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Category Archives: Politics

Truth of US-Russia Confrontation

Aggression was over the Moment those Two Missiles were Fired

Al Manar

A well informed diplomatic source told As-Safir newspaper that “the US war on Syria had started and ended the moment those two ballistic missiles were fired, leaving inconsistent information, as Israel denied and Russia confirmed, until an Israeli statement was issued indicating they were fired in the context of an Israeli-US joint drill and fell in the sea, and that they were not related to the Syrian crisis.”

The source further told the Lebanese daily that “the US forces fired these two rockets from a NATO base in Spain, and were instantly detected by the Russian radars and confronted by the Russian defense systems, so one of them exploded in the airspace and the second one diverted towards the sea.”

In this context, the source pointed out that “the statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry, which stated the detection of two ballistic missiles fired towards the Middle East, intended to neglect two points: the first was the location from which the two rockets were fired, and the second was their downing. Why? Because the moment the full military operation was launched, Head of the Russian Intelligence Service contacted the US intelligence and informed it that “hitting Damascus means hitting Moscow, and we have removed the term “downed the two missiles” from the statement to preserve the bilateral relations and to avoid escalation. Therefore, you must immediately reconsider your policies, approaches and intentions on the Syrian crisis, as you must be certain that you cannot eliminate our presence in the Mediterranean.”

“This unannounced direct confrontation between Moscow and Washington increased the Obama Administration’s confusion and certainty that the Russian side was ready to move until the end with the Syrian cause, and that the US did not have a way out of its impasse except through a Russian initiative which would save America’s face…” he added.

From this point, the diplomatic source clarified that “in order to avoid further US confusion, and after Israel denied knowing anything about the rocket firing in its first statement, which is the truth, Washington demanded Tel Aviv to adopt the rocket firing to save its face in front of the International Community, especially since these two rockets were the beginning of the US aggression on Syria and the announcement of the beginning of military operations, after which US President Barack Obama was supposed to go to the G20 Summit in Russia to negotiate the destiny of Syrian President Bashr Al-Assad. However, he went to find a way out of the impasse he’s in.”

The source further indicated that “after the US-Russia rocket confrontation, Moscow intended to increase its number of military experts in Russia, and added to its military units and destroyers to enhance its military presence in the Mediterranean. It also set a time for announcing about its initiative on stopping the aggression on Syria after the G20 Summit, after drawing a side scene on the sidelines of the summit which was followed by two successive visits for Iranian Foreign Minister, Hussein Amir Abdul Lahyan, and Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Al-Moallem, in which a way out was agreed on with the Russian side, and it included a Syrian announcement on approving the Russian initiative regarding putting Syrian chemical weapons under international supervision and preparing Syria for joining the non-proliferation treaty.

Finally, the source pointed out that “One of the first results of the US-Russian military confrontation was the British House of Commons’ rejection to participate in a war on Syria. This was followed by European stances, most significantly, the German stance announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

 

Translated by Sara Taha Moughnieh

Palestine: Policewoman attacks woman, snatches her veil & Israeli runs over a family

Israeli policewoman attacks Palestinian woman, snatches her veil

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Fistfights were reported between worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque and Israeli police forces on Thursday after a policewoman attacked a Palestinian woman and snatched her veil.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that Israeli police blocked entry of worshipers less than 50 years old into the holy site while allowing hoards of settlers free access at the pretext of Jewish feasts.

They said that friction occurred as a result at Bab El-Nadher, one of the Aqsa gates, and the policewoman assaulted the Palestinian woman leading to the fistfight.

Israeli occupation forces usually allow Muslim worshipers to enter the Aqsa only after handing over their IDs at the gates.

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IOF raze commercial structures in Barta’a town

JENIN, (PIC)– the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) demolished on Thursday morning a commercial complex and two garages in the industrial zone of Barta’a town after declaring it a closed military zone.

Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that a number of Israeli bulldozers and military vehicles stormed at about 05:30 in the morning the town, which is located behind the segregation wall to the southwest of Jenin.

They added that the invading troops declared the town a closed military zone and prevented all Palestinian cars from going in or out.

They also said that the bulldozers headed under military protection to the commercial zone north of the town and embarked on razing a commercial center of seven stores belonging to a Palestinian citizen.

The bulldozers also knocked down two auto repair garages owned by two Palestinian citizens from the town, according to them.

Consequently, the demolition campaign in the town triggered violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian citizens.

During the events, the invading troops fired a hail of tear gas grenades at the angry citizens, which led to severe suffocation cases among them and caused one of the garages to catch fire.

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Israeli settler runs over a Palestinian family in Bethlehem

BETHLEHHEM, (PIC)– An Israeli settler has deliberately run over a Palestinian family, consisting of man and two ladies, in Bethlehem, where they were transferred immediately to hospital.

Spokesman for emergency services in Bethlehem said that three Palestinians have been injured after an Israeli settler run them over in Umm Salamuna village near Gush Etzion settlement.

Palestinian medical sources confirmed that the Israeli ambulance crews have transferred the wounded to hospital in occupied territories in 1948. Two of them were seriously injured while the third is in a stable condition.

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50 settlers storm al-Aqsa mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Dozens of extremist settlers broke into the sanctuary yards of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning, while the IOF prevented Palestinian worshipers under 50 years from entering the mosque.

Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the Israeli soldiers have prevented Palestinians, under 50 years, from performing Fajr (dawn) prayers, forcing them to pray outside the mosque.

Meanwhile, 50 Jewish settlers stormed al-Aqsa mosque through al-Magharbeh Gate and wandered through its yards under military protection.

The Foundation pointed that the Palestinian worshipers protested the Israeli heavy security measures on the mosque’s gates, chanting Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest).

Jewish organizations gathering under the name of “the Coalition for the Temple” have called on settlers to storm the Mosque next Saturday. They called upon the police to allow them to celebrate the Yom Kippur holiday in al-Aqsa mosque.

