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Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 23:46
Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide
By Stephen Lendman
Longstanding US-led Western support lets Israel get away with genocidal mass murder and destruction. More on this below.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the latest example of well planned, premeditated Israeli aggression on Palestine. 
It has nothing to do with Hamas rocket attacks, self-defense or security.
It has everything to do with maintaining occupation harshness, assuring unchallenged control of all valued parts of Judea and Samaria, denying Palestinians self-determination, stealing their land and resources, as well as pursuing a longstanding Greater Israel objective.
Israel believes its "promised land" extends from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon at least to the Litani River.
It lawlessly occupies Syria's Golan Heights, as well as Lebanon's Ghajar village and 14-square mile water-rich Sheba Farms.
In 1982, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs senior adviser Oded Yinon published "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s." It's a regional conquest and dominance plan.
For Israel to survive, Yinon believed it must dominate the Middle East. It must become a world power.
All challengers must be eliminated. Israel wants Arab nations balkanized along ethnic and sectarian lines. 
It wants weakened, fragmented, divided, reconfigured controllable satellites. Its Judaization of Palestine master plan involves slow-motion genocide.
It wants Arabs excluded from all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants irreversible facts on the ground established.
Ideally, it wants Palestine entirely Judaized. It wants Arabs ethnically cleansed by whatever means possible.
In February 2012, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, commented after visiting Israel and Occupied Palestine, saying:
"From the Galilee and the Negev to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities."  
"Throughout my visit, I received repeated complaints regarding lack of housing, threats of demolitions and evictions, overcrowding, the disproportional number of demolitions affecting Palestinian communities side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements."
"The policies adopted by Israeli authorities severely restrict Palestinians from building legally through various means." 
"Among others, Israel has not provided Palestinians with the necessary planning framework to ensure that their basic housing and infrastructure needs are met." 
"Currently, tens of thousands of Palestinians are estimated to be at risk of their homes being demolished due to unregulated building."
At issue is pursuing maximum Judaization with minimum Arabs. Current policies reflect Yigal Allon's post-Six Day War plan.
It called for permanent militarized occupation. It mandated "maximum land with minimum Arabs." Its other elements included:
  • dispossessing Palestinians from areas Israel wants exclusively for Jews;

  • annexing all valued parts of Judea and Sumaria;

  • controlling Greater Jerusalem;

  • claiming it as Israel's exclusive capital;

  • establishing settlements, military bases, free-firing zones, commercial locations, tourist sites, nature reserves, no-go areas, Jews-only roads, checkpoints, barriers, and other exclusively Jewish areas;

  • stealing Palestinian resources; and

  • crushing resistance by brutal subjugation and genocidal wars of aggression.

