Oct 202014
 

Press TV’s correspondent in Turkey, Serena Shim, has been killed in a suspicious car accident near the Turkey-Syria border.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/19/382854/press-tv-reporter-in-turkey-killed/

Shim was killed on Sunday as she was on a working mission in Turkey to cover the ongoing war in the strategic Syrian town of Kobani.

She was going back to her hotel from a report scene in the city of Suruç in Turkey’s Urfa Province when their car collided with a heavy vehicle. The identity and whereabouts of the truck driver remain unknown.

Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, covered reports for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq, and Ukraine.

On Friday, she told Press TV that the Turkish intelligence agency had accused her of spying probably due to some of the stories she has covered about Turkey’s stance on the ISIL terrorists in Kobani and its surroundings, adding that she feared being arrested.

Shim said she was among the few journalists obtaining stories of militants infiltrating into Syria through the Turkish border, adding that she had received images from militants crossing the Turkish border into Syria in World Food Organization and other NGOs’ trucks.

Shim flatly rejected accusations against her, saying she was “surprised” at this accusation “because I have nothing to hide and I have never done anything aside my job.”

Kobani and its surroundings have been under attack since mid-September, with the ISIL militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages.

Turkey has been accused of backing ISIL militants in Syria.

SF/SS

Oct 112014
 


Isis fight: NZ might join combat operations

10:48 AM Saturday Oct 11, 2014

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11340983

A “domestic beheading” inspired by foreign fanatics is one of several threats New Zealand potentially faces from the so-called Islamic State, John Key said this morning.

Mr Key told The Nation a disproportionate number of Islamic State (IS) fighters were sourced from in and around Oceania. He said it was possible this would increase the likelihood of another “Bali bombing” terrorist act.

The Prime Minister said IS terrorists returning to New Zealand were another possible security risk. He said IS also posed a major risk to Kiwi aid workers and other expatriates based in the Middle East.

He told TV3 these reasons, together with the “frightening” growth of IS were among the reasons New Zealand might join combat operations against the rogue state.

Read rest of article here

Sep 022014
 

By James F. Tracy
Global Research, September 01, 2014

In the wake of World War I, erstwhile propagandist and political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined propaganda as “the management of collective attitudes” and the “control over opinion” through “the manipulation of significant symbols.”[1] The extent to which this tradition is enthusiastically upheld in the West and the United States in particular is remarkable.

The American public is consistently propagandized by its government and corporate news media on the most vital of contemporary issues and events.

Deception on such a scale would be of little consequence if the US were not the most powerful economic and military force on earth.

A case in point is the hysteria Western news media are attempting to create concerning the threat posed by the mercenary-terrorist army now being promoted as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or “ISIS.”

As was the case with the US intelligence asset and bogey publicized as “Al Qaeda,” and Al Qaeda’s Syrian adjunct, “Al Nusra,” such entities are—apparently by design—inadequately investigated and defined by major news media. Absent meaningful historical context they usefully serve as another raison d’ểtre for America’s terminal “War on Terror.”

A seemingly obvious feature of such terrorist forces left unexamined by corporate media is that they are observably comprised of the same or comparable personnel unleashed elsewhere throughout the Middle East as part of a strategy proposed during the George W. Bush administration in 2007.[2]

Read full article here

Aug 132014
 

Stephen Lendman
RINF Alternative News

For the third time since January 1991, America is at war with Iraq. It’s ongoing lawlessly.

No nation may attack another except in self-defense. None may do so without Security Council authorization. None exists. Obama is a war criminal multiple times over.

Bombing Iraq adds another crime to his rap sheet. Reasons given don’t wash. US involvement has nothing to do with humanitarian intervention or responsibility to protect.

It has everything to do with protecting the interests of ExxonMobil and Chevron operations. It’s about Washington wanting unchallenged regional control.

It’s about making the world safe for war profiteers. It’s to benefit their bottom line priorities.

It’s about stoking fear deceptively. It’s about suppressing truth and full disclosure.

Read article here

Jun 262014
 

By David Edwards

June 24, 2014 “ICH” – “Raw Story” – – Former Vice President Dick Cheney showed up on Fox News on Wednesday to make a familiar case for going back to war in Iraq: Nuclear weapons are “spreading” to extremists across the globe.

In recent weeks the al Qaeda splinter group ISIS has taken advantage of a power vacuum left after the U.S. invaded Iraq to take over large parts of the country, giving Cheney and other architects of the 2003 invasion an opportunity to use some of their original talking points for military action.

Cheney’s recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal stopped just short of accusing President Barack Obama of treason, saying that he had been determined to take the United States “down a notch” before leaving office.