Israeli police spokesman Yohanna Danino has announced that Israeli police have agreed to give permission for Jews to enter into the Mosque on Saturday, considering it a part of the so-called “Jewish Temple”. He said, “That is an undisputed right for Jews.”

Syria: Lavrov-Chance for Syria peace can’t be missed & Assad- We agreed at Russia’s request not US threats

VIDEOS: McCain Faces the Wrath of Americans Opposed to Syria War (click to read other videos)

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Lavrov: Chance for Syria Peace Can’t Be Missed

Al Manar

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday there is a chance of peace in Syria which cannot be missed, calling for for maximum efforts in order to get out of the “storm” in reference to the recent escalation on the Syrian crisis.

“I’m positive there is a chance for peace in Syria, and it cannot be missed. Tomorrow we’ll discuss this issue with Secretary of State John Kerry,” Lavrov said after meeting his Kazakh counterpart in Astana.

Echoing sentiments previously expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said Russia’s active diplomatic efforts were intended “to prevent external military intervention in Syria, which would only lead to further destabilization in the country and throughout the entire region.”

Regarding the Russian initiative, which has “gathered widespread support,” Lavrov noted it was forwarded with “the understanding that it will waive the use of armed force against Syria.”

Lavrov further said a delegation of Russian and American chemical weapons experts who “have the necessary knowledge to identify relevant solutions to such issues” would be present in Geneva.

“It is necessary ensure Syria’s adherence to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which would entail a declaration of Syria’s chemical weapons storage sites and the disclosure of its chemical [weapons] program,” he said.

Lavrov also said that the Russian-US meeting in Geneva was not intended to “usurp” the preparatory process for resolving the Syrian question.

The top Russian minister is to meet with his US counterpart John Kerry in Geneva to hammer out the details of Russia’s initiative to put Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles under international control.

During the meeting, Kerry and Lavrov will attempt to reach a deal on a UN Security Council resolution that would require Syria to put its chemical weapons stockpiles under international control, allowing for their further destruction. Syria would also be expected to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Russia remains opposed to elements of the French-drafted UN resolution, which included a timetable and the threat of force to facilitate Syria’s acquiescence to the plan.

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Assad: We Agreed to Put ’Chemicals’ under Int’l Control at Russia’s Request

Al Manar

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday that Damascus agreed to hand over control of chemical weapons to the international supervision at the request of Russia, and not because of the U.S. threats.

During an interview with the channel “Russia 24″, the Syrian President made it clear that Damascus will send to the United Nations documents in order to prepare a convention on the matter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said in an article published by the New York Times daily that forces of the Syrian opposition – and not the Syrian army – had used chemical weapons to incite the U.S. intervention.

“No one doubts that poison gas was used, but there are all reasons to believe that poison gas was not used by the national military, but by the opposition forces in order to incite the intervention of foreign powers that support them,” Putin said.

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Russia’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ Moskva Enters Mediterranean

Al Manar

Russia’s Moskva missile cruiser, dubbed a “carrier-killer” by NATO, has passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and is now heading toward the eastern Mediterranean to assume command of the Russian naval force there.

The Russian Navy said in a statement that the Moskva cruiser passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10.

Interfax news agency added that the Moskva cruiser, “commanded by Sergey Tronev, Captain 1st Rank of the Guards… has enough room for maneuver now.”

“The Black Sea flagship entered the Russian Navy’s area of responsibility in the Mediterranean at 11:00 pm Moscow time yesterday,” the agency reported a military source as saying.

The missile-carrying cruiser is expected to join its final destination in eastern Mediterranean on September 15 or 16.

Upon arrival, the command of the Russian Navy unit in the Mediterranean, currently stationed onboard the Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine ship, will be relocated to the Moskva.

“The armaments and technical equipment of the missile cruiser are in working condition. The crew is ready to perform combat missions,” the source said.

Missile cruiser “Moskva” belonging to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet firing anti-aircraft missiles during joint drills with other fleets.

The missile cruiser, initially known to Western naval intelligence as “Slava” (Glory), was launched in 1979 and entered service in 1983. It was later renamed the “Moskva” in 1995. Designed to be carrier-killers, the cruisers of Class 1164 are equipped with 16 anti-ship launchers P-1000 Vulkan, or Volcano (SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles, according to NATO classification).

Another two vessels, the landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov and the guard ship Smetlivy, will join the Russian naval unit later. They will be pass through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits by September 12-14 and will then head to the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the maneuvers are part of the “stage-by-stage rotation of warships and support ships of the standing naval force in the Mediterranean.”

The recent deployments are aimed at “complex monitoring” of the situation around Syria, military sources told Interfax earlier.

Russia’s standing naval force in the Mediterranean now involves landing craft carriers “Aleksandr Shabalin,” “Admiral Nevelskoy,” “Peresvet,” “Novocherkassk” and “Minsk” of Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets, as well as escort vessel “Neustrashimy,” and the anti-submarine ship “Admiral Panteleyev.”

“Admiral Panteleyev” anti-submarine ship returning to Vladivostok from Japanese port Hakodate (Hokkaido island).

Russian naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean come amid growing tension in the region, which sparked speculation that Russia was boosting its naval presence ahead of a possible US strike against Syria.

Previously, Russia’s defense officials cautioned against making connections between the relocation of warships and the Syrian crisis, saying the maneuvers do not depend on the situation and “will continue after it.”

NSA shares raw data about US citizens with ’Israel’

Al Ahed news

A top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed Thursday that the National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with “Israel” without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens.

Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its “Israeli” counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the “Israelis”.

The disclosure that the NSA agreed to provide raw intelligence data to a foreign country contrasts with assurances from the Obama administration that there are rigorous safeguards to protect the privacy of US citizens caught in the dragnet. The intelligence community calls this process “minimization”, but the memorandum makes clear that the information shared with the “Israelis” would be in its pre-minimized state.

The deal was reached in principle in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for the intelligence sharing.