The late Edward Said once said "(y)ou cannot continue to victimize someone else" because of your own previous victimization or for any extrajudicial reason.
"We cannot fight for our rights and our history as well as future until we are armed with weapons of criticism and dedicated consciousness."
Mahatma Gandhi once said "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French." 
"It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs." 
"Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home."
Bertrand Russell once asked "(h)ow much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?
In his book titled "Peace Not Apartheid," Jimmy Carter said: 
"Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law."
"The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories."
President Nicolas Maduro said "(t)he Bolivarian Government of Venezuela vigorously condemns the unfair and disproportionate military response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian people."
Israel believes it has a divine right to operate extrajudicially. Western leaders offer full support.
Obama supports Israeli aggression. So do nearly all congressional members. They lie calling it Israel's right to self-defense. 
The Jewish state's only enemies are ones it invents. It does so as pretexts for colonization, occupation, apartheid, ruthless militarized repression and wars of aggression.
A July State Department statement lied saying "(n)o country should be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization are launched into their country."
Fact: Hamas is no terrorist organization.
Fact: It's Palestine's democratically elected government.
Fact: It responds solely to Israeli aggression.
Fact: International law affirms its right to do so.
Fact: Israel is one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers.
Fact: It ignores international laws, norms and standards.
Fact: It operates extrajudicially.
Fact: It's guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some.
Fact: Western leaders turn a blind eye to what demands universal condemnation and accountability.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a convenient imperial tool. He shames the office he holds. 
He urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint. He was laregly silent on its genocidal war. 
He called legitimate Gazan rocket attacks in response to Israeli aggression "unacceptable."
British Prime Minister David Cameron "strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians…and underlined Israel's right to defend itself from them."
He ignored what speaks for itself. Hamas responds solely in self-defense. 
Its rockets are pinpricks compared to Israeli firepower. They killed two Israeli civilians and one Thai national.
Israel's genocidal war murdered over 2,065 Palestinians so far. It injured over 10,300 others. Many seriously. Some will die. Others will be maimed for life. Over 80% are civilians. Over 550 are children.
Israel indiscriminately turned large parts of Gaza to rubble. Entire residential neighborhoods were destroyed. 
Schools, hospitals, UN shelters and mosques were bombed and shelled. Not one square inch of Gaza is safe. 
State terrorism is official Israeli policy. So is lawless collective punishment.
Israel considers civilian men, women and children legitimate targets. So are civilian structures and infrastructure unrelated to military necessity.
Rogue terror states operate this way. America and Israel are the world's worst.
Ireland's Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore "condemn(ed) unreservedly the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel which pose such a grave threat to the population."
At the same time, he criticized mounting civilian casualties in Gaza.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier told Israeli Knesset members:
"I have come to tell you that the French people will always stand at the State of Israel's side whenever its existence is threatened."
He failed to explain its existence never faced existential threats except briefly during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For sure it faces none now.
Current French President Francois Hollande strongly supports Israel's right to "self-defense."
At the same time, he said "(a)ll efforts must be boosted to impose, now more than ever, a ceasefire in Gaza and end the suffering of the civilian population."
His government so far did nothing to do it. Nor any other Western one.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier said "(i)t's the legitimate right of Israel to protect its own people."
She turns truth on its head holding Hamas alone responsible for current and past conflicts with Israel.
GW Bush earlier said "Hamas…show(s) its true colors as a terrorist organization that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.'
"In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel, and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire."
Fact: Hamas will recognize Israel when it unconditionally accepts Palestinian self-determination within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.
Fact: Israel bears full responsibility for sabotaging current and earlier efforts for sustainable peace and stability.
Israel is a lawless rogue terror state. Washington supports its brutal occupation and genocidal wars. So do other Western nations. 
As long as status quo conditions remain, justice for long-suffering Palestinians will remain elusive. 
Israeli genocidal wars of aggression will repeat. Unaccountable mass murder and destruction will follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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's Genocidal War Continues - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 18:02
Israel's Genocidal War Continues
by Stephen Lendman
On Tuesday, peace talks collapsed. Israel sabotaged them. It refused to negotiate in good faith. It's longstanding Israeli practice.
Straightaway fighting resumed. Hamas rockets are pinpricks compared to merciless Israeli air, ground and sea attacks.
Sophisticated weapons cause mass slaughter and destruction. Through early evening Wednesday Gaza time, at least 24 more Palestinians were reported killed.
They're mostly civilians. They include women and children. The Palestinian death toll exceeds 2,040. Over 10,200 were injured. Many seriously. Some will die. Casualties keep mounting.
Life for many thousands of Gazans won't ever be the same. Many lost homes and all their possessions. Losing loved ones matters most.
Israel reported striking "60 terror sites" overnight. Two individuals were targeted. An attempt to kill al-Qassam Brigades commander Muhammad Deif failed.
His wife and four-year-old daughter weren't as fortunate. An Israeli air strike murdered them in cold blood.