“Defeating them will require a strategy—not a fantasy,” Cheney wrote. “It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts—not empty misleading rhetoric. It will require rebuilding America’s military capacity—reversing the Obama policies that have weakened our armed forces and reduced our ability to influence events around the world.”

After a campaign of television interviews failed to make his case against Obama, Cheney was back on Fox News on Wednesday to play the same nuclear weapons card that he used in 2003.

“The focus shouldn’t be just on Iraq,” he insisted. “It’s indicative of a much broader problem. We’ve had — The Rand Corporation just recently published a study that shows there’s been a 58 percent increase in the number of al Qaeda-type terrorist groups in the last four years. Fifty-eight percent! Doubling the number of terrorists roughly, and they’re spreading out from West Africa all across North Africa to East Africa, up through the Middle East, all the way around to Indonesia.”

“And the other problem, of course, is the developing possibility that sooner or later some of them will get their hands on deadlier weapons,” the former vice president added.

While Cheney was taking a breath, Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck tossed him a softball

“Are you indicating that we could be on track for something worse than 9/11?” she asked.

“I think that’s a possibility,” he declared. “You know, I can’t say at this point specifically when something like that might happen. But it would be foolish of us to ignore the extent to which there are people who — terrorist-sponsoring states who have in fact tried to provide nuclear technology.”

Read full article here

Dec 082013
 

Lest We Forget
Nelson Mandela Condemns George W. Bush and War With Iraq, January 30th, 2003

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37046.htm

“What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust. … If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care.” — Nelson Mandela

Posted December 07, 2013

Aug 242013
 

By Global Research News

Global Research, August 22, 2013

By Inder Comar

In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.

Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a “crime of aggression” against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II.

“The DOJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, ex-President Bush and key members of his Administration were acting within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit,” chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.

The “Westfall Act certification,” submitted pursuant to the Westfall Act of 1988, permits the Attorney General, at his or her discretion, to substitute the United States as the defendant and essentially grant absolute immunity to government employees for actions taken within the scope of their employment.

Read full article here

Aug 242013
 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/bradley-manning-wrongfully-sentenced-35-years-longest-ever-punishment-for-leaking-government-information/5346584

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, August 22, 2013

On July 30, he was wrongfully convicted on 20 of 22 charges. They included multiple Espionage Act violations. It’s a WW I relic.

It belongs in history’s dustbin. It’s unrelated to exposing serious government wrongdoing.

Manning revealed what everyone needs to know. He disclosed grave war crimes. Perpetrators are free to kill again. Doing the right thing got Manning convicted.

Judge Col. Denise Lind sentenced him to 35 years. It’s by far the longest ever punishment for leaking government information.

Manning will be 26 years old in December. He’ll be eligible for parole in around eight years. Chances appear slim to none. His conviction and sentencing sent a message. It warns other potential whistleblowers not to reveal what Washington wants suppressed.

Manning will serve hard time. Initially he’s heading for Fort Leavenworth, KS incarceration. He faces potential Supermax harshness.

They’re maximum security prisons. Authorities say they’re for society’s most incorrigible. They’re for “the worst of the worst.” Hyperbole substitutes for reality.

Inmates endure horrific conditions. Punishment substitutes for justice. They’re isolated longterm. They monitored round-the-clock. It’s done visually and by closed-circuit TV.

They’re confined in windowless single cells. They’re about 8 x 10 feet. They remain there 23 hours a day. Fluorescent lights stay on round-the-clock. Prisoners lack constructive activity. Visits are rare. Direct contact’s denied.

Food’s delivered twice daily through cell door slots. Central control booth guards control things. One prisoner at a time’s permitted to shower.

Supermax confinement’s the closest thing to hell on earth. It replicates some of the worst Guantanamo practices.

Torture is commonplace in many US prisons. Inmates are savaged by dogs, brutally shocked with cattle prods, burned by toxic chemicals, harmed by stun guns, beaten, stripped naked and abused in various other ways.

It’s standard practice. Manning’s vulnerable. He may never again see the light of day. If so, he’ll never be the same.

Judge Lind reduced Manning in rank. He went from private first class to E1. It’s the lowest military status. He’ll forfeit all pay, allowances and benefits. He’ll be dishonorably discharged.

Manning stood while Lind read her sentence. He did so expressionless. Lawyer David Coombs represents him. He’s submitting a presidential pardon application. He’ll appeal. He’ll do so up to the Supreme Court.

Chances of success are slim to none. Obama wanted his head. He pronounced guilt by accusation. He did so before proceedings began. Compassion isn’t his long suit.