The five-page memorandum, termed an agreement between the US and “Israeli” intelligence agencies “pertaining to the protection of US persons”, repeatedly stresses the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy and the need for “Israeli” intelligence staff to respect these rights.

But this is undermined by the disclosure that “Israel” is allowed to receive “raw Sigint” – signal intelligence. The memorandum says: “Raw Sigint includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.”

According to the agreement, the intelligence being shared would not be filtered in advance by NSA analysts to remove US communications. “NSA routinely sends ISNU the so-called “Israeli” Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw collection”, it says.

“This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law,” the document says.

In a statement to the Guardian, an NSA spokesperson did not deny that personal data about Americans was included in raw intelligence data shared with the Israelis. But the agency insisted that the shared intelligence complied with all rules governing privacy.

“Any US person information that is acquired as a result of NSA’s surveillance activities is handled under procedures that are designed to protect privacy rights,” the spokesperson said.

The NSA declined to answer specific questions about the agreement, including whether permission had been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court for handing over such material.

The memorandum of understanding, which the Guardian published in full, allows Tel Aviv to retain “any files containing the identities of US persons” for up to a year. The agreement requests only that the “Israelis” should consult the NSA’s special liaison adviser when such data is found.

Notably, a much stricter rule was set for US government communications found in the raw intelligence. The “Israelis” were required to “destroy upon recognition” any communication “that is either to or from an official of the US government”. Such communications included those of “officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)”.

It is not clear whether any communications involving members of US Congress or the federal courts have been included in the raw data provided by the NSA, nor is it clear how or why the NSA would be in possession of such communications. In 2009, however, the New York Times reported on “the agency’s attempt to wiretap a member of Congress, without court approval, on an overseas trip”.

The NSA is required by law to target only non-US persons without an individual warrant, but it can collect the content and metadata of Americans’ emails and calls without a warrant when such communication is with a foreign target. US persons are defined in surveillance legislation as US citizens, permanent residents and anyone located on US soil at the time of the interception, unless it has been positively established that they are not a citizen or permanent resident.

Moreover, with much of the world’s internet traffic passing through US networks, large numbers of purely domestic communications also get scooped up incidentally by the agency’s surveillance programs.

The document mentions only one check carried out by the NSA on the raw intelligence, saying the agency will “regularly review a sample of files transferred to ISNU to validate the absence of US persons’ identities”. It also requests that the “Israelis” limit access only to personnel with a “strict need to know”.

“Israeli” intelligence is allowed “to disseminate foreign intelligence information concerning US persons derived from raw Sigint by NSA” on condition that it does so “in a manner that does not identify the US person”. The agreement also allows “Israel” to release US person identities to “outside parties, including all INSU customers” with the NSA’s written permission.

“Balancing the Sigint exchange equally between US and “Israeli” needs has been a constant challenge,” states the report, titled ‘History of the US – “Israel” Sigint Relationship, Post-1992′. “In the last decade, it arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns. 9/11 came, and went, with NSA’s only true Third Party [counter-terrorism] relationship being driven almost totally by the needs of the partner.”

In another top-secret document seen by the Guardian, dated 2008, a senior NSA official points out that “Israe”l aggressively spies on the US. “On the one hand, the “Israelis” are extraordinarily good Sigint partners for us, but on the other, they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems,” the official says. “A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US.”

Later in the document, the official is quoted as saying: “One of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like “Israel”. There are parameters on what NSA shares with them, but the exchange is so robust, we sometimes share more than we intended.”

The memorandum of understanding also contains hints that there had been tensions in the intelligence-sharing relationship with “Israel”. At a meeting in March 2009 between the two agencies, according to the document, it was agreed that the sharing of raw data required a new framework and further training for “Israeli” personnel to protect US person information.

However, an earlier US document obtained by Snowden, which discusses co-operating on a military intelligence program, bluntly lists under the cons: “Trust issues which revolve around previous ISR [“Israel”] operations.

The Guardian asked the Obama administration how many times US data had been found in the raw intelligence, either by the “Israelis” or when the NSA reviewed a sample of the files, but officials declined to provide this information. Nor would they disclose how many other countries the NSA shared raw data with, or whether the Fisa court, which is meant to oversee NSA surveillance programs and the procedures to handle US information, had signed off the agreement with “Israel”.

In its statement, the NSA said: “We are not going to comment on any specific information sharing arrangements, or the authority under which any such information is collected. The fact that intelligence services work together under specific and regulated conditions mutually strengthens the security of both nations.”

US military knew Syria militants had sarin gas: Document

Press TV

A newly leaked classified document has revealed the US military knew that foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government had sarin gas.

In a classified Secret/Noforn (not for foreign distribution) document obtained by WND, the US military has confirmed that militants from al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria had sarin gas.

According to the document, which came from the US intelligence community’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), al-Qaeda elements in Iraq produced a “bench-scale” form of sarin and transferred it to Turkey for use by foreign-backed militants in Syria.

The lethal gas was provided to militants in Syria through the Turkish town of Antakya in Hatay Province with Turkey’s cooperation, reported WND.

The document also says that sarin gas was used by militants in an attack on civilians and Syrian government forces last March.

Yossef Bodansky, a former director of the US Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, has told WND that the US intelligence community’s describing the sarin gas in the hands of militants as “bench-scale” shows the alleged chemical attack of August 21 near capital Damascus was perpetrated by the militants to provoke a US military intervention in Syria.

Bodansky based his argument on a preliminary analysis of the sarin which showed it was of a “kitchen” variety and not military grade.

Washington has accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons in an attack near capital Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has categorically rejected the accusations. In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, the Syrian president rejected the allegations that he was behind the deadly chemical attack in August.

US President Barack Obama has sent Congress a draft resolution for strike on Syria over the accusations.

However, he asked Congress on Tuesday to delay a vote, originally set for Wednesday, on his call for the use of military force against Syria in order to give a Russian diplomatic proposal a chance to play out.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government said it would accept a proposal offered a day earlier by Russia to put its chemical weapons under international control.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the CIA has begun delivering weapons to US-backed militants in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also told a congressional hearing on Tuesday that US lawmakers should keep “the threat” of attacking Syria “on the table.”

