glad you asked! I think of it as something like a networking hub where student groups, community groups, and hacker spaces from around the country can connect, collaborate, and be inspired. For example, a university-based group that is focused on expanding the presence of women in tech can hear about the work that a hacker/maker group is doing 30 miles away. Perhaps those two entities can host a community workshop together on the importance of open source culture, or one group can expose the other to some new outreach materials and methods.

We're not looking solely at privacy activists to participate here (though they are more than welcome!). One of the purposes of the EFA is to expose as many people as possible to EFF's work and mission, and that means reaching out to those who don't already have us on their speed dial. As long as the groups espouse the 5 simple principles of the EFA, they can apply to be a member.

What roles do outreach and diversity play in EFF's mission to defend digital rights?

I am happy to say that outreach and diversity play a huge role in EFF's future. There's a very organic awareness happening here - every employee has "bought in" to a vision of EFF's community as more diverse and expansive than it has been in the past. We have so much love and respect for our long-time supporters; and we're all eager to expand that base in a way that keeps us relevant to this dynamic, evolving American society. EFF's work has always benefited people from all walks of life, but perhaps a small percentage were actually aware of that.

What advice do you have for people or groups who want to get involved?

I would encourage everyone who cares about civil liberties issues to, first of all, venture into your communities and meet your neighbors! Many people care about these things and you may find really innovative ways to connect with like-minded people around you. Some examples that spring to mind are digital rights-themed book clubs or a movie screening followed by a group discussion on the abuse of surveillance technology.

Groups that are already up and running can apply to be part of the EFA here. We do monthly video conferences where we check in and get aligned on each other's events or campaigns. You'd be amazed how much energy people all over the country are generating on a grassroots level.

Let's talk football. Who's your team?

The Raiders are due, man! (Unless they move to Vegas.)

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Farcical Syria Ceasefire in Name Only

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 02:55
Farcical Syria Ceasefire in Name Only
by Stephen Lendman
Syrian and Russian forces are strictly observing Geneva ceasefire terms as expected. US-supported terrorists violated them 23 times on day one, according to Russia’s General Staff, closely monitoring what’s going on daily.
According to Russian General Staff Major General Viktor Poznikhir, “Syrian government forces have completely stopped shelling, except for the areas occupied by ISIS and al-Nusra militants.”
“Unfortunately that can’t be said about the armed forces of (mischaracterized) moderate opposition (fighters comprised of cutthroat killers), backed by the United States.”
They’re shelling residential areas, killing civilians and injuring others. No cessation of hostilities exists. Expect none ahead. Endless war, related violence, chaos, and human suffering continues.
Washington and its rogue allies planned things this way. They control anti-government fighters, can stop attacks by ordering them ceased, along with halting supplies of weapons, munitions and other material support. 
Instead conflict continues with no prospect for resolving things. Hillary will escalate war if she succeeds Obama. He’s treading water, continuing proxy aggression, expecting her to take over in January, a breath-holding moment awaiting how aggressive she’ll be.
Obama exceeded George Bush’s worst crimes, bombing seven countries, waging endless wars of aggression in multiple theaters. 
Expect Hillary, if anointed president, to perhaps go where no previous US leader dared - waging thermonuclear war, creating overnight holocaust conditions in countries attacked, putting humanity’s survival up for grabs.
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: How the 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.

Is Philippine President Duterte Boldly Challenging America?

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 01:30
Is Philippine President Duterte Boldly Challenging America?
by Stephen Lendman
Rodrigo Duterte is unlike previous Philippine leaders, subservient to US interests, going along to get along.
Earlier this month, he called Obama a “son-of-a-bitch,” warning him not to criticize his extrajudicial killing policy, aimed at eliminating drug kingpins and dealers - reminding him of America’s longstanding deplorable record of unaccountable assassinations at home and abroad.
On Monday, he challenged Washington again, calling for removal of US forces from Jolo and Basilan islands, saying:
“These special forces…have to go. I do not want a rift with America, but they have to go.” They’ve been in the southern Philippines since 2002, supposedly to train and advise government forces during Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines.
Around 1,200 US forces were originally deployed, small numbers remaining for so-called logistics and technical support after the operation ended in 2015.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution prohibits foreign military bases on its territory. Article XVIII, Section 25 states:
“(F)oreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”
In 1991, US forces were withdrawn from Clark Air Base. Subic Bay withdrawal in late 1992 followed. Under a longstanding Mutual Defense Treaty, both nations agreed to defend each other against armed attack - a sort of bilateral NATO-type arrangement, Washington controlling things, continuing to treat the Philippines like a colony.
In 1999, its Senate ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement, permitting US forces on Philippine territory for joint military exercises and so-called defense cooperation.
Duterte blamed Washington’s military presence for inflaming Muslim population tensions. (A)s long as we stay with America, we will never have peace,” he said, adding he’s reorienting the country’s foreign policy.
According to State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby, Washington is “not aware of any official communication” to remove US special forces.
Saying he’s “not fighting with America,” is Duterte’s get tough policy rhetorical or a new approach to dealing with Washington? 
It’s not easy challenging its hegemonic power, especially for smaller nations unable to stop whatever it intends to do.
A Final Comment
In response to US War Secretary Ashton Carter’s Big Lie, claiming Russia undermines the international order, its Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, blasted US imperial policy, saying:
“It is the United States, alongside their Western partners, who have consistently destroyed the basic foundations of the existing world, starting with” the rape of Yugoslavia to all its post-9/11 wars still raging.
Instead of admitting responsibility and mending its ways, it “blam(es) everything on Russia, China and other countries with an independent outlook.”
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: How the 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.

Copyright Shouldn't Hold Technology Back

eff.org - Wed, 14/09/2016 - 00:37
Let’s Send a Message to the FCC: Consumers, Not Hollywood, Should Drive the Pay TV Market

The FCC is about to make a decision about whether third-party companies can market their own alternatives to the set-top boxes provided by cable companies. Under the proposed rules, instead of using the box from Comcast, you could buy your own from a variety of different manufacturers. It could even have features that Comcast wouldn’t dream of, like letting you sync your favorite shows onto your mobile phone or search across multiple free TV, pay TV, and amateur video sites.

We’ve been closely following the “Unlock the Box” proposal since it was first introduced in February, but its history goes back much further. Congress first authorized the FCC to enact rules bringing competition to the set-top box market 20 years ago, as a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. We’re so close to finally unlocking the box, but pay TV providers and big content companies have been throwing out every distracting argument they can to stop it.

