Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“CIA cited Israeli Supreme Court rulings to justify torture, Senate report says 'Israeli example' cited as possible justification for use of torture when interrogating terror suspects 'where there is no other available means to prevent the harm' they might inflict.

The scathing report published Tuesday by the United States Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA's interrogation of terror suspects reveals that the CIA's lawyers used the rulings of Israel's Supreme Court to construct a legal case justifying torture.”

—>For all of the reporting the NYT has done on the CIA torture report, Israel’s link to interrogation abuses is left out. Even in the area of prisoner torture, the NYT avoids stories that make apartheid Israel look bad. 


“Suicide Drones and the Spoils of War: Israeli arms manufacturers look to cash in on the war in Gaza.

Three weeks after Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip concluded, Israeli military and political leaders attended a conference next to Ben Gurion Airport to sell the successes of what Israel dubbed Operation Protective Edge, which killed more than 2,200 Palestinians including 521 children. 

The annual conference, named ‘Israel Unmanned Systems 2014,’ took place in business-as-usual atmosphere — even with a complimentary beer keg. But the fare was anything but humdrum. Among the offerings were suicide drones, ‘loitering munitions’ that need to explode; a 16-year-old showing off high-tech robots designed by fellow high schoolers and future drone makers; and ‘premature’ weapons, armaments that have not been fully tested before they are used on a live Palestinian population. Such is Israel, the military power.

—>War is good for business, both in the US and Israel. Each new slaughter of the innocents creates billions more in pofits. Our mainstream media will be the last to report such links between the weapons makers and the pro war politicians in either country.


Guardian UK:
“It wasn’t that bad, we’ve been told, over and over again, for more than a decade. ‘We only waterboarded three people’ goes the line American officials have been force-feeding the world for years. ‘We tortured some folks,’ Barack Obama admitted recently, still downplaying war crimes committed in America’s name. But we now know those statements do not even begin to do justice to the horrific activities carried out by the CIA for years – atrocities that now have been exposed by the US Senate’s historic report on the CIA’s torture program, finally released on Tuesday after years of delay.

There are stories in the CIA torture report of ‘rectal rehydration as a means of behavior control’, threats to murder and ‘threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee’ – or cut a mother’s throat. There are details about detainees with broken bones forced to stand for days on end, detainees blindfolded, dragged down hallways while they were beaten. There were even torture sessions that ended in death. The list goes on and on, and on and on.

But beyond all the the depravity, perhaps the most shocking part of this exposed history is the action of US officials who knew these horrors were unfolding – and covered them up.”

—>Yes, the NYT came out against the torture exposed in the recent Senate report. Yet, many specifics like anal rape and threats to kill family members got swept under the rug. So to did the mention of international laws that both forbid torture and require that our current leaders prosecute such human rights violators. The NYT loves to condemn past abuses, just as long as current war criminals are protected. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
“The NSA has conducted a covert campaign to intercept internal communications of operators and trade groups in order to infiltrate mobile networks worldwide, according to the latest revelations from documents supplied by Edward Snowden.

The U.S. National Security Agency ran two hitherto undisclosed operations, the Wireless Portfolio Management Office and the Target Technology Trends Center, operating under the aegis of a program called Auroragold, according to an article last week in The Intercept, which also published related documents.

The operations closely monitored the GSM Association, maintained a list of 1,201 email targets, or ‘selectors’ used to intercept internal company communications, and gathered information about network security flaws. The NSA documents show that as of May 2012 the agency had collected technical information on about 70 percent of the estimated 985 mobile phone networks worldwide.”

—>The mainstream media, including the NYT, has given up reporting about the NSA’s massive collection of data inside the US. Is this the way the state becomes Big Brother?


Washington Post:
“Obama says he willing to defy Democrats on his support of Trans-Pacific Partnership. …

The administration has argued that the trade deals will boost U.S. exports and lower tariffs for American goods in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, where the United States has faced increasing economic competition from China.”

—>The Washington Post, like most mainstream media, never gives us the back story on trade agreements. Clinton sold NAFTA in 1993 by promising good paying American Jobs, a trade surplus with Mexico, and a reduction in illegal immigration. Instead, the US lost 700,000 jobs, the surplus with Mexico turned into a chronic deficit, and tens of thousands of Central Americans headed for the Texas border. 

How could Clinton have gotten it so wrong? He didn’t. NAFTA was really designed to free multinational corporations from governmental regulations in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Clinton was just doing the corporation’s dirty work, something Obama excels at while he mouths pretty words about jobs and income inequality. Our media does its part by never bringing up this history.

“Congress is poised to give a foreign mining company 2,400 acres of national forest in Arizona that is cherished ancestral homeland to Apache natives. Controversially, the measure is attached to annual legislation that funds the US Defense Department. …

The ‘Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015’ - named after the retiring chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services panels - includes the giveaway of Apache burial, medicinal, and ceremonial grounds currently within the bounds of Tonto. News of the land provision was kept under wraps until late Tuesday, when the bill was finally posted online.

The land proposed to be given to Resolution Copper, in exchange for other lands, includes prime territory Apaches have used for centuries to gather medicinal plants and acorns, and it is near a spot known as Apache Leap, a summit that Apaches jumped from to avoid being killed by settlers in the late 19th century.”

—>An old story, selling off Native American lands for profit. Senator John McCain is deeply involved in this scam, but you won’t read about it in the mainstream US media, including the NYT.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Press TV:
“The United States will arm Israel, a key ally in the Middle East, with 3,000 smart bombs as part of Washington’s military aid to Tel Aviv. The Department of Defense announced that the funding for the sale will come from the military package and will be paid until the end of November 2016.
The United States provides Israel with some $8.5 million in military aid per day.
The cost of the deal is estimated at $82 million, through which the Israeli Air Force will receive thousands of G-DAM model bombs. …

American protesters argue that the US taxpayer money is used for more Israeli aggression against Palestinians. The Israeli Air Force used smart bomb in its latest war on the Gaza Strip. The besieged strip has witnessed three destructive wars since 2008.”

—>It is always disconcerting that Iran based media can give Americans more accurate information than the NY Times. This story was confirmed by


Guardian UK:
“41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground. …

A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals – the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls ‘targeted killing’ – they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November.

Reprieve, sifting through reports compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, examined cases in which specific people were targeted by drones multiple times. Their data, shared with the Guardian, raises questions about the accuracy of US intelligence guiding strikes that US officials describe using words like ‘clinical’ and ‘precise.’ ”

—>The NYT didn’t report this story. It questions the prevailing narrative favored by the Pentagon that drone strikes don’t kill hundreds of innocent civilians.   


Common Dreams:
“Senate Torture Investigation Fails to Interview Key Torture Victims. The soon-to-be-released Senate inquiry into CIA torture has failed to investigate the experience of those who felt that treatment first hand: Guantanamo's highest level detainees, according to Monday reporting by the Guardian's Spencer Ackerman, who spoke with attorneys for the imprisoned men.

‘If you’re conducting a genuine inquiry of a program that tortured people, don’t you begin by talking to the people who were tortured?’ David Nevin, who represents accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, told Ackerman. …