New anti-gov’t protests hit Turkey

(Turkey-file photo)

Al Ahed news

Police used water cannon and tear gas overnight Wednesday in a bid to break up fresh anti-government protests across Turkey, media said.

Thousands of people angry over the death of a 22-year-old demonstrator in southern Turkey on Monday clashed with police in Istanbul, the capital Ankara, the western city of Izmir as well as in the southern cities of Mersin and Atakya.

In Istanbul, the Turkish commercial hub where an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests erupted in June, around a thousand protesters clashed with police who fired tear gas and water canon, the CNN-Turk television channel reported.
Several protesters were hurt and around 20 were arrested during the demonstrations in Kadikoy Square, it said.

In Izmir, a large city in the west, more than 2,500 people marched through the city center in defiance of police who fired tear gas, the newspaper Hurriyet said.
It said the crowd shouted “AKP murderer,” denouncing the governing Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party [AKP].

Similar clashes occurred in Ankara, Mersin and in Antakya, the city in southern Turkey near the Syrian border where Ahmet Atakan, 22, died Monday night.
Atakan died in hospital after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister during clashes between police and around 150 protesters, Dogan news agency said.
Local officials disputed that account, saying Atakan had died after falling from a rooftop where he had been throwing stones at police.

In a statement, the police also said the youngster had died in a fall.

His death is the sixth recorded in protests since demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seen as increasingly authoritarian, began in June.

Britain is accused of uprooting families in Ascension Island

Press TV

A newly leaked classified document has revealed the US military knew that foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government had sarin gas.

In a classified Secret/Noforn (not for foreign distribution) document obtained by WND, the US military has confirmed that militants from al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria had sarin gas.

According to the document, which came from the US intelligence community’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), al-Qaeda elements in Iraq produced a “bench-scale” form of sarin and transferred it to Turkey for use by foreign-backed militants in Syria.

The lethal gas was provided to militants in Syria through the Turkish town of Antakya in Hatay Province with Turkey’s cooperation, reported WND.

The document also says that sarin gas was used by militants in an attack on civilians and Syrian government forces last March.

Yossef Bodansky, a former director of the US Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, has told WND that the US intelligence community’s describing the sarin gas in the hands of militants as “bench-scale” shows the alleged chemical attack of August 21 near capital Damascus was perpetrated by the militants to provoke a US military intervention in Syria.

Bodansky based his argument on a preliminary analysis of the sarin which showed it was of a “kitchen” variety and not military grade.

Washington has accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons in an attack near capital Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has categorically rejected the accusations. In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, the Syrian president rejected the allegations that he was behind the deadly chemical attack in August.

US President Barack Obama has sent Congress a draft resolution for strike on Syria over the accusations.

However, he asked Congress on Tuesday to delay a vote, originally set for Wednesday, on his call for the use of military force against Syria in order to give a Russian diplomatic proposal a chance to play out.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government said it would accept a proposal offered a day earlier by Russia to put its chemical weapons under international control.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the CIA has begun delivering weapons to US-backed militants in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also told a congressional hearing on Tuesday that US lawmakers should keep “the threat” of attacking Syria “on the table.”

From Hiroshima to Syria, the enemy whose name we dare not speak

(Iraq-file photo)

by John Pilger

On my wall is the front page of Daily Express of September 5, 1945 and the words: “I write this as a warning to the world.” So began Wilfred Burchett’s report from Hiroshima. It was the scoop of the century. For his lone, perilous journey that defied the US occupation authorities, Burchett was pilloried, not least by his embedded colleagues. He warned that an act of premeditated mass murder on an epic scale had launched a new era of terror.

Almost every day now, he is vindicated. The intrinsic criminality of the atomic bombing is borne out in the US National Archives and by the subsequent decades of militarism camouflaged as democracy. The Syria psychodrama exemplifies this. Yet again, we are held hostage to the prospect of a terrorism whose nature and history even the most liberal critics still deny. The great unmentionable is that humanity’s most dangerous enemy resides across the Atlantic.

John Kerry’s farce and Barack Obama’s pirouettes are temporary. Russia’s peace deal over chemical weapons will, in time, be treated with the contempt that all militarists reserve for diplomacy. With Al-Qaida now among its allies, and US-armed coupmasters secure in Cairo, the US intends to crush the last independent states in the Middle East: Syria first, then Iran. “This operation [in Syria],” said the former French foreign minister Roland Dumas in June, “goes way back. It was prepared, pre-conceived and planned.”

When the public is “psychologically scarred”, as the Channel 4 reporter Jonathan Rugman described the British people’s overwhelming hostility to an attack on Syria, reinforcing the unmentionable is made urgent. Whether or not Bashar al-Assad or the “rebels” used gas in the suburbs of Damascus, it is the US not Syria that is the world’s most prolific user of these terrible weapons. In 1970, the Senate reported, “The US has dumped on Vietnam a quantity of toxic chemical (dioxin) amounting to six pounds per head of population”. This was Operation Hades, later renamed the friendlier Operation Rand Hand: the source of what Vietnamese doctors call a “cycle of foetal catastrophe”. I have seen generations of young children with their familiar, monstrous deformities. John Kerry, with his own blood-soaked war record, will remember them. I have seen them in Iraq, too, where the US used depleted uranium and white phosphorous, as did the Israelis in Gaza, raining it down on UN schools and hospitals. No Obama “red line” for them. No showdown psychodrama for them.

The repetitive debate about whether “we” should “take action” against selected dictators (i.e. cheer on the US and its acolytes in yet another aerial killing spree) is part of our brainwashing. Richard Falk, emeritus professor of international law and UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, describes it as “a self-righteous, one-way, legal/moral screen [with] positive images of Western values and innocence portrayed as threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted political violence”. This “is so widely accepted as to be virtually unchallengeable”.