Haaretz calls Dief "a serial assassination-attempt survivor." He survived at least five attempts on his life. 
If it's now six, Netanyahu will face added pressure to show how over 10,000 Palestinian casualties and large parts of Gaza in ruins benefit Israel.
July 12, 2006 was the last known time Israel tried to kill Dief. He was wounded, survived, and continues leading Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades resistance righters.
Anti-Israeli world public opinion remains strong. Global BDS initiatives are increasing.
According to Haaretz, Killing Dief is important for Israel. Assassinations are lawless extrajudicial acts.
In Israel, they're "considered achievements that can be marketed to the public," said Haaretz. At the same time, they don't fundamentally change things on the ground.
SuperValu is Ireland's biggest food retailer. It decided no longer to sell Israeli products. In early August, it ordered its 232 stores to remove them from their shelves.
Major Irish toy retailer Smyths did the same thing. It displayed a poster saying Israeli products were removed from store shelves.
The decision followed a huge surge in Irish Palestinian support. It includes growing numbers of boycott initiatives.
Reports indicate other major European retailers did the same thing without announcing it publicly.
Boycotting Israel is more important than ever. Hitting it economically works. So does citing Israel's genocidal war on Gaza as reason enough to do it.
An August Hebrew business web site called The Marker said retailers fear the influence of growing numbers of consumers boycotting Israeli products.
A spokesman for major Israeli fruit grower/exporter EDOM said:
"Importers from Europe are telling us that they can't sell Israeli produce."
"One European buyer has told me that he had been blocked in several chains in Denmark and Sweden, and then in Belgium." 
"Last weekend, he told me that mangoes which had been packaged in the Netherlands, as always, and shipped to Ireland, were returned, claiming that Israeli produce would not be accepted."
"I've heard of major exporters from whom chains in southern France are no longer buying." 
"There is no official boycott, but everyone is afraid of selling Israeli fruits. We can only hope that things do not get worse."
An Israeli pomegranate grower cancelled an "entire work plan in the UK" because major chains don't want Israeli products.
Belgium and Scandinavia importers report similar stories. Israeli fruit juice producer Priniv lost a major Swedish contract.
It did so for refusing to keep potential retail buyers from knowing it came from Israel.
BDS initiatives continue gaining traction. Israel's Operation Protective Edge accelerated the process.
BDS efforts in recent years succeeded in pressuring growing numbers of European retailers to announce they won't carry products from illegal Israeli settlements or companies operating there.
UK-based retail giant Tesco is second only to Walmart in sales and profits. It's the latest company to boycott settlement-made products.
It won't be the last. In recent years, campaigns against Israeli produce gained considerable traction.
Growing it on stolen Palestinian land explains why. Jordan Valley settler leaders said BDS efforts cost Israeli companies around $29 million in lost sales.
Campaigns against Israeli produce intensified after Britain's Co-operative retail chain boycotted companies operating in settlements.
Similar campaigns are ongoing in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
Israeli exporter Agrexco collapsed in liquidation after BDS initiatives got European retailers to cut business ties. 
Will other Israeli companies suffer the same fate? Will BDS campaigns prove the best way to hit Israel where it hurts most - its economy?
Will they succeed in achieving long denied justice for Palestinians when other efforts failed? 
All campaigns for justice are longterm struggles. Expect the fullness of time to have final say.
For four days, San Francisco area activists prevented a ship from Israel' largest shipping company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services (Zim Line), from unloading its cargo.
Initially, organizers planned a one-day action. August 16 was chosen. Zim Line's Zim Piraeus avoided Oakland completely.
It remained at sea. It did so to avoid thousands of protesters on the docks. On August 17, they returned.
They got International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) support. Local 10 honored their picket line. 
They refused to unload the ship. They did so until Tuesday overnight. According to ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees, "(a)ll the work was (finally) completed."
The Zim Piraeus "was untied this morning and cast off at 8:45."
Reports said it left Oakland overnight Tuesday supposedly bound for Los Angeles. It made a U-turn, returned to Oakland, and got its cargo unloaded.
According to Arab Resource and Organizing Center's Reem Assil:
"Zim has undoubtedly suffered significant economic losses, and we have set a powerful precedent for what international solidarity with Palestine, through boycott, divestment and sanctions, can look like."
In solidarity with Palestinian resistance, it's even more effective. On August 20, San Francisco's National Black Newspaper BayView published Samih Al Qasim's "Enemy of the Sun" Palestinian resistance poetry, saying:
"You may take the last strip of my land,Feed my youth to prison cells.You may plunder my heritage.You may burn my books, my poemsOr feed my flesh to the dogs.You may spread a web of terrorOn the roofs of my village,O enemy of the sunButI shall not compromiseand to the last pulse in my veinsI shall resist."
It added former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's comments on American 16th century colonization.
He called it "the worst case of ethnocide ever recorded in human history." It depopulated his native Haiti almost to the last man, woman and child.
It annihilated over 95% of native peoples throughout the Americas.
"Dear citizens," said Aristide, "the roots of terrorism lie there! There, in the heart of slavery" and mass extermination.
Palestinians are today's Native Americans. Israel continues genocidal war against them. It's been ongoing for decades.
Unless stopped, potential extermination is possible. It happened in Haiti, America and elsewhere. 
We're all Palestinians. They deserve universal support to stop Israel from annihilating them altogether. 
Operation Protective Edge is an example of how far Israel will go to control all valued parts of Judea and Samaria. It includes genocidal mass slaughter to do it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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.