This week, the FCC commissioners will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee. This might be our last chance. Let’s use this opportunity to send the commissioners a clear message: consumers should drive the set-top box market, not media conglomerates.

Tell the Senate Commerce Committee to stand up for innovation in the set-top box market.

When people have talked about Unlock the Box, it’s mainly been about how the rule would stimulate competition. It’s a basic principle of economics that when companies have to compete for your money, the product improves. That’s why we have antitrust laws preventing companies from maintaining a monopoly through unfair means. If your cable company has to compete with other set-top box manufacturers, then they’ll have to create a better product.

This isn’t just about healthy competition, though. It’s about much more. It’s about how much control we give big content owners over our technology. It’s about whether media giants can use copyright to hold our tech back.

Just as they did thirty years ago in the fight over VCRs, media conglomerates are trying to dominate the discussion. Cable companies and big movie and television studios have been arguing that the FCC’s proposal takes too much power out of the hands of content companies. Implicit in their argument is the assertion that copyright should let them control how, where, and when you watch TV, and what hardware you use to do it.

That’s not how copyright works, and it’s easy to see why. Imagine if a cable network tried to require that viewers watch its programs on a 42-inch television, or if a book publisher made you sign an agreement that you can only use a certain brand of light bulb to see its books. By design, copyright grants rights holders a specific and limited set of rights to their works—it does not give them the right to attach unlimited strings to others’ use of those works.

The fight over set-top boxes isn’t just about stimulating competition to bring higher quality products to market (as important as that is)—it’s about your basic rights as a consumer. It’s crucial that we send the message to the FCC commissioners: copyright doesn’t let content companies unfairly control technology.

Tell the Senate Commerce Committee to stand up for innovation in the set-top box market.

Update (September 20, 2016): Thanks to everyone who participated in this campaign. You sent over 1000 tweets to Commerce Committee members, making it clear that their constituents care about bringing fair competition to the set-top box market.

Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated revised rules to his fellow commissioners, but they have not yet been made public. A fact sheet published by the FCC indicates that under the new proposal, pay TV providers will be required to provide apps that consumers can use to watch their programming on third-party set-top boxes. It appears that this approach won’t give box manufacturers the same ability to customize and enhance the TV viewing experience that the original proposal would have.

The decision now lies in the FCC commissioners’ hands. We will be watching closely to see what happens.

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Will Power Brokers Running America Stick with Hillary?

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 21:37
Will Power Brokers Running America Stick with Hillary?
by Stephen Lendman
A separate article called her unfit to serve. Aside from moral, ethical and legal issues surrounding her, she’s clearly ill, maybe seriously enough to cause collapse and disability, rendering her unable to serve.
Her illness may be life-threatening. It’s unclear because she won’t release full information on her health status. 
Federal legislation is needed requiring presidential candidates to undergo thorough independent physical and emotional examinations to determine their ability to handle the rigors of the nation’s highest office.
It requires stamina, endurance and sound judgment to handle. Hillary’s emotional instability alone should disqualify her from running. Her illness and physical frailty should rule her out.
Age isn’t the issue. She’ll be 69 in October. Lots of individuals are healthy and active at that age and older.
I began writing and doing media work at nearly age 71, a second pro bono career in retirement, still active at it years later, putting in long hours daily, weekdays and weekends, including holidays.
World leaders past and present served well into their senior years. At the same time, poor health should automatically disqualify any aspirant for a nation’s highest office - especially America, the world’s dominant power.
Clinton, her campaign, and the DNC will likely continue refusing full disclosure of her health issues. Will most voters ignore it and support her in November? 
Will power brokers rig things to anoint her regardless of her apparent physical and emotional inability to serve? Will supportive media scoundrels continue downplaying the seriousness of installing a feeble, ill leader, vulnerable to collapse at any time?
As president and commander-in-chief of America’s military, she’ll have her finger on its nuclear trigger? Will she squeeze it during a period of emotional instability or illness preventing sound judgment?
Will she willfully, inadvertently or accidentally launch nuclear war? Is she the type leader Americans and humanity deserve in power? Can we tolerate someone unfit to serve in so many ways? 
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: How the 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.

Fighting Rages in Syria Despite Farcical Ceasefire

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 21:26
Fighting Rages in Syria Despite Farcical Ceasefire
by Stephen Lendman
Ceasefire in Syria exists in name only, in fancy hotel suites and meeting rooms alone - where Sergey Lavrov knew John Kerry bargained in bad faith.
US agreed on deals are meaningless, duplicitous. Its diplomats and politicians say one thing, knowing full well they intend something entirely different.
On issues of war and peace, it’s always the former over the latter to achieve imperial objectives, compromise out of the question despite false appearances otherwise. 
America doesn’t negotiate. It demands, imposing its will on other nations, forcibly when other methods fall short.
All post-9/11 US wars of aggression continue raging endlessly with no prospect for peace anywhere - along with war-related violence, chaos and appalling human misery no one not experiencing it can understand.
How can millions of traumatized young children in all US-instigated war theaters ever be able to live normal, healthy, productive lives as youths and adults?
Many lost mothers, fathers, siblings and other loved ones. Who can recover from trauma this horrific? How can scars this deep ever heal? How can love and respect ever replace hatred for vicious aggressors, America the world’s most reviled country for good reason.
Farcical ceasefire began at sundown in Damascus on Monday, September 12. Continued fighting rages as expected.
Turkey’s invasion, occupation and naked aggression on Syrian Kurds continues (with US support) on the phony pretext of combating ISIS, its ally, protecting its borders (simple by closing them), and illegally establishing a “safe zone” for civilians it’s systematically slaughtering.
Escalated war is virtually certain if Hillary succeeds Obama, militantly anti-Assad, intending greater US involvement to oust him forcibly - risking direct confrontation with Russia if events unfold this way.
Straightaway after ceasefire took effect on Monday, Syria’s military said terrorists violated it multiple times. It reserves the right to respond to hostile attacks, it stressed.
In Daraya in the Damascus countryside for Monday Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) prayers, Assad said “(v)isiting (the city) today has plenty of meanings. They may be symbolic, but they are not addressed to the Syrian people as I and the Syrian people…have been in the same situation since the beginning of the crisis.”
“We…send a message to (foreign-supported terrorist invaders) that the Syrian state is determined to retake every area…and restore security and safety.” 
“We come here today to replace the false freedom they tried to market at the beginning of the crisis, including about Daraya, with the real freedom; the freedom that starts with restoring security and safety, goes through reconstruction and ends with” national liberation.
On Monday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern about some (foreign-backed) opposition groups refusal to accept ceasefire terms, intending to keep fighting.
Like virtually all previous times, Washington intends blaming Syria and/or Russia for US-supported terrorists’ ceasefire violations - State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby falsely saying Assad “didn’t live up to (earlier) commitments…”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said “(b)efore any of that cooperation begins, we need to see Russia make good on the commitments they’ve made…to prevail upon…Assad…to observe the cessation of hostilities” - ignoring US-supported terrorists’ responsibility for virtually all breaches.
It’s clear what’s coming. US-backed terrorists will continue targeting Syria’s military and civilian areas. When government forces respond defensively and when Russian warplanes strikes terrorist areas, they’ll be wrongfully accused of violating ceasefire terms.
The deal was dead-on-arrival before formally announced - conflict resolution unattainable because Washington wants war, not peace, Assad removed, Syria colonized, its sovereignty destroyed, an Israeli rival eliminated, Iran isolated, neocons infesting Washington intending to target its government the same way.
Regional prospects look grim. Endless US direct and proxy aggression continues. Peace and stability remain unattainable because achieving them defeats America’s imperial project.
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: How the 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.

