Fascism USA

Submitted by tnjp on September 2, 2012 - 2:28pm.

WikiLeaks and Free Speech
By MICHAEL MOORE and OLIVER STONE
Published: August 20, 2012

WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador’s action more than the British government’s threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange.

Since WikiLeaks’ founding, it has revealed the “Collateral Murder” footage that shows the seemingly indiscriminate killing of Baghdad civilians by a United States Apache attack helicopter; further fine-grained detail about the true face of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; United States collusion with Yemen’s dictatorship to conceal our responsibility for bombing strikes there; the Obama administration’s pressure on other nations not to prosecute Bush-era officials for torture; and much more...

Submitted by tnjp on August 5, 2012 - 12:28pm.

The Obama administration has torpedoed the arms trade treaty

Though nothing in the UN treaty would impact on its domestic gun laws, the US is the world's largest weapons exporter
Amy Goodman
guardian.co.uk, Friday 3 August 2012 04.00 EDT

What is more heavily regulated, global trade of bananas or battleships? In late June, activists gathered in New York's Times Square to make the absurd point that, unbelievably, "there are more rules governing your ability to trade a banana from one country to the next than governing your ability to trade an AK-47 or a military helicopter". So said Amnesty International USA's Suzanne Nossel at the protest, just before the start of the UN conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which ran from 2 July to 27 July. Thanks to a last-minute declaration by the United States that it "needed more time" to review the short, 11-page treaty text, the conference ended last week in failure.

There isn't much that could be considered controversial in the treaty. Signatory governments agree not to export weapons to countries that are under an arms embargo, or to export weapons that would facilitate "the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes" or other violations of international humanitarian law. Exports of arms are banned if they will facilitate "gender-based violence or violence against children" or be used for "transnational organised crime". Why does the US need more time than the more than 90 other countries that had sufficient time to read and approve the text? The answer lies in the power of the gun lobby, the arms industry and the apparent inability of Barack Obama to do the right thing, especially if it contradicts a cold, political calculation.

Submitted by tnjp on July 29, 2012 - 5:39pm.

a speech at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland...
Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Great Charter, Its Fate, and Ours | TomDispatch
Destroying the Commons
How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta
By Noam Chomsky

Down the road only a few generations, the millennium of Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights, will arrive. Whether it will be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear.

That should be a matter of serious immediate concern. What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that event. It is not an attractive prospect if present tendencies persist -- not least, because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.

The first scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone. It was not an easy task. There was no good text available. As he wrote, “the body of the charter has been unfortunately gnawn by rats” -- a comment that carries grim symbolism today, as we take up the task the rats left unfinished...

Submitted by tnjp on November 30, 2010 - 5:19pm.

This would be funny, if it were just a joke... lifted from rense.com

What the TSA Patdown Searches Are Really About
by Robert Freeman

You can hardly watch a TV news show, listen to a radio broadcast, pick up a newspaper, or read the Internet without hearing about the aggressive Transportation Security Agency patdown searches at airports.

The TSA and all relevant officials tell us that they're really for our own protection. But are they? In truth, the searches have virtually nothing to do with increased airport security.

Several years ago, my four year-old daughter was pulled aside in one such screening because she happened to be the Nth person in the line to go through security. Though she was traveling with me, her mother, and sister, she was subjected to 40 minutes of terrifying interrogations and inspections of all her personal effects, though not a bodily patdown.

The startling part of it was the mindlessness of it all. The guards were simply being good Nazis. Today, it is no longer mindless. It is part of a sustained campaign to condition the American public to being humiliated by government officials in the name of national security.

Physical humiliation of the subject is the first act that an interrogator performs on a victim. You can see this in the pictures from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The prisoners were made to perform all manner of humiliating acts: wear women's underwear on their heads; masturbate in front of female guards; pile onto one another naked; submit to rape by their guards; etc...

Submitted by tnjp on November 21, 2010 - 9:51pm.


26 People Arrested and Held in County Jail on Multiple Charges
Thousands Converge at the gates of Fort Benning for 20th Anniversary of November Vigil to Close the SOA

Nonviolent civil disobedience action followed by indiscriminate arrests and targeting of journalists. Among those arrested by Columbus police were three journalists, including unrelated bystanders.