EFF, ACLU Demolish “It’s Just Metadata” Claim in NSA Spying Appeal - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 07:27
Americans Deserve Full Protection of the Fourth Amendment for their Telephone Records, Groups Argue

Washington, DC - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today filed an amicus brief in Klayman v. Obama, a high-profile lawsuit that challenges mass surveillance, arguing that Americans' telephone metadata deserves the highest protection of the Fourth Amendment.

Larry Klayman, conservative activist and founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, was among the first plaintiffs to sue the National Security Agency (NSA) over the collection of telephone metadata from Verizon customers that was detailed in documents released by Edward Snowden. In December 2013, Judge Richard Leon issued a preliminary ruling that the program was likely unconstitutional, and the case is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In the new amicus brief in Klayman v. Obama, the EFF and ACLU lawyers repudiate arguments by U.S. officials that the records are "just metadata" and therefore not as sensitive as the contents of phone calls. Using research and new case law, the civil liberties groups argue that metadata (such as who individuals called, when they called, and how long they spoke) can be even more revealing than conversations when collected en masse.

"Metadata isn't trivial," EFF Legal Fellow Andrew Crocker says. "Collected on a massive scale over a broad time period, metadata can reveal your political and religious affiliations, your friends and relationships, even whether you have a health condition or own guns. This is exactly the kind of warrantless search the Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent."

The brief explains that changes in technology, as well as the government's move from targeted to mass surveillance, mean that the holding of the 1979 Supreme Court case Smith v. Maryland that the government relies on (often called the "third-party doctrine") does not apply. Instead, EFF and the ACLU point to a series of recent key decisions—including the Supreme Court decisions in United States v. Jones in 2012 and Riley v. California in 2014—in which judges ruled in favor of requiring a warrant for electronic search and seizure.

"Dragnet surveillance is and has always has been illegal in the United States," says ACLU Staff Attorney Alex Abdo. "Our country's founders rebelled against overbroad searches and seizures, and they would be aghast to see the liberties they fought hard to enshrine into our Constitution sacrificed in the name of security. As even the president himself has recognized, we can keep the nation safe without surrendering our privacy."

EFF and the ACLU have each litigated numerous First and Fourth Amendment lawsuits related to NSA surveillance and together represent Idaho nurse Anna Smith in a similar case currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals called Smith v. Obama. The ACLU is a plaintiff in a case currently pending before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ACLU v. Clapper, to be heard on Sept. 2. EFF has two cases—Jewel v. NSA and First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA—before the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California.