America's Real "Deplorables"

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 21:16
America’s Real “Deplorables”
by Stephen Lendman
Hillary calling half of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables…racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it” way overstepped the bounds of one political candidate hurling pejoratives at another, insulting millions of Americans in the process, hopefully enough to arouse greater numbers against her.
Her “deplorable” remarks describe America’s political class, a money-controlled criminal cabal running things, a one-party state with two right wings, neocons infesting Washington making policy, a nation addicted to permanent war on humanity.
Hillary symbolizes America’s “deplorable” state, exclusively serving its privileged class, the needs and welfare of its most vulnerable citizens increasingly ignored.
Countless trillions of dollars are wasted on militarism, naked aggression, corporate handouts and transforming America into an armed camp, police state harshness enforcing things, rule of law governance absent, social justice disappearing in plain sight. 
Tyranny rules, heading for full-blown. Democracy is pure fantasy. None whatever exists. Elections when held are farcical. Voters have no say whatever. Power brokers choose winners and losers. Each electoral cycle is worse than previous ones.
While wealth and power interests never had things better, ordinary people increasingly suffer. The Economic Collapse blog said tent city “homeless encampments are popping up (nationwide) as poverty grows at an alarming rate.”
Mass unemployment affecting nearly one-fourth of the working-age population, sweeping underemployment affecting most others, poverty wages, loss of on-the-job benefits, eroding public assistance, lack of affordable housing, unaffordable healthcare and other factors leave growing numbers of Americans without a place to live or ability to care for their basic needs.
Emergency conditions exist nationwide, largely unaddressed. Poverty, homelessness and hunger are at Depression era levels. Millions of households are food insecure. Millions of young children don’t get enough food to eat.
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile upscale shopping area I walk along often includes numerous men and women silently hoping passers-by will donate enough loose change so they can eat. 
It’s a heartrending sight, unacceptable anywhere, especially in the world’s richest country, unwilling to govern responsibly. I contribute regularly but can’t help everyone, much as I wish I could.
Clinton and Trump, power brokers around them, monied interests supporting them, their entourages, minions and hangers-on are self-serving, mindless of the general welfare, ignoring growing millions enduring “deplorable” conditions - state-sponsored cruelty making America unfit to live in except for its privileged few.
No matter who succeeds Obama next year, things will worsen, not improve, especially if it’s Hillary, a war goddess, racketeer, Wall Street tool. 
The nation of opportunity I grew up in many years ago no longer exists. The United States of I don’t care replaced it - a “deplorable” state of affairs.
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: How the 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.

Syria Downs Hostile Israeli Warplane and Drone in Its Airspace

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 20:44
Syria Downs Hostile Israeli Warplane and Drone in Its Airspace
by Stephen Lendman
Too bad it didn’t take out Israel’s entire air force. Allied with America, it’s the region’s leading aggressor, a ruthless rogue state, its nuclear arsenal and long-range delivery capability a threat to humanity.
On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported the following:
“The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces announced on Tuesday that the Israeli enemy’s air force attacked a Syrian military position in the countryside of the southern Quneitra province at 1 am on September 13, 2016.”
“The General Command said in a statement the Syrian air defense forces responded to the attack and shot down an Israeli warplane to the southwest of Quneitra and an Israeli drone to the west of Sa’sa’ town in the southwestern countryside of Damascus.”
“It noted that the Israeli attack came in support of the armed terrorist groups and in a desperate attempt to raise the deteriorating morale of their members due to the heavy losses they have suffered in Quneitra.”
In September alone, the IDF struck multiple Syrian targets, unprovoked willful acts of aggression like earlier, likely more to come - the world community remaining silent instead of condemning Israel’s outrageous actions.
The latest incident came after the US/Russian brokered farcical ceasefire began, a doomed effort. Admitting its aircraft were fired on, Israel denied Syrian media’s report, a statement claiming its “jets were far from the source of the fire and didn’t pose any danger to our forces.”
Statements from Israeli sources lack credibility. What’s going on appears an attempt to provoke Syria to cross an unknown red line, Israel perhaps intends using for greater aggression - maybe allied with America in all-out war if Hillary succeeds Obama, risking confrontation with Russia.
All bets are off if it happens.
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: How the 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.

Tell Justin Trudeau to Fight for Web Developer Saeed Malekpour

eff.org - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 05:43

Imagine: you're a programmer who loves to code. You're studying at college, but you're also working as a freelance web developer. In what spare time you have, you polish and release your best work under an open source license, for the world to use. Your father has grown sick and may be dying, and so you take a short break to travel back to the country of your birth to visit him.

After the long flight, you take a walk along the streets of the capital — perhaps to shake off your jetlag. Two men approach you, and begin aggressively questioning you. You're confused. Are they police officers? Without warning, they grab you by the arm, handcuff you, and force you into an unmarked sedan. You are thrown into solitary confinement, and held there for months, out of contact with the outside world. You are tortured. You are told that you are a criminal mastermind behind a network of evil websites. If you confess, they say, you will be released. You confess. They show your confession on national television. Your mother has a heart attack when the confessions are shown. You are sentenced to death. Your father dies as you await your execution.