SOA Watch urgently needs donations to establish a Legal Defense Fund for those who were unjustly imprisoned...

Submitted by tnjp on November 19, 2010 - 3:46pm.



SOA Watch: Close the School of the Americas
** Friday, Nov.19

More and more people are arriving in Columbus for this weekend's vigil and rally at the gates of Fort Benning. Together, we will speak out for justice and call for an end to oppressive U.S. foreign policy. We will close the School of the Americas...

Submitted by tnjp on November 12, 2010 - 2:57pm.


George W. Bush: Torturer-in-Chief
David Cole
November 10, 2010
In an uncoerced confession in his new memoir, Decision Points, former President George W. Bush proudly admits that he personally signed off on the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 2003. Former Vice President Dick Cheney made the same admission in a televised interview shortly before he left office. In one sense, this is nothing new. It had long been reported that the CIA's use of what the Bush administration euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation techniques" had been approved at the highest levels of the administration. But now both Bush and Cheney have publicly admitted to specifically signing off on the CIA's torture tactics. Their direct personal admissions now seal the case against them.

What case, you might ask? There is in fact no criminal or civil case against the former president or vice president for these actions. And both men no doubt felt comfortable admitting they had authorized what the world recognizes as torture because they believe they are politically immune from being held accountable. Even before the midterm elections, Barack Obama had insisted that he wanted only to look forward, not backward. With a strengthened Republican Party after the elections, it is even less likely that Bush or Cheney will be held accountable by the Obama administration. On November 9 the Justice Department announced that no criminal charges would be brought against the CIA agents who destroyed videotapes of the torture interrogations; that part of the cover-up, it seems, has succeeded...

Submitted by tnjp on November 10, 2010 - 4:36pm.

No charges for CIA tape destruction: Justice Dept
By Jeremy Pelofsky
Tue Nov 9, 2010 5:16pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No CIA personnel will face criminal charges for destroying videotapes of harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

While the decision will spare the CIA and the Obama administration the potential backlash and embarrassment that a trial could have generated, another federal probe continues into possible abuse of detainees by CIA personnel.

The videotapes probe was launched in January 2008 by then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey after revelations that the CIA in 2005 had destroyed hundreds of hours of videotapes of the interrogations of terrorism suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Zubaydah was one of three terrorism suspects who was subjected to waterboarding, a procedure in which the person experiences simulated drowning. It was believed that the tapes included footage of the waterboarding...

Submitted by tnjp on November 8, 2010 - 1:44pm.

Justice Dept. Renews Enforcement of Subpoenas for Antiwar Activists Targeted in FBI Raids

We get an update on the fallout from the FBI raids in late September that targeted antiwar activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Subpoenas to appear before a grand jury were served on thirteen people but later withdrawn when the activists asserted their right to remain silent. But this week, the US Department of Justice said it intends to enforce the subpoenas for some of them and require them to appear before a grand jury. We speak to former president of the National Lawyers Guild, Bruce Nestor. [includes rush transcript]

http://www.stopfbi.net

Submitted by tnjp on November 2, 2010 - 2:09pm.


War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal - #24 of the top 25 Censored news stories of 2011

Sources:

Seymour Hersh, "Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America," Democracy Now!, March 31, 2009

Seymour Hersh, "You Can't Authorise Murder," interview with Abbas Al Lawati, Gulf News, May 12, 2009

PressTV, "McChrystal Was Cheney's Chief Assassin," May 16, 2009

A little more than a year before he was fired on June 23, 2010, for making potentially insubordinate remarks in a Rolling Stone profile, General Stanley McChrystal was appointed by President Barack Obama as commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan. He had been formerly in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a thirty-three-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the JSOC, a special black operations commando unit of the Navy Seals and Delta Force so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims that the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and that Congress had no oversight of it whatsoever. The JSOC team would go into countries, without talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, find people on a to-be-killed list, execute them, and leave. There was an ongoing list of targeted people, cleared by Vice President Cheney's office, who had committed acts of war or were suspected of planning operations of war against the United States. Hersh asserts that there have been assassinations in a dozen countries in the Middle East and Latin America. "There's an executive order, signed by President Ford, in the '70s, forbidding such action. It's not only contrary-it's illegal, it's immoral, it's counterproductive," he added...

Submitted by tnjp on October 25, 2010 - 2:01pm.

The Loaded Chamber: Secret Money (VIDEO)
Friday 22 October 2010
by: Harry Hanbury | GRITtv | Video Report
"The chamber’s increasingly aggressive role — including record spending in the midterm elections that supports Republicans more than 90 percent of the time — has made it a target of critics, including a few local chamber affiliates who fear it has become too partisan and hard-nosed in its fund-raising."

So reports a headline story in the New York Times Thursday about the Chamber of Commerce's increasingly secretive and partisan fundraising and lobbying efforts. The Chamber, once an institution that supported small and family businesses, increasingly does the bidding of a few large corporations, and in the first part of our GRITtv Digs investigation, Harry Hanbury starts to open up the Chamber's secrets for you....

Submitted by tnjp on October 22, 2010 - 7:54pm.

from CodePink -
Christine O’Donnell might not be a witch, but Thomas J. Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is a vampire. Under his leadership, the Chamber is sucking the life out of our electoral system. With Halloween coming up, give Mr. Donohue a call and tell him stop playing tricks by treating right-wing candidates to millions of dollars of vicious and misleading attack ads.

Call 202-659-6000 today and tell the US Chamber of Commerce to get their fangs out of our electoral throat!

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post and Glenn Greenwald at Salon both have incisive looks at the secret money funding the onslaught of attack ads mounted by Donohue’s Chamber and other groups, such as American Crossroads founded by his fellow bloodsucker, Karl Rove. We can practically hear Donohue and Rove cackling maniacally over the misinformation and falsehoods in the ads they’ve spawned—distortions that could help the Republicans (with the Tea Party) regain control of Congress. Bwaahahhaahhaa!....

Submitted by tnjp on October 20, 2010 - 2:18pm.

October 18, 2010
Officials Push to Bolster Law on Wiretapping
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say.

The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that caused technical problems for surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps.

An Obama administration task force that includes officials from the Justice and Commerce Departments, the F.B.I. and other agencies recently began working on draft legislation to strengthen and expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, a 1994 law that says telephone and broadband companies must design their services so that they can begin conducting surveillance of a target immediately after being presented with a court order...

Submitted by tnjp on October 16, 2010 - 1:29pm.

October 15, 2010 at 10:10:16
Pentagon Hides Iraq War Deaths Tally
By Rory O'Connor

In July, the United States military issued its largest release of raw data ever on deaths during the Iraq war. The Pentagon's tally of the number of Iraqis killed in that country between January 2004 and August 2008 amounts to almost 77,000 people both civilians and security forces who died in the carnage.

As the Associated Press reported, the information went unnoticed for months after being "quietly posted on the Web site of the United States Central Command without explanation." It was only recently discovered by the AP "during a routine check" for civilian and military casualty numbers," which the news agency had first requested in 2005 through the Freedom of Information Act. As AP noted , "The military has repeatedly resisted sharing its numbers, which it uses to determine security trends." (One exception: U.S. military officials in Baghdad released their July 2010 Iraqi casualty tally in order to refute the Iraqi government's much higher monthly figures, a decision made just weeks before U.S. forces withdrew all but 50,000 troops from Iraq "in an attempt to wind down the war and tout the nation's improved security.")

According to the AP, "a spokesman at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., could not answer basic questions about the information." Iraqi Health Ministry officials were equally reticent and refused to discuss the American figures, which fall thousands of deaths short of those the Iraqis have compiled using actual death certificates...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 8:56pm.

For now, antiwar activists will not be forced to testify
By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune
October 12, 2010
Thistle Parker-Hartog originally was supposed to testify before a grand jury in Chicago Tuesday. She didn't go. Mick Kelly was scheduled to make the same trip next week. Don't bet on it. In all, 14 antiwar activists and several organizations from the Twin Cities and Chicago who are being investigated for alleged support of terror groups received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury this month. All -- including five who were to appear last week -- have told the U.S. Department of Justice that they are not going.

Instead, several were among about 60 people gathered in front of the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday to protest what they consider harassment and intimidation because they oppose U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. So far, it seems, the Justice Department has acquiesced. All the subpoenas have been canceled, according to a Chicago attorney working on the case. Instead of being encouraged by the inaction, they are left wondering when the other shoe is going to fall for a growing number of people under investigation...

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