For the amicus brief:


Andrew Crocker
   Legal Fellow
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Kiev's Dirty War - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 05:01
KIev's Dirty War
by Stephen Lendman
Rogue terror states wage wars the same way. America does it. So does Israel. 
Kiev's illegitimate fascist government operates extrajudicially. Rule of law principles don't apply.
Dirty war is waged on its own non-combatant men, women and children. Residential neighborhoods are bombed and shelled.
Banned chemical and other terror weapons are used. Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) member of parliament Miroslav Rudenko said:
"According to our soldiers' information, the Ukrainian forces are using chemical ammunition on DPR territory." 
"Once a shell bursts, a gas affecting sense organs is emitted. We have this information."
In early June, Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters said Kiev forces attacked Semyonovka near Slaviansk with an unknown chemical weapon.
On August 6, freedom fighters claimed "irrefutable evidence" of a weapon used similar to white phosphorous.
It burns flesh to the bone. It keeps burning until entirely consumed or deprived of oxygen. 
The Hague and Geneva Conventions categorically prohibit use of these type weapons. It doesn't matter.
Kiev uses them against civilians. So does Israel. America uses banned chemical, biological and radiological weapons in all its wars.
These countries kill and destroy indiscriminately. They commit daily crimes of war and against humanity. 
US special forces are trained killers. They're actively involved in training and aiding Kiev's military.
So is L-3 Communications. It's a private military contractor. According to Rossiya Segodnia's Center for International Journalism and Research's Daniel Zubov:
"L-3 is packed with former high-ranking US military generals and other officers, including several L-3 board members."
They include former Joint Chiefs chairman Henry Hugh Shelton and former Army vice Vice Chief of Staff General Richard Cody.
Kiev forces deliberately and maliciously inflict prohibited collective punishment on hundreds of thousands of Southeastern Ukrainians. It does so with full support from and complicity with Washington.
Two rogue terror states partner in crimes of war and against humanity.. They continue daily unaccountably.
Media scoundrels ignore the worst of what demands headlines. They point fingers the wrong way.
They call lawless Kiev forces liberating ones. Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighting democrats are called terrorists.
Daily managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. On Monday, a convoy carrying refugees was attacked.
Each side accused the other. Most likely, Kiev forces were responsible. 
What possible motive would Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters have to attack defenseless civilians from their own areas fleeing for safety?
Kiev forces benefit by blaming self-defense democrats for their crimes. Not according to The New York Times.
On August 18, it headlined "Rebels Killed Dozens in Attack on Refugees, Ukraine says." What about what freedom fighters say? What about what most likely did or did not happen?
Citing Ukraine's military, The Times said "(s)eparatist rebels on Monday attacked a caravan of cars carrying refugees trying to flee war-ravaged eastern Ukraine, killing 'dozens' of people in a devastating barrage of artillery fire…"
The Times quoted Ukraine military spokesman Col. Adriy Lysenko saying "terrorists had perpetrated a bloody crime."
"Many people died, including women and children." No specific numbers were given. Reuters reported "dozens."
The attack occurred on a main highway near Lugansk. "A powerful artillery strike…was so strong that people were burned alive in (their) vehicles…"
Freedom fighters denied involvement. They questioned whether any attack occurred.
At the same time, DPR Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said Kiev forces "have bombed the road constantly with airplanes and Grads."
"It seems they've now killed more civilians like they've been doing for months now. We don't have the ability to send Grads into that territory."