That is the horrific story of Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident and programmer who was seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard in 2008. Following international pressure, Saeed's death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment, but he still remains in jail, thousands of miles away from his adopted country of Canada, trapped in Iran's notorious Evin prison. His case remains one of the most disturbing in our Offline list of technologists imprisoned for their work.

Help Saeed: Write to Justin Trudeau

There is absolutely no evidence that Saeed had any connection to the pornographic websites his captors accused him of running. It is Saeed and his family's belief that he was selected for arrest because his name was on an open source image-uploading utility used by the site.

Saeed was also chosen for political reasons. At the time of his arrest, Iran's hardliners were working to exert control over the Net and its creators. Arresting a coder living in the West and accusing them of being a foreign spy running a Persian language porn network was intended to paint the Net as a channel for corrupt Western influence—and to demonstrate that no-one, not even coders living in a foreign country, could escape punishment.

Justin Trudeau Can Restore Saeed's Freedom

Saeed's freedom has always depended on the global attention his case has received. Every improvement in his condition has come as a result of international pressure. Now is the perfect moment to press for his release and return. Canada's new government, led by Justin Trudeau, has begun negotiating with Iran to normalize their diplomatic and economic ties. Making such an agreement conditional on Saeed's release would allow him to return home to his family in Canada.

Unfortunately, the Trudeau administration has barely mentioned Saeed's case since gaining power. While Canada's foreign minister, Stéphane Dion, has said that he will work to free other Canadian prisoners, he told Saeed's sister that he has "limited" ability to intervene in Saeed's case because Saeed is an Iranian citizen.

This is not true: when Saeed, who is a Canadian permanent resident, faced a death sentence, Canada's Parliament voted unanimously to hold the Iranian authorities accountable. Saeed has been listed as a concern of Canada numerous times in previous ministerial communications. In the past, Canada has adopted Saeed's plight as eagerly as Saeed had adopted Canada as his home country.

That's why we're asking Net users and creators around the world to write to Trudeau and Dion now, to ask them to fight for Malekpour's freedom. Just as Iran needs to hear Canada's voice in support of Saeed Malekpour, the Canadian government needs to know that the world has not forgotten Saeed.

Please take two minutes to join us in mailing Canada's leaders and ask them to include Saeed's case in their negotiations with Iran.

Saeed was punished for being a programmer, willing to share his work with the rest of the Net. Now the Internet has a chance to save Saeed.

Help Saeed: Write to Justin Trudeau

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A Presidential Platform to Support

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 03:57
A Presidential Platform to Support
by Stephen Lendman
America’s political process is too corrupted to fix. Scattered reforms won’t work. Elections are farcical when held - worthless exercises maintaining status quo business as usual. Believing otherwise is self-delusion. 
Republican and Democrats are virtual cardboard cutouts of each other, differing largely in style and rhetoric, in lockstep on all issues mattering most, no matter how much they try pretending otherwise - this year, Clinton the most dangerous of two unacceptable options.
Reject the sham process representing monied interests exclusively - against governance of, for and by everyone fairly and equitably, what America never had from inception, for sure not now.
No major party candidate represents equity and justice principles below - a platform to support, including:
Putting money power back in private hands where it belongs - the antidote to a corrupted privatized system run by giant Wall Street banks, the way to end speculation, booms, busts, inflation, deflation, instability, crises, recessions, depressions, deprivation and despair, the road from “austerity to prosperity,” as Ellen Brown explains in her must read book titled “The Public Bank Solution.”
Replace regressive policies with progressive ones across the board - including government mandated universal healthcare and education to the highest levels.
Prioritize comprehensive, wide-ranging social justice excluding no one. Safeguard vital benefits. Strengthen middle America.
Progressive taxation: Make America’s monied interests pay their fair share. Assure a guaranteed minimum income for all households.
End corporate monopolies, oligopolies and interlocking directorates. Shut down or break up banks too big to fail.
Think small and local, not big and global.
Reinstitute Glass-Steagall, other responsible financial regulations, and anti-trust policy with teeth.
End corporate personhood. Corporations are businesses, not people.
Get money out of politics entirely. Prohibit money-controlled duopoly power. Let all political parties and candidates compete on a level playing field.
Mandate world peace as national policy. End America’s permanent war agenda. Close its global empire of bases. Slash its military, homeland security, FBI, CIA and other spy agency budgets by 75% or more. Save humanity from the horror of potential mass annihilation.
Reinvigorate industrial America. Create incentives to bring offshored jobs back home - penalties for failure.
Put corporate and government crooks in prison where they belong. Hold killer cops responsible for their crimes - and superiors permitting them.
Make failure to obey international, constitutional and US statute laws punishable for all offenders to the highest public and private levels - no exceptions.
End mass gulag imprisonment for society’s most vulnerable. Rescind America’s repressive drug laws. Make minor crimes punishable only by reprimands, small fines or community service.
Rescind all police state laws. Make it unconstitutional to enact them.
Hold media accountable for failure to report accurately and fully - especially on geopolitical and national issues mattering most.
Make ecosanity national policy. Hold offenders accountable.
Let organized labor bargain collectively with management on equal terms - like enacted under the landmark Roosevelt era National Labor Relations Act (1935).
Make rule of law principles sacrosanct - no deviations for any reason. 
Establish real democratic governance in America for the first time in its history. Make the nation fit to live in for all its citizens, residents and visitors.
Elect candidates endorsing these principles. Ignore the rest. Hold everyone in public office accountable. Punish offenders. Replace them with responsible officials.
Sustained grassroots activism for responsible change more than ever is needed. Famed anthropologist Margaret Mead was right saying: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has” - never from the top down.
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: How the 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.

Google for Hillary

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 13/09/2016 - 03:45
Google for Hillary
by Stephen Lendman
America’s electoral process is too debauched to fix. Trump is right believing things are rigged for “crooked Hillary” in November. 
Media scoundrels one-sidedly support her, praising her obsessively, suppressing her deplorable public record - notably whitewashing her war crimes, racketeering and perjury.
Even Google searches are rigged for her, according to a Sputnik News report, saying its Internet search engine “manipulates millions to favor Clinton.”
An American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology study conducted by Robert Epstein and Ronald Robertson concluded “search rankings favoring one candidate (Hillary over another, Trump) can quickly convince undecided voters to vote for (her) - as many as 80 percent of voters in some demographic groups.”
“Google is burying potential searches for terms that could have hurt Hillary Clinton in the primary elections…by manipulating recommendations on their site,” according to a video narrated by Matt Lieberman.
Epstein and Robertson’s research agrees, saying “(i)t is somewhat difficult to get the Google search bar to suggest negative searches related to Mrs. Clinton or to make any Clinton-related suggestions when one types a negative search term.”
It deliberately withholds negative search terms for Hillary, at the same time highlighting invented positive ones. Google’s claim about search suggestions based on “what other people are searching for” is false “in many instances” - for sure on Hillary. 
Its censorship substitutes for honesty and integrity in search results. “Masking a manipulation is easy, and Google is a master of obfuscation,” Epstein and Robertson explained.
Read their full report, published by Sputnik News, and learn how US voters are being manipulated to support Hillary over Trump. Voting against her is the only way to defeat this fraud.
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: How the 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.