It is the biggest lie: the product of “liberal realists” in Anglo-American politics, scholarship and the media who ordain themselves as the world’s crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis. Stripping humanity from the study of nations and congealing it with jargon that serves western power designs, they mark “failed”, “rogue” or “evil” states for “humanitarian intervention”.

An attack on Syria or Iran or any other US “demon” would draw on a fashionable variant, “Responsibility to Protect”, or R2P, whose lectern-trotting zealot is the former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, co-chair of a “Global Centre”, based in New York. Evans and his generously funded lobbyists play a vital propaganda role in urging the “international community” to attack countries where “the Security Council rejects a proposal or fails to deal with it in a reasonable time”.

Evans has form. He appears in my 1994 film Death of a Nation, which revealed the scale of genocide in East Timor. Canberra’s smiling man is raising his champagne glass in a toast to his Indonesian equivalent as they fly over East Timor in an Australian aircraft, having just signed a treaty that pirated the oil and gas of the stricken country below where Indonesia’s tyrant, Suharto, killed or starved a third of the population.

Under the “weak” Obama, militarism has risen perhaps as never before. With not a single tank on the White House lawn, a military coup has taken place in Washington. In 2008, while his liberal devotees dried their eyes, Obama accepted the entire Pentagon of his predecessor, George Bush: its wars and war crimes. As the constitution is replaced by an emerging police state, those who destroyed Iraq with shock and awe, and piled up the rubble in Afghanistan and reduced Libyato a Hobbesian nightmare, are ascendant across the US administration. Behind their beribboned façade, more former US soldiers are killing themselves than are dying on battlefields. Last year, 6,500 veterans took their own lives. Put out more flags.

The historian Norman Pollack calls this “liberal fascism”. “For goose-steppers,” he wrote, “substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manqué, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.” Every Tuesday, the “humanitarian” Obama personally oversees a worldwide terror network of drones that “bugsplat” people, their rescuers and mourners. In the west’s comfort zones, the first black leader of the land of slavery still feels good, as if his very existence represents a social advance, regardless of his trail of blood. This obeisance to a symbol has all but destroyed the US anti-war movement: Obama’s singular achievement.

In Britain, the distractions of the fakery of image and identity politics have not quite succeeded. A stirring has begun, though people of conscience should hurry. The judges at Nuremberg were succinct: “Individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity.” The ordinary people of Syria, and countless others, and our own self respect, deserve nothing less now.

WMD double standards: CIA documents reveal Israeli stockpile of chemical weapons

by Saed Bannoura, source

A newly-discovered document of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency revealed Monday by Foreign Policy magazine shows that the U.S. agency had decisive evidence dating back to at least the 1980s that Israel had a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

The revelation comes in the midst of the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on August 21st.

The document revealed by Foreign Policy magazine on Monday shows that, in addition to building up a nuclear stockpile of an estimated three hundred nuclear weapons during the 1960s and 70s, the Israeli military also developed an extensive stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

The 1983 document stated that U.S. spy satellites had identified “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert. Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry.”

“While we cannot confirm whether the Israelis possess lethal chemical agents,” the document adds, “several indicators lead us to believe that they have available to them at least persistent and nonpersistent nerve agents, a mustard agent, and several riot-control agents, marched with suitable delivery systems.”

The single page of a larger CIA report was discovered at the Ronald Reagan Library in California in its unredacted form – the report had been released several years ago to the National Archives, but was heavily censored.

According to the Foreign Policy report, “Israeli historian Avner Cohen, in his 1988 book Israel and the Bomb, wrote that Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion secretly ordered that a stockpile of chemical weapons be built at about the time of the 1956 war between Israel and Egypt. The CIA, on the other hand, believed that Israel did not begin work on chemical weapons until either the late 1960s or the early 1970s.

The article included the following assessment from the 1983 CIA report: “Israel, finding itself surrounded by frontline Arab states with budding CW [chemical weapons] capabilities, became increasingly conscious of its vulnerability to chemical attack. Its sensitivities were galvanized by the capture of large quantities of Soviet CW-related equipment during both the 1967 Arab-Israeli and the 1973 Yom Kippur wars. As a result, Israel undertook a program of chemical warfare preparations in both offensive and protective areas.”

The Israeli government has harshly criticized the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons three weeks ago, and has encouraged President Obama’s pledge to respond militarily.

Israel did sign the Convention to Ban Chemical Weapons, but the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) never ratified the treaty. Israel has never opened its nuclear facility or its chemical weapons stockpile to international inspections.

New video shows Canadian police use-of-force incident

Press TV

A new video has surfaced in Canada, showing a man being tackled to the ground and punched repeatedly by Ottawa police, in yet another instance of police brutality in the North American country, Press TV reports.

According to Ottawa police, they responded to a call about a man attempting to hit a security staff member with a metal pole.

Police claimed that when they arrived at the scene another man attempted to punch a police officer in the face.

However, the gruesome video of the incident captured by a bystander shows a police officer punching the man repeatedly in the head and upper body at least 10 times while other officers pinned him down to the ground.

Following the release of the video, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said the professional standards section of the Ottawa police force will investigate the incident.

Although, reports said Bordeleau later sent an internal email to the force’s rank-and-file saying he maintains confidence in his officers.

“Always remember that the public has confidence in you and that you have my confidence and respect for the service you provide every day,” Bordeleau wrote.

The two men, who were caught in the video and were arrested, face charges of resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and causing disturbance.

Last month, police in the Canadian city of Toronto came under fire for the fatal shooting of a teenager whose family members said suffered from mental illness.

Palestine: Usual Israeli rampage in several areas & ’Prisoner X’ family given $1M

Maan Images

Maan Images

Jewish extremists from price tag vandalize public buses in Silwan

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Members of the terrorist Jewish group known as the price tag gang punctured tires of three big public buses and spray-painted anti-Arab slurs on them in Thawri neighborhood of Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque.