Donetsk self-defense leader Alexander Zakharchenko added:
"As far as I understand, there was no column of refugees in Lugansk region that fell under fire."
"We…did not shoot any convoys (of refugees) with Grads and moreover we did not shoot with any Grads from Russia."
The State Department was quick to condemn the attack that may not have occurred if area self-defense leaders are right.
At the same time, deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf stopped short of laying blame.
"We strongly condemn the shelling and rocketing of a convoy that was bearing internally displaced persons in Lugansk," she said.
Throughout Israel's Operation Protective Edge on Gaza, Harf and State Department's Jen Psaki outrageously called Israel's premeditated genocidal war self-defense.
Over 80% of casualties were civilians. Over 500 children were killed. Israel's war without mercy continues. How many more Palestinians will die remains to be seen.
Kiev forces began attacking Southeast Ukrainian freedom fighters and civilians in early April. Conflict remains ongoing.
Dozens are killed or wounded daily. Well over 2,100 have died. Over 5,000 have been wounded.
UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly calls these "very conservative estimates."
Itar Tass said around 34 people were killed and 29 others wounded in the city of Donetsk in the last 24 hours alone.
Two districts were heavily shelled. A coal mine was struck. Attack drones struck targets.
On Wednesday morning, strong blasts occurred in central Donetsk. Gunfire set a warehouse with car tires ablaze.
Street-to-street fighting in Lugansk continues. Russian, German, French and Ukrainian foreign minister talks in Berlin Sunday included pledges to keep working for conflict resolution.
On August 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed Moscow's humanitarian aid initiative, border control and efforts to achieve a durable ceasefire.
"People are dying every day," he said. "Civilian infrastructure is being destroyed every day as well." He stressed Russia's position. Ceasefire "must be unconditional." 
"Unfortunately, our Ukrainian colleagues continue to put forward a variety of rather vague terms and conditions, including, as they put it, ensuring the 'tightness' of the borders." 
"(W)e have nothing against border control being maximally effective, and we are doing our best to achieve this goal."
"A ceasefire is a two-way street. Our colleagues from Kiev are complaining that the self-defence fighters are not communicating with them." 
"It’s difficult to be in contact when you're being bombed relentlessly, as is the case in Lugansk." 
"Our Western colleagues who have direct influence on Kiev have work to do in this department."
"Unfortunately, the United States was not represented at the meeting in Berlin."
Washington spurns diplomacy. It wants Kiev's dirty war continued. 
It wants freedom fighting democrats crushed. It wants fascist putschists firmly in control nationwide.
Lavrov's meeting with his German, French and Ukrainian counterparts achieved no results. Nor will follow-up discussions.
At the same time, Lavrov continues going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution. He refuses to accept anything less.
He's a world class diplomat. He shames his US and EU counterparts.
He deplores US-led adventurism. He pursues peace. He does so tirelessly.
He deserves Nobel Peace Prize recognition. War criminals usually get it. Obama is Exhibit A. 
He bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. For deposing a democratically elected government. For installing a putschist neo-Nazi-infested fascist one.
For partnering in Kiev's dirty war against its own citizens. For adding another high crime against peace to his rap sheet. 
For risking the unthinkable - direct confrontation with Russia. For potentially transforming a new Cold War into a hot one.
Madness defines his agenda. Peace is a non-starter. Multiple direct and proxy wars continue. Humanity remains hugely at risk.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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.