Hillary: Unfit to Serve

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 19:40
Hillary: Unfit to Serve!
by Stephen Lendman
What’s known about her poor health makes her physically unfit to serve. Her persistent coughing spells and near-collapse Sunday, dubiously explained, alone are cause for concern.
More serious are her seizures, blackouts and diagnosis of dementia. Of greatest concern are deplorable moral, ethical, emotional and legal issues surrounding her - kept under wraps, her campaign and media scoundrels refusing to address what’s vital for everyone to know.
It bears repeating what I’ve said time and again. Hillary is the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history - unaccountable for major war crimes, racketeering and perjury.
As president and commander-in-chief of America’s military, she’s virtually certain to escalate conflicts in Syria and elsewhere, likely to recklessly challenge Russia, China and Iran militarily, along with being physically and emotionally unfit to serve.
On Sunday, her doctor, Lisa Bardack, released a statement, saying she was diagnosed with pneumonia, claiming her nagging, persistent cough is related to (unexplained) allergies.
She was “advised to rest and modify her schedule.” Claiming Sunday’s episode was because of “overheating and dehydration” left unexplained various other medical issues surrounding her, indicating she’s apparently too ill to carry out the rigorous duties required of a US president.
She cancelled a September 12 and 13 California fundraising trip. Maybe various stump appearances will be called off. Can she handle three rigorous  90-minute presidential debates without becoming wobbly or worse?
It’s easy concealing her condition by failing to disclose her medical issues provided they’re not visible or otherwise apparent publicly.
When episodes like Sunday happen, and a disturbing coughing spell aboard her campaign plane traveling with handpicked reporters, it’s another matter entirely.
What else isn’t the public being told about her health? How sick is she? Is she too frail to serve? As of Sunday, Trump hadn’t reacted to her fainting episode.
Days earlier, he twittered “(m)ainstream media never covered Hillary’s massive ‘hacking’ or coughing attack, yet it is #1 trending. What’s up?”
The Mayo Clinic explained the following on pneumonia, saying it’s “an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs.”
“The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.”
“Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65 (Hillary will be 69 in October), and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.”
At times, surgery is required to remove a mass when found in one or both lungs. It’s unknown if this affects Hillary.
Health is now a major issue surrounding her campaign. Her physical ability to serve as president is in question. 
It’s time for full disclosure on her status. Voters have a right to know. So do world leaders having to deal with a US president.
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: How the 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.

Media Scoundrels React to Hillary's Health

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 19:30
Media Scoundrels React to Hillary’s Health
by Stephen Lendman
Throughout the campaign, they’ve downplayed her health issues or ignored them altogether. Here’s how they reacted to her Sunday fainting episode and diagnosis of pneumonia.
The New York Times is a virtual Hillary press agent, one-sidedly promoting her campaign, glorifying the most deplorable presidential aspirant in US history.
After virtually collapsing on Sunday, she still refuses to release detailed information on her health. The Times downplayed her fainting spell, saying she “was taken from the morning event at ground zero to” her daughter Chelsea’s apartment.
Emerging 90 minutes later, “(s)he waved to onlookers and posed for pictures with a little girl on the sidewalk,” saying ‘I’m feeling great. It’s a beautiful day in New York.’ “
Pneumonia can be contagious. Hillary likely should be hospitalized or at least isolated to keep her infection from possibly spreading to others.
Her campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said she returned to her Chappaqua, NY home after 1:00PM, unseen publicly for the rest of the day.
After months of equivocating or denial, The Times finally admitted her “health and the transparency of her campaign” are issues of concern. It remains to be seen if it stays on this issue or makes it a one-day story.
On her campaign plane last week with handpicked reporters, Hillary scoffed at issues about her health, saying “I’m not concerned about the conspiracy theories. There are so many…I’ve lost track of them.”
Her poor health is serious enough to question her physical ability to serve, not a conspiratorial campaign tactic against her.
The one-sidedly pro-Clinton Washington Post called her health “a real issue in the presidential campaign.” Her spokesman downplaying Sunday’s incident rang hollow.
WaPo said his statement omitted explaining her near-collapse came while attempting to enter her van after the 9/11 ceremony. Reporters were prohibited from following her.
The Sunday Manhattan temperature was comfortably warm, not hot and humid, unlikely to result in overheating and dehydration as her campaign and doctor claimed.
WaPo admitted reporting “dismissively” about her health earlier, saying she got a clean bill of health from her doctors. It now said two incidents in less than a week means “health (is) no longer just the stuff of conspiracy theorists.”
“Taking the Clinton team's word for it on her health - in light of the episode on Sunday morning - is no longer enough. Reasonable people can - and will - have real questions about her health.”
“Sunday morning changed the conversation in the race about Clinton's health. Or rather it will force Clinton to have a conversation about her health in the race.”
Amazing stuff from a publication one-sidedly supporting her candidacy. Whether it keeps it up remains very much open to question.
The Wall Street Journal headlined “Hillary Clinton’s Pneumonia Jolts the Presidential Race,” saying:
“The Clinton campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment about why they didn’t reveal the diagnosis earlier.” Secrecy surrounds her health status.
“With polls showing voters question Mrs. Clinton’s honesty, the delay in revealing her condition after Sunday’s incident could further damage her credibility,” the Journal cited critics saying.
Poor health is one of numerous disturbing issues surrounding her - why it’s crucial to defeat her in November and rid humanity of the threat she represents to world peace, stability and security.
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: How the 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.