Local sources reported that the sabotaged buses are owned by a Palestinian company and used to transport passengers from the district to Bethlehem and vice versa.

They added that the Israeli police did not even come to the scene to investigate the incident, noting that the owners of the bus company would lodge a complaint in this regard with the Israeli complaint center Mahesh.

Since its emergence, the price tag gang had carried out many different attacks against Palestinian property and religious sites, including arson attacks on mosques and churches.

Their attacks take the form of not only graffiti and vandalism at religious sites, but also attempted murders, burning crops, killing livestock, terrorizing villagers, and poisoning water sources.

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Hundreds of trees in Nablus on fire after settlers’ attack

NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers started a huge fire in lands of Deir Hatab village, Nablus province, on Wednesday morning that destroyed hundreds of trees.

Abdulkarim Suleiman, the village’s municipality chairman, said that the settlers started fire in dozens of dunums, adding that the fire was still raging in the land to which Palestinians are banned from entering without prior coordination.

He charged the Israeli occupation forces with blocking arrival of Palestinian fire brigades to the scene to extinguish the blaze that destroyed hundreds of trees.

Suleiman said that the land is 1500 meters away from the village, adding that it was not the first time that settlers started fire in it.

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Aqsa foundation warns of new Israeli attempt to falsify Arab identity of J’lem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that the latest Israeli claims about finding historical stone engravings near the Aqsa Mosque is another attempt to liquidate the Arab and Islamic civilization of the holy city of Jerusalem and promote the Jewish temple lie.

The foundation stated on Tuesday that the new Zionist allegations in this regard are aimed to change the reality on the ground and cement the Jewish lies about the alleged temple.

The foundation stressed that the fraud campaigns that are led by Israeli archeologists are politicized and aimed at proving the existence of Jewish heritage in Jerusalem, especially in the Umayyad Palaces area near the southern wall of the Aqsa Mosque.

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150 settlers storm al-Aqsa mosque this morning

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Nearly 150 Jewish settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday led by rabbis telling them about the alleged temple.

A state of tension has prevailed among the Muslim worshipers who protested the presence of the Jewish settlers in the Islamic holy site.

The Aqsa Association for Religious Endowments (Waqf) and Heritage called on the Arab and Islamic world to take firm positions to protect al-Aqsa mosque from the Israeli serious schemes. The foundation also stressed the need to intensify the Muslim presence in al-Aqsa mosque.

The settlers’ raid into al-Aqsa mosque came in light of the Israeli Coalition for the Temple’s calls to open the mosque for Jews on Saturday to perform their rituals as they mark Yom Kippur (Day of Repentance). An Israeli parliament committee has approved in an unprecedented move the opening of al-Aqsa Mosque yards for Jews to perform their rituals inside it during this month.

The foundation stated that such measure came in an attempt to impose a status quo on the mosque and to divide it.

For its part, Hamas movement strongly condemned the Israeli decision to allow Jewish settlers to perform their rituals in al-Aqsa mosque.

The Israeli decision came in total provocation to Muslims’ religious feelings, the spokesman of the movement said.

The movement called on the Arab and Islamic nation to bear its responsibility towards al-Aqsa mosque in light of the Israeli escalated schemes.

Hamas stated that PA decision to resume talks provides a cover to the Israeli crimes through the securing coordination and the prosecution of resistance leaders in West Bank.

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25 Jerusalemite students injured in clashes with IOF soldiers

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli border police assaulted students of Abu Dis university in occupied Jerusalem while on their way home on Monday night wounding 25 of them.

A Jerusalemite activist said in a press release on Tuesday that ten students were injured with rubber bullets while 15 others were treated for breathing problems.

He said that the students could only find stones to defend themselves, adding that the wounded students were taken to a medical emergency center in Abu Dis.

Young men of nearby villages joined the students in defending themselves and clashes spread to areas near the university. The varsity guards managed to evacuate the entire campus.

Israeli occupation forces (IOA) had launched a similar assault a couple of days earlier in which 78 students were injured. IOF soldiers twice attacked the university students over the past week.

Deputy executive manager of the university Emad Abu Kishek said that the Israeli attacks, which coincide with the start of the new academic year, aim at destabilizing the university and frustrating students wishing to join it in future years.

The same practice by the Israeli military was made last year at the start of the 2012-2013 academic year.

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Aqsa Brigades: Resistance Attacks against Israel to Begin Friday

Al Manar

Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades called on all units to consider next Friday as the “first day of popular resistance against the Israeli occupation in the well-known places of confrontation.”Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

A statement released by the Brigades, which is Fatah’s military wing, called on all units and sleeper cells to prepare for a confrontation with the Israeli occupation beginning on Friday. The statement further added there will be a “green light” to carry out attacks.

The statement also referred to the events that take place at the al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis by the occupation. “We are all witnessing the invasion by herds of settlers to the compound and (they) harm the worshippers without any intervention from the international community,” the statement read.

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“Israel” to Give ’Prisoner X’ family $1M Payout

Al Ahed news

“Israel” is to pay more than $1 million to the family of a Mossad spy who hanged himself in prison in 2010.

“After negotiations, the two parties [“Israel” and the family] have reached an agreement whereby the state will pay 4 million shekels [$1.1 million or 842,000 euros] to the deceased’s family,” the so-called “Israeli” “justice” ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The family of Ben Zygier, an Australian-“Israeli” known as “Prisoner X,” had accused the Zionist entity of negligence in dealing with his case, according to the statement.

Zygier was found hanged in his isolation cell in Ayalon prison near Tel Aviv in December 2010 – a case “Israel” went to extreme lengths to cover up.

A court document released on April 25 this year said “Israel’s” prison service had caused Zygier’s death by failing to prevent him from committing suicide.

The document revealed details about his background and imprisonment, indicating he was suicidal and had an emotionally-charged exchange with his wife the day he was found hanged.

It also said that his cell was not properly watched by prison guards.

The justice ministry statement stressed that the deal with Zygier’s family was not an “admission of alleged wrongdoing”.