After pronouncing sentence, Lind left. Military guards escorted Manning out of court. Supporters shouted encouragement, saying:

“We’ll keep fighting for you Bradley.” “You are a hero.” “We love you.”

Manning’s a 2013 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Over 100,000 people support him. He stands no chance of winning.

Nobel Committee members reserve their award for notorious war criminals. Peace advocates have no chance. It’s a Nobel tradition.

Manning’s sentence is automatically reviewed. Major General Jeffrey Buchanan heads Washington’s Military District. He’s responsible for doing it. He can reduce Manning’s sentence. He can’t increase it.

His case automatically goes to the Army Court of Appeals. The entire process takes time. A full transcript of proceedings must be produced. Defense counsel, prosecutors and Judge Lind must approve it.

On August 21, the Bradley Manning Support Network headlined “Press conference: Bradley Manning’s lawyer to address 35 year sentence,” saying:

David Coombs represents him. He’ll discuss legal avenues for redress. He’ll take reporters’ questions. He’ll do so for the first time.

A “crowd-funded college trust is being established.” It’s to help Manning attend college on release.

His supporters held an early morning vigil. They’ll rally tonight outside the White House. They’ll do it again and again and again.

“The Bradley Manning Support Network will continue to be responsible for 100% of Manning’s legal fees, as well as international education efforts.”

“Funded by over 22,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.4 million in Manning’s defense.”

Manning was confined for 1,294 days. They included 112 day sentencing credit. Judge Lind ordered it.

She said Manning was subjected to lawless pretrial harshness. Credit reduces his sentence to around thirty-one and a half years.

Coombs will petition General Buchanan for clemency. An Army clemency parole board can review his case after a year.

Coombs can petition for clemency annually. Manning must serve a third of his sentence for parole eligibility.

Good behavior credit’s possible. Whether it holds for Manning remains to be seen. Thirty-five years hard time for doing the right thing suggests not.

If granted, sentencing can be reduced as many as ten days for each month’s confinement.

On August 19, prosecutors argued for harshness. They said:

“There is value in deterrence, Your Honor. This court must send a message to any soldier contemplating stealing classified information.”

“National security crimes that undermine the entire system must be taken seriously. Punish Pfc. Manning’s actions, Your Honor.”

They urged 60 years. Chief prosecutor Capt. Joe Morrow said “(h)e’s been convicted of serious crimes.”

He “betrayed the United States and for that betrayal he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement.”

David Coombs called Manning “a young man capable of being redeemed. We should not throw this man out for 60 years. We should not rob him of his youth.”

“The appropriate sentence would be (one) that takes into account all facts and circumstances that you’re aware of. (T)hat it gives Pfc. Manning an opportunity to be restored to a productive place in society.”

That would give him “the opportunity, perhaps, to live the life he wants in the way that he would like, perhaps find love, maybe get married, maybe have children, to watch his children grow and perhaps have a relationship with his children’s children.”

He’s at the mercy of dark US forces. They want a message sent. They want Manning destroyed. They already administered cruel and unreasonable punishment.

Longterm hard time compounds it. Doing so sends a clear message. Whistleblowers aren’t tolerated. Obama targeted more than all his predecessors combined.

Potential ones are warned. Revealing what Washington wants suppressed risks replicating harsh Manning treatment.

Doing the right thing’s criminalized. War criminals go unpunished. US-style justice is none at all. Rogue states operate that way.

A Final Comment

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) calls itself “the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.”

In response to Manning’s sentencing it headlined “Manning’s 35-Year Sentence Intended to be a Message to All Whistleblowers.” In part it said:

“It is the position of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) that this sentence, though not the 60+ year sentence that the prosecution had requested, is intended to be a message to all whistleblowers, present and future.”

“Further, the sentence is excessive and unjust for the following reasons:

“It has never been proven that Manning’s conduct did harm to the US.”

“Manning informed the public of clear wrongdoing.”

He “suffered egregious and unlawful pretrial detention.

“No individuals have been punished as a result of Manning’s revelations despite clear atrocities.”

“This was a show trial done largely in secret,” said GAP National Security & Human Rights Counsel Kathleen McClellan.

“This case is of public interest, but the public has been kept in the dark through severely limited media access. America is better than secret courts.”

“GAP champions government and corporate accountability and transparency by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists.”

“Since its founding in 1977, GAP has fought to make large bureaucratic institutions accountable through the effective exercise of conscience.”

America today represents heart of darkness harshness. It’s a hair’s breadth from full-blown tyranny. Manning’s fate can be anyone’s.

Dissent’s an endangered species. Freedom’s fast eroding. It’s disappearing in plain sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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