War Rages in Syria Hours Ahead of Farcical Ceasefire Deal to Begin

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 19:16
War Rages in Syria Hours Ahead of Farcical Ceasefire Deal to Begin
by Stephen Lendman
Lavrov/Kerry agreed on terms in Geneva last Friday call for cessation of hostilities to begin at sundown on Monday, September 12, Damascus time - ISIS and al-Nusra excluded.
The last negotiated peace deal effective at midnight on February 26 was breached straightaway. Will this time be different? Chances are virtually nil. 
I explained many times Washington wants war, not peace, Assad ousted, US-controlled puppet governance replacing him, intending continued war until it’s objective is achieved - virtually certain to escalate dangerously if Hillary succeeds Obama.
On Monday, the Khmeimim-based Russian Coordination Center monitoring cessation of hostilities since February reported 1,199 breaches so far - in other words, continuing virtual full-scale war.
On Sunday, eight new breaches were reported. Syria media reported US-supported terrorists shelled Douma, Harasta, Hawsh Dawara and Erbin in the Damascus countryside along with Hamra in Lattakia province.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said “(u)nits that affiliate with the opposition Jaysh al-Islam group have shelled the settlements of Tell al-Kurdi, Haush-Duara, Al-Mohammadia, Nashabia, Jaubar (twice) in the Damascus province from mortars and multiple rocket launcher systems. Armed Ahrar al-Sham groups subjected the settlement of Shir-Adaba to mortar fire.”
“Over the last 24 hours, terrorists in Aleppo shelled the settlements of Shurfa and Benjamin, 1070 quarters, Ramusi, Al-Assad military academy and Castello trade center from hand-made multiple rocket launcher systems, infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank missile systems, tanks and mortars.”
ISIS, al-Nusra and various terrorist groups mischaracterized as moderates continue obstructing chances for conflict resolution.
On Monday, fighting continued raging in and around Aleppo and elsewhere throughout much of the country. Cutthroat killers comprising Ahrar al-Sham, considered “moderate rebels” by Washington, vowed to ignore ceasefire terms.
On Sunday, its spokesman Abu Yousif Al-Muhajar strongly rejected it, saying it’s “between the US and Russia…not related to us and we don’t discuss it.”
Throughout years of conflict, diplomats agreeing on peace terms proved meaningless. Geneva on Friday failed before being announced - a sham deal, not one holding promise.
Hostilities rage, US-supported terrorists entirely responsible, sure to continue unabated after sundown on Monday.
Another peace deal already proved farcical like earlier conflict resolution attempts. Ordinary Syrians suffer and die while diplomats talk - accomplishing nothing.
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: How the 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.

Jill Stein Supports 9/11 Truth

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 02:39
Jill Stein Supports 9/11 Truth
by Stephen Lendman
9/11 Truth supporters urge “exposing the official lies and cover-up (so everyone) understand(s) the truth” about what happened on that fateful day.
They demand accountability for rogue US government elements and its “covert policy apparatus (responsible for) orchestrat(ing) or participat(ing) in the execution of the attacks…”
They support “scholarly research and public education” on what’s been “suppressed (and) its (horrendous) aftermath.”
They “seek justice and redress for those wronged” by state-sponsored criminality. They oppose everything bipartisan rogue actors in Washington support.
They “solicit collaboration with others who are committed to achieving these goals by way of peaceful transformation.”
They promote truth-telling and full disclosure about the major event of our time - exposing continued proliferation of misinformation and Big Lies.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is a 9/11 Truth supporter - a statement on her web site saying the following:
On the 15th Anniversary, We Need to Learn the Full Story of 9/11 and to End the Catastrophic Wars on Terror That Followed
Fifteen years ago the world reacted in horror as more than 3,000 individuals were murdered. We honor those victims, and the heroic first responders of that day.
The same day the Green Party issued a statement calling for this act of terrorism to be treated as a crime against humanity and for the culprits to be criminally prosecuted. We pleaded, ‘Do not turn our cries of grief into a cry for war.’ 
Our national leaders and the corporate media ignored us.The Stein/Baraka campaign stands for truth and transparency in politics. Since September 11 of 2001, secrecy and lies, endless war, torture, and a frightening ‘surveillance state’ have become the new normal.
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, it is past time for sober reflection and public discourse about this tragedy.
We now know with absolute certainty that fraudulent claims of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda were used as pretexts to invade Iraq. 
That illegal and immoral war cost the lives of over 4,000 US soldiers and maimed and wounded (many) more. In Iraq, (millions) were killed (dating from the 1991 Gulf War).
Fifteen years (post-9/11), American troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. The pretext of ‘humanitarian relief’ was used to invade and devastate Libya. And the escalating violence has intensified (Syria) into a disaster of the highest order. 
The Obama administration has expanded a drone war into Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. Hundreds of thousands of people - many of them children - have died as a result of the invasions. Millions more have become refugees.
The September 11 attacks were used (as a pretext) to launch (phony) war against terrorism, yet (it) soared worldwide. (It’s) used as an excuse to squash civil liberties and to scapegoat Muslims and other immigrants.
This year the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Adha coincides with the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11. We join with people of all faiths and beliefs in standing with our Muslim friends and neighbors and demand an end to Islamaphobia in public discourse.
It is time to end these failed wars and to heed the Green Party's initial call to build a new world based on peace and justice.The families and friends of those who were murdered on 9/11 deserve justice. They also deserve to know the truth.
Led by the families of those who died on 9/11, the American people wanted - and deserved - a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the attacks. The Bush administration initially said an inquiry was unnecessary, claiming that the perpetrators had been identified and their methods and motives were clear.
It is well known that the 9/11 Commission produced a report containing so many omissions and distortions that Harper's Magazine described it as ‘whitewash as public service’ - a document that ‘defrauds the nation.’ 
The co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission wrote a book just two years after the final commission report, saying, ‘We were set up to fail.’ The 9/11 Commission was not given enough money, time, or access to relevant classified information.The Stein/Baraka campaign believes a new inquiry is necessary.
Under our administration a new inquiry would have access to the considerable body of responsible independent research that has emerged over the last 15 years. We would create an independent 9/11 Commission, not one dominated by members with an interest in protecting the reputation and careers of foreign affairs and intelligence communities.
The US government has finally released the long-classified 28 pages from the 2002 Congressional Report, which have raised many questions about Saudi intelligence as well as other intelligence agencies and their relationship to 9/11.
It's time for a full accounting of what happened, and an end to the misguided post-9/11 wars that are actually making us less safe, not more safe.
Jill Stein” 
9/11 was Anglo-Zionist state-sponsored criminality against humanity, the undeclared start of WW III, wanting all sovereign independent nations replaced by subservient US vassal states - naked aggression America’s strategy of choice to achieve its objective.
Things are heading for unparalleled catastrophic consequences without popular outrage aroused enough to stop US state-sponsored pure evil.
We have a choice. We can combat its scourge threatening humanity and survive, or perish by dismissively doing nothing and letting it flourish until it consumes us all.
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: How the 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.