We Need Sen. Wyden's Help to Fix the Broken, Anti-User Trade Negotiation Process - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 04:44

We have joined more than a hundred organizations and tens of thousands of individuals across the US to oppose secret, undemocratic trade agreements that affect users' rights. Together, we defeated a bill that would have put agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the fast track to approval without any proper Congressional oversight. Now the White House, the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and other policymakers that are beholden to corporate interests are putting massive pressure on Congress to pass something like it again. They just face one problem: the Congress member with the mandate to introduce a new trade authority bill is a strong defender of digital rights and a vocal opponent to the secrecy that shrouds trade agreement. That is Senator Ron Wyden.

For years, Sen. Wyden has demanded more transparency in our trade negotiations. He has recognized that the US should not bind itself to deals whose agenda is dominated by big corporate interests at the expensive of Internet users' rights. He is now in the unique position to fix this broken, secretive process. But while the USTR works towards sealing the deal on the TPP, the Senator is under ever more pressure to lead the passage of a bill that would expedite trade agreements to approval.

Let's ask Sen. Wyden to bring transparency and accountability to trade negotiations once and for all.

They want him to introduce something like Fast Track (also known as Trade Promotion Authority). Under such a law, Congress hands to the president its own constitutional authority to oversee, debate, and set the agenda for US trade policy. When it was in place in the past, it created special rules that empowered the White House to negotiate and sign trade agreements without Congressional oversight. If enacted now, draconian Internet and copyright provisions, buried in omnibus treaties, could get passed with almost no oversight.

So how does Sen. Wyden fit into this? As the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee (which includes the subcommittee on international trade), he is in charge of overseeing congressional trade policies. That's why the White House and the USTR need him to pass a bill that would legitimize their back-room trade negotiations. Thankfully, Sen. Wyden has been an outspoken critic of the secrecy around these agreements. That's why over 25 leading tech companies sent him a public letter calling him to oppose Fast Track. In 2012, he sent a letter to the US Trade Rep calling them to release detailed information about provisions in the TPP that would impact Internet freedoms. He also introduced a bill to the floor in May 2012, demanding the USTR give Congress members full access to the TPP text—the same access afforded to representatives of corporations. In his statement at the hearing introducing this legislation, he said:

It may be the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) current job to negotiate trade agreements on behalf of the United States, but Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress—not the USTR or any other member of the Executive Branch—the responsibility of regulating foreign commerce. It was our Founding Fathers’ intention to ensure that the laws and policies that govern the American people take into account the interests of all the American people, not just a privileged few.

And yet, Mr. President, the majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations—like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America—are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement. As the Office of the USTR will tell you, the President gives it broad power to keep information about the trade policies it advances and negotiates, secret. Let me tell you, the USTR is making full use of this authority.

In the remainder of his statement, he describes how his staff was denied access to the negotiation text even after they had received proper security clearance. In introducing this legislation that summer in 2012, he wanted to make sure that Members of Congress and their staff could simply be afforded the same level of access to the negotiating texts of the TPP as corporate representatives.

So now, as a long time defender of digital rights in Congress, we call on Sen. Wyden to continue defending users' rights against big private interests, and ensure that users' interests are upheld, not trampled on. In our letter to the Senator, we outline some crucial fixes to the current negotiation process. If he is going to introduce a new version of trade authority, we want to make sure it has essential democratic procedures built into it to ensure that users' rights take a front seat in the trade policy debate.

Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceInternationalTrans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
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U.N. Free Expression Champion, Congressional Internet Defender, and Groundbreaking Counter-surveillance Artist Win EFF Pioneer Awards - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 04:18
EFF to Honor Former U.N. Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and artist Trevor Paglen at San Francisco Ceremony Featuring the Yes Men

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to announce the distinguished winners of the 2014 Pioneer Awards: United Nations Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and groundbreaking counter-surveillance artist Trevor Paglen.

The award ceremony will be held the evening of October 2 at the Lodge at the Regency Center in San Francisco. Keynote speakers will be Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos, better known as the Yes Men, who are known for their elaborate parodies and impersonations to fight government and corporate malfeasance

Frank La Rue is the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression. From his appointment in 2008 to the end of his term in 2014, La Rue brought technology to the forefront of the fight for free expression around the world, declaring that access to the Internet is a fundamental human right and highlighting the importance of uncensored communication and anonymous speech in increasingly filtered and tracked networks. La Rue also fought the global "book famine" for people with visual and reading disabilities, advocating for an international Treaty of the Blind to reform over-restrictive copyright that hindered the production and distribution of books in accessible formats. Last year, La Rue published a highly influential report on the dangers of widespread state surveillance, arguing that privacy is an essential requirement for true freedom of expression. Before taking his post at the U.N., La Rue spent years working on human rights issues, including bringing genocide cases against the military dictatorship in his native Guatemala in 2000 and 2001.