It was instead “to avoid the affair going to court, which would lead to the publication of numerous details of the case which could cause serious harm to “Israeli” security.”

The reasons for Zygier’s detention were unclear, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said in a report in May that the 34-year-old, who was working for “Israel’s” foreign spy service Mossad, had unwittingly sabotaged a top secret spy operation in Lebanon.

Russia gives UNSC proof of chemical weapons use by militants

Press TV

Russia has passed proof of the use of chemical weapons by the militants inside Syria to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“There are suspicions that the militants have used these [chemical] weapons repeatedly,” said the Head of Duma international affairs committee Alexei Pushkov on Wednesday, adding “Russia has just passed existing proof to the UN Security Council.”

He also said that the militants have used chemical weapons near Aleppo in March, adding that Carla Del Ponte, who is a leading United Nations investigator, has also acknowledged it.

On May 5, the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria said it could not find any evidence that the Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons against militants.

“This [evidence] was [regarding the] use [of the chemical weapons] on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” said Del Ponte.

Similarly, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday that Tehran has provided the UN with conclusive evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the militants in Syria.

“Iran is in possession of strong evidence regarding the militant chemical attack in Syria and has handed on the evidence to the United Nations,” he said, adding “Last December, for example, we received news that two Sarin gas containers were being transferred to Syria. The containers were sent from an Arab country to a neighboring country, where it triggered security and political reactions.”

The developments come after the US used the issue of chemical weapons use in the Arab country as a pretext to launch an attack on the country.

NSA documents show spy agency violated privacy rules

Al Ahed news

US intelligence officials declassified documents Tuesday revealing the National Security Agency violated privacy rules for three years when it sifted phone records of Americans with no suspected links to terrorists.

The revelations raised fresh questions about the NSA’s ability to manage the massive amount of data it collects and whether the US government is able to safeguard the privacy of its citizens.

The government was forced to disclose the documents by a judge’s order after a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit group promoting digital privacy rights and free speech.

The foundation called the release of the documents a “victory” for transparency but intelligence officials said the papers illustrated how the spy service had made unintentional “mistakes” that were rectified under strict judicial oversight.

The government “didn’t release these new NSA docs out of the goodness of their heart,” the foundation wrote in a tweet. “They were compelled to by @EFF’s lawsuit.”

The documents, including hundreds of pages of court orders, reveal privacy violations from 2006 to 2009 in NSA’s collection of phone records or “metadata,” as part of the agency’s effort to track potential terror plots.

The release came after the scale of NSA spying was exposed in a series of bombshell media leaks in recent months by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has sought asylum in Russia.

Earlier, the documents divulged by Snowden have shown the NSA conducts a massive electronic dragnet, including trawling through phone records and online traffic, that has sometimes flouted privacy laws.

According to papers released Tuesday, the NSA reported its privacy violations to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which found that the spy service was scooping up data “from United States persons not under investigation by the FBI,” according to one court ruling.

The NSA had been permitted by the court to only search phone numbers that had “reasonable articulable suspicion” of having links to terrorism.

But out of more than 17,000 numbers on a NSA list in 2009, the agency only had reasonable suspicion for about 1,800 of the numbers, two senior intelligence officials told reporters on Tuesday.

The declassified documents shed light on friction between the NSA and the court, with judges castigating the agency for failing to abide by their orders and misrepresenting the nature of their data collection.

The documents released “show that the NSA repeatedly violated court-imposed limits on its surveillance powers, and they confirm that the agency simply cannot be trusted with such sweeping authority,” said Alex Abdo, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The rights group has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the NSA’s collection of phone records.

Criminalize political lies to save planet Earth

Enough Death and Destruction

by CARMEN YARRUSSO, source

If we lie to our government it’s a serious crime. Why isn’t it an even more serious crime when our government lies to us? If crime is willful action that harms others, and we punish crime based on the extent of its harm, why aren’t we criminalizing and severely punishing political lies, which often result in great harm including massive death and suffering throughout the world?

Planet earth and all but a tiny fraction of her inhabitants are being systematically raped and plundered by a corporate power structure that virtually owns the U.S. government. If there’s an activity that can make money by destroying our planet or killing millions of our fellow human beings, you can bet the U.S. government is actively promoting that activity. This immense, continuing crime against humanity (and nature) is being justified and sustained with big, fat political lies. If we don’t start criminalizing political lies and severely punishing our lying politicians, we’ll get more inequality, we’ll get more destruction of our natural resources, we’ll get more wars, we’ll get even more extreme human suffering that will progress until the downtrodden of the world finally revolt in desperation.

The Extreme Depravity of Political Lies

This isn’t about benign lies or compassionate lies aimed at easing suffering. This is about egregious deception unambiguously intended to further political ends with blatant disregard for the lie’s harmful consequences and with little or no accounting by our lying politicians. Unfortunately this class of lies is the lifeblood of the U.S. political system, a system that is inexorably destroying life on earth.

Without lies, the U.S. political system would disintegrate. A system claiming to work for the people, but obviously working for special interests, must necessarily be based on lies. Corporations and lobbyists pay politicians big money to pass legislation that benefits them, not the American people. But since our politicians obviously can’t admit they frequently support special-interest legislation, they must lie. Our political system proudly rewards lying, with the best liars reaping the biggest rewards.

A lie is a betrayal of trust. Our personal lies might betray a spouse or a few friends, but the ramifications are usually quite limited. But when government representatives lie, for example to justify war, the betrayal could easily extend to all of humanity and even to the earth itself with severe, possibly irreversible, negative ramifications. Political lies kill big time (consider Afghanistan and Iraq). Political lies plunder. Political lies cause countless forms of extreme human suffering. Political lies are used to excuse the most heinous behavior. This class of lying, the very lifeblood of the U.S. political system, is clearly criminal by any just definition of the term. Yet this moral abomination continues, not only unpunished, but handsomely rewarded.