9/11 Memorial Hypocrisy

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 12/09/2016 - 02:17
9/11 Memorial Hypocrisy
by Stephen Lendman
The Memorial and Museum at so-called ground zero leave unexplained Anglo/Zionist responsibility for slaughtering 2,977 World Trade Center victims of US imperial viciousness.
America murders its own, then honors the victims. It sends naive youths off to wage wars of aggression, then abandons them on returning home to broken promises - including woefully inadequate medical care for physically wounded, maimed and/or emotionally scarred veterans.
On Sunday morning, Trump and Clinton came to ground zero as expected, taking a day off from campaigning, appearing separately, arriving with entourages - ignoring state-sponsored terrorism, perpetuating the myth of jihadist responsibility.
Fox News reporter Rick Leventhal, covering the ceremony, said Hillary appeared to have a “medical episode” - stumbling on her way to her van, appearing to faint. Her “knees buckled,” losing a shoe, needed help, and left early for an unknown location.
The incident “happened in an area that was off-limits to the press, so the pool reporters that follow (her) wherever she goes didn’t see it,” Leventhal explained.
His source, “15 feet away” from what happened witnessed it firsthand. Hillary’s campaign staff provided no information on her health, ignoring the incident. Maybe returning to the scene of state-sponsored terror when she was a New York senator affected her.
Annual 9/11 ceremonial events reflect despicable hypocrisy, not respect for US imperial victims at home or abroad, body counts mounting, 9/11 the trigger, setting off 15 years of mass slaughter and destruction - endless carnage and human misery, no end to it in sight.
“We will remember” the grieving, said George Bush, he and Obama guilty of the supreme crime against peace, unaccountable for mass murder, along with Anglo/Zionist 9/11 plotters and perpetrators, likely CIA and Mossad operatives.
America’s phony pre-planned global war on terror followed that fateful day, pretext for waging war on humanity, all sovereign independent countries on Washington’s target list, ravaging and destroying one after another - the objective to achieve unchallenged global dominance, Russia, China and Iran the final frontier hurdles to overcome for achieving it.
9/11’s 15th anniversary is a time for people everywhere to reflect on what they’re up against - a criminal cabal running America, threatening their lives and well-being, humanity’s greatest scourge.
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: How the 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.

Only Damn Fools and Old Fools Fools Still Believe the Official 9/11 Story

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 11/09/2016 - 21:18
Only Damn Fools and Old Fools Still Believe the Official 9/11 Story
by Stephen Lendman
I’ve written so much on it earlier, debunking the official Big Lie, the mother of all false flags, citing volumes of clear evidence, quotes from esteemed independent analysts like David Ray Griffin (author of 10 definitive books on the topic), as well as other reliable independent sources. 
I intended to skip commenting more on the 15th anniversary of that fateful day, then felt compelled to say something.
It changed the geopolitical landscape, perhaps forever, a Pearl Harbor-type event, with potential consequences more significant than the first one. 
I believe it launched WW III like December 7 way back got America into the last global war, this time with no fanfare or anyone noticing. It’s crucially important because today’s super-weapons make earlier ones look like toys.
Bipartisan neocons infesting Washington threaten life on earth, waging multiple wars of aggression against invented adversaries worldwide, intending new ones - all sovereign independent states targeted for regime change.
They’re on every continent. If attacking them or intending to isn’t world war, what is? Brazil just went down. Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba may follow.
Iran represents the Anglo/Zionist’s final Middle East frontier to conquer. Russia and China end game take down for unchallenged US global dominance is planned.
9/11 started it all - a neocon/Anglo/Zionist plot to roll over all sovereign independent countries like tenpins - heavy lifting needed for regime change in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran. 
Syria proved much tougher than expected. Russian involvement against terrorism it wants kept from reaching its heartland changed the balance of power dramatically.
It would rather fight the scourge of US-supported ISIS and likeminded groups abroad than have to contend with them domestically. Its government understands 9/11 truth. So do all others worldwide and everyone paying attention.
Bin Laden and so-called “crazed Arabs,” including the Saudis, despicable as they are, had nothing to do with downing the Twin Towers, Building 7 (its collapse reported by the BBC half an hour before it happened) or striking the Pentagon.
The official Big Lie persists, media scoundrels keeping it alive each anniversary period, mourning US victims, ignoring millions US imperialism killed in its aftermath.
Endless US 9/11 launched wars continue. Body count numbers keep mounting. Fiction substitutes for hard facts in explaining how it all began and where things stand now.
World peace hangs in the balance. Humanity’s fate is up for grabs. America’s rage for dominance threatens everyone.
If neocon lunatic war goddess Hillary succeeds Obama, all bets are off. Nuclear armageddon may follow - 9/11 the fateful trigger 15 years ago, a day few around to remember will ever forget.
Nor had they any idea of the endless nightmare to follow - things incrementally worsening, heading for full-blown tyranny at home and possible, maybe likely, nuclear war abroad dooming us all if launched.
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: How the 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.

Rubbish Media Scoundrels Still Report on 9/11, Systematically Suppressing Hard Truths