For nearly 20 years, Rep. Zoe Lofgren has been a crucial voice in Congress on technology, innovation, and free speech—defending the free and open Internet, fighting for privacy and free speech, and blocking dangerous copyright laws while pushing for sensible alternatives. Lofgren rallied congressional opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), one of the defining moments of Internet activism. Currently, Lofgren is fighting to reform some of the worst legal threats to our digital rights: the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which regulates our email privacy with outdated standards; the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has been used to block phone unlocking, jailbreaking, and our freedom to tinker; and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the law used to unfairly prosecute Aaron Swartz. Lofgren chairs the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, the largest delegation in Congress.

Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work uses methods from science, journalism, and other disciplines in an attempt to "see" the historical moment we live in. Paglen's groundbreaking projects exposing government secrecy have included documenting U.S. government drone flights, using high-end optical systems to photograph top-secret governmental sites, and tracking classified spacecraft in Earth's orbit. In a recent project, Paglen photographed the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, releasing the images without restriction for public use. Paglen's visual art has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many other places. Paglen is also the author of five books, including Torture Taxi, an early look at the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

"Each of our Pioneer Award winners has helped the world understand how technology and civil liberties are interwoven into our lives, and each is still working to protect our freedom and fight abuses," EFF Executive Director Shari Steele said. "We are so proud to be able to present them with this year's Pioneer Awards."

Tickets to the Pioneer Awards, which includes access to the general reception and ceremony, are $65 for EFF members and $75 for non-members. Also available are tickets for a special, advance reception featuring some past and present Pioneer Award winners as well as keynoters, the Yes Men. The special advance reception tickets are $250, which includes entry for the ticket holder plus a guest.

Awarded every year since 1992, EFF's Pioneer Awards recognize the leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. Previous honorees include Aaron Swartz, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, Tim Berners-Lee, and the Tor Project, among many others.

To buy tickets to the Pioneer Awards:


Dave Maass
Media Relations Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Colombia y México se Unirán para Editar Artículos sobre Derechos Digitales en Wikipedia - Wed, 20/08/2014 - 20:18

Traducido por Jacobo Najera, ContingenteMX

Sabado 23 de agosto, EFF participará junto a Wikimedia Mexico, Rancho Electronico, Contingente MX, Fundación Karisma, Panoptykon Foundation, Hackbo, Enjambre Digital, RedPaTodos and May First Mexico se uniran para editar y mejorar artículos en español relacionados con derechos digitales en Wikipedia. En la ciudad de México, el HackerSpace Rancho Electrónico será la sede para el "editatón", mientras que en Colombia el Hacko. Este evento será una colaboración entre dos hackerspaces en América Latina, en compañía con varias organizaciones de derechos digitales y los wikipedistas, que trabajarán en conjunto los contenidos en español, en las entradas relacionadas a los derechos digitales en Wikipedia.

Los editatones son maratones de edición de Wikipedia, en donde los participantes redactan y mejoran sus artículos. El objetivo de este maratón es que las personas aprendan cómo utilizar y mejorar los artículos de Wikipedia, así como contribuir con artículos sobre derechos digitales en la enciclopedia en Internet. Este evento es abierto al público y durará toda la tarde. ¡Si usted es mexicano o colombiano ayúdenos a expandir y mejorar Wikimedia en temas de derechos digitales en español! Encuentra más información sobre el editatón aquí.

Katitza Rodríguez y Leez Wright de la EFF estarán en Bogotá para este evento; acércate a ellas para un día de edición!

Cuándo: Sábado, 23 de agosto 2014 Hora: 3:00 pm (México y Bogotá)

Dónde: Rancho Electrónico / CriptoRally: Fray Juan de Torquemada 76 Entre Bolívar e Isabel La Católica, México DF

Hackbo: Cll 44 No 8-50 oficina 201 Barrio Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia

Related Issues: InternationalSurveillance and Human Rights
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