Imagine if political lies were criminalized prior to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq

The invasion probably couldn’t have happened. Without the lies, there was no moral justification for war. Had members of the Bush administration been facing serious jail time if caught promoting political lies, those flimsy, deceptive arguments for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) wouldn’t have surfaced. If political lies were criminalized they wouldn’t have dared to try to pass off a sleazy character called Curveball as a reliable source, they wouldn’t have tried to pass off crude rocket bodies as aluminum tubes for centrifuges, they wouldn’t have tried to pass off a flatbed truck for inflating target balloons as a mobile weapons lab, they wouldn’t have tried to pass off obviously forged documents on Niger uranium as real, and Colin Powell wouldn’t have spouted out all those dramatic lies at the UN.

If he knew he faced certain jail time for lying, President Bush wouldn’t have said, ” The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” while conveniently ignoring the CIA and State Department reports questioning its veracity.

But with no consequences for lying to the American people, our politicians were able to cavalierly inflict vast death and destruction on millions of innocent Iraquis while billing U.S. taxpayers trillions. Billions in war profits poured into politically connected corporations. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. All the result of a pack of big, fat, legal political lies. Now Obama threatens to launch a sequel in Syria based (of course) on more political lies.

The Nature of Political Lies

Political lies aren’t limited to making false statements. There are political lies by omission when politicians fail to mention known facts and evidence that undermine their positions (as Bush did about African uranium). Perhaps the most harmful and ubiquitous political lie is evasion. Our politicians are almost never required to clearly explain and justify their positions. They’re free to spout out deceptive (often emotional) nonsense that many gullible Americans readily believe while they staunchly evade giving a clear explanation and justification for their positions. They staunchly evade answering cogent counterarguments. With the stakes as high as they are, this common, willful, and blatant form of intellectual dishonesty by politicians should be a very serious crime.

For example, our lying politicians are threatening war with Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but they staunchly evade explaining why they believe Iranian leaders would even think about using a nuclear weapon knowing full well their country would be utterly destroyed if they did. Our lying politicians staunchly evade discussing a much more likely reason for their dire concerns – Iran would have an effective deterrent should U.S. politicians contemplate stealing its oil using massive military might as they tried in Iraq.

Enough Death and Destruction – Actions We Must Take to Effectively Criminalize Political Lies

The people of the world must unite to criminalize the ruthless plague that’s devouring our precious planet earth. We can’t expect our lying politicians to voluntarily stop lying to us when they profit so much from their lies. We the people must unite and emphatically demand strict intellectual honesty from our politicians by making political lies a very serious crime with very serious penalties.

But criminalizing political lies won’t be effective if our politicians can simply avoid getting caught lying. If we are to effectively prosecute our lying politicians, we need a reliable way to not only quickly detect political lies, but also an efficient way to collect incriminating evidence of deceit. Thanks to the amazing power of the Internet, we already have a way (using the exact infrastructure used by Wikipedia) that would instantly detect political lies, including evasion, and document evidence of deceit for prosecuting lying politicians. […]

Conclusion

The U.S political system is a deeply corrupt, criminal enterprise largely sustained by ruthless political lies. Our political system handsomely rewards liars while severely punishing truth tellers (see Drake, Manning, Snowden). In the service of political lies, the U.S. government has flipped morality on its head.

We the people have every right to demand strict intellectual honesty from our politicians. Stop the lies, save planet earth.

Shout it from the streets, shout it from the rooftops, “Criminalize political lies, criminalize political lies, criminalize political lies…”

John Kerry and the Orwellian language of war

Rampant Dishonesty

by NATHAN GOODMAN, source

When is a war not a war? According to John Kerry, launching cruise missiles at Syria is not a war. Testifying before the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry said, “President Obama is not asking America to go to war.”
Kerry’s argument seems to hinge on the idea that no American ground troops will likely be deployed. Of the proposed strikes, Kerry said, “I just don’t consider that going to war in the classic sense of coming to Congress and asking for a declaration of war and training troops and sending people abroad and putting young Americans in harm’s way.”

Perhaps no Americans will be put in harm’s way, although claims of possible Iranian plans for retaliation cast doubt on that hope. But regardless, innocent Syrians will still be killed by American missiles. People’s homes and possessions will still be destroyed. Mass aggressive violence will still be waged by the US government in a foreign land. That’s a war.

And while Kerry is not currently proposing sending ground troops to Syria, he acknowledges that it’s a possibility. Kerry also told the Senate: “But in the event Syria imploded, for instance, or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of al-Nusra or someone else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies and all of us, the British, the French and others, to prevent those weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of the worst elements, I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to a president of the United States to secure our country.”

But to be clear, Secretary Kerry and President Obama are not proposing a war. Yes, they will use cruise missiles to slaughter Syrians, and if they don’t like the Syrian government’s response they may even send ground troops. War profiteers like Raytheon will certainly profit. But the Secretary of State will insist it’s not a war.

So, why the Orwellian “War is Peace” attitude here? Partially because Kerry recognizes this war is not popular with the American public. Polls show substantial public opposition. When explaining that he would not consider American attacks on Syria a war, Kerry went a step further and said “when people are asked, do you want to go to war with Syria, of course not! Everybody, a hundred percent of Americans will say no.” When most Americans oppose war, the best solution apparently is to change the name to something else.

But this attitude makes sense for another reason: The state wants to conceal the truth about its wars. This is why it employs so many Newspeak terms when discussing war. Murdering civilians becomes “collateral damage.” Any military age male killed by an American drone strike is automatically labeled a “militant.” And a war against Syria becomes not war but “an action that can degrade the capacity of a man who’s been willing to kill his own people by breaking a nearly hundred-year- old prohibition.”

The U.S. government doesn’t want you to know the truth about their wars. This is why Chelsea Manning is in prison for blowing the whistle on war crimes, including an attack in which “U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence.” It’s why the military denied for years that they used white phosphorus, a chemical weapon, in Fallujah.

This rampant dishonesty is precisely why we should never trust them when they want to go to war. Especially when they refuse to call war by its name.

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