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 11/09/2016 - 21:08
Rubbish Media Scoundrels Still Report on 9/11, Systematically Suppressing Hard Truths
by Stephen Lendman
Scoundrel media proliferated Big Lies about 9/11 persist, 15 years after that fateful day. 
Bin Laden and so-called “crazed Arabs” had nothing to do with what happened - yet still are wrongfully blamed for Anglo/Zionist state-sponsored terrorism, the mother of all false flags, unleashing a holocaust on one nonbelligerent sovereign independent state after another with no letup.
Below are three examples of media misinformation - disgraceful rubbish responsible editors and journalists wouldn’t touch.
Media scoundrels feature it, notably the New York Times, lead press agent for imperial lawlessness, its editors headlining “A Walk Around the Void of 9/11,” painful reading for 9/11 truth supporters.
Everything important to know about 9/11 was airbrushed from The Times report, diversionary rubbish and Big Lies substituting.
Honoring ground zero victims and first responders ignored US war on humanity following that fateful day. Praising “exemplary (US) leadership” in its aftermath mocked and denigrated the millions of lives lost - victims of imperial viciousness.
Respecting “sacred ground” fails to explain state-sponsored criminality responsible for what happened.
Times editors saying go “to Lower Manhattan. Walk a block or two…reflect on” what happened 15 years ago, then imagine “what we, the living, can do to build a better world” ignores how US imperial ravaging is systematically destroying it.
Neocon Washington Post editors hyped what they called a “jihadist threat loom(ing) larger than ever across the globe” - instead of explaining it’s US created and supported.
Claiming its post-9/11 policies made Americans safer ignores what I call the most perilous time in world history because of Washington’s imperial rampaging, threatening world peace and humanity’s survival.
WaPo claiming Bush and Obama “thwarted multiple terrorist plots and achieved significant military successes against specific terrorist factions and key leaders” it utter rubbish, willful misinformation and Big Lies.
America doesn’t counter terrorism. It creates, fosters and supports it, part of its imperial agenda for dominion over planet earth, its puppet authorities subservient to US interests, resources and populations - naked aggression its main strategy of choice.
Media scoundrels like WaPo suppress what’s most important to know, operating as press agents for power.
The Wall Street Journal disgracefully gave former neocon senator Joe Lieberman feature op-ed space to misinform readers - scandalously headlining “Remember Iran’s Role in 9/11.”
He lied claiming nonexistent Iranian “assistance to terror organizations and operations around the world.”
He lied calling Tehran “a key al Qaeda partner.”
He lied claiming a nonexistent Iranian “enabling role” in the 9/11 attack, citing the 9/11 whitewash commission’s fabricated charge about “strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”
Utter rubbish along with citing the State Department’s Big Lie (featured by Israel and AIPAC), calling Iran the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.
America and Israel share the dubious dishonor hands down, along with their rogue Western and regional partners in high crimes.
Iran deplores al Qaeda and likeminded terrorist groups. America created and supports them. So do NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, among other rogue states.
Bin Laden died of natural causes in December 2001, widely reported at the time. Yet Lieberman cited a “2007 letter (he supposedly) directed at Al Qaeda not to target Iran because it’s ‘our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication.’ “
Utter rubbish, Lieberman then blasting US policymakers for “pursu(ing) closer relations with Tehran,” adding:
“We negotiated with our enemy…notwithstanding its declared and demonstrated desire to destroy our country.” Truth, of course, is polar opposite Lieberman’s outrageous charge.
Arguing for holding Tehran “accountable for (nonexistent) reckless aggression and support for terrorism” is code language for supporting US aggression to eliminate Israel’s main regional rival.
Washington is infested with lunatic neocons like Lieberman - humanity’s greatest threat.
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: How the 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.

All Anti-Syrian Forces Are US-Backed Terrorists

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 11/09/2016 - 20:56
All Anti-Syrian Forces Are US-Backed Terrorists
by Stephen Lendman
One of many Big Lies about conflict in Syria is calling it civil, a revolution. Rubbish! It’s Obama’s war using terrorist foot soldiers to do his dirty work, regime change the goal.
Another Big Lie pretends so-called “moderate rebels” are involved in combating the government. Nonsense! None exist.
One of the cornerstones of the Lavrov/Kerry deal is separating nonexistent moderates from terrorists. Impossible because all armed opposition elements are US-supported cutthroat killers, imported death squads, their numbers replenished regularly to compensate for combat losses.
Their arms, munitions and other material support come from foreign sources, America and other rogue states wanting Syrian sovereign independence destroyed, pro-Western tyranny replacing it, puppet governance over democracy.
Media scoundrels explain none of this, operating as imperial press agents, supporting all US wars of aggression, mindless of continued genocidal slaughter.
Chances for Geneva terms agreed on to leading to cessation of hostilities and peaceful conflict resolution in Syria are nil.
The deal gives US-supported terrorists time to regroup, rearm and replenish their ranks ahead of their next offensive - with full NATO and regional rogue states’ support and encouragement.
On Saturday, Syrian media reported Israeli warplanes aided terrorist fighters in the area of al-Amal Farms in Quneitra countryside - bombing government positions, Israel involved with Washington in wanting Assad toppled, waging intermittent naked aggression against Syria’s sovereign government. 
Expect it to continue, Friday’s Geneva deal not stopping it - nor curtailing US, UK and French warplanes from terror-bombing government, infrastructure and civilian targets, blaming their high crimes on Assad or Russia.
Geneva terms aren’t worth the paper they’re detailed on. Why? Because Washington wants war, not peace.
Obama didn’t launch naked aggression to quit until accomplishing his regime change objective, transforming Syria into another US vassal state, America claiming another imperial trophy.
On September 10, Reuters headlined “US-Russian Syria peace deal raises rebel (sic) doubts as fighting rages,” saying hours later airstrikes targeted “a busy marketplace, killing and injuring dozens…locals (sic)” blaming Russia for the incident.
Since it began anti-terrorist operations last September, no credible evidence suggests its sorties struck any nonmilitary-related areas. Plenty indicts America, its so-called coalition partners, and terrorist foot soldiers for slaughtering civilians, along with committing gruesome atrocities.
Syria agreed to abide by Geneva ceasefire terms. International law supports its right of self-defense. If its forces or civilians are attacked, its military will respond accordingly - as it should. Anything less would be irresponsible.
Governments are obligated to serve and protect the interests and welfare of their people. Few do it. Never is it more vital than when under attack by foreign forces.
Syria was invaded. Assad responsibly rose to the challenge. He and all Syrians want conflict resolution and a chance to rebuild their war-torn country.
Geneva last Friday changed nothing. Continued war rages. Repeated diplomatic efforts failed because Washington rejects peace and stability.
Conflict resolution depends on triumphing on the battlefield, defeating the scourge of US-backed terrorism, using the only language America understands.
Believing it switched from aggressor to peacemaker last Friday is pure fantasy, a sure way to lose the advantage Syrian and Russian forces gained.
If Syria is ever again to restore peace and stability, it’s crucial not to let this happen. We’re all Syrians in the struggle against US imperial ruthlessness!
A Final Comment
On September 10, Sputnik News reported Moscow and Tehran arranging for Russian warplanes to return to Iran’s Hamadan airbase to resume anti-terrorist operations in Syria.
Missions were carried out from the facility in August, lasting about a week, then stopped over a “misunderstanding” about information about the operation becoming publicly known.
It’s being resolved, preparations underway for Russian aircraft, equipment needed and ground personnel to return, expected to take about a week.
Russia will have an additional location from which to continue counterterrorism operations, using long-range bombers with powerful payloads.
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: How the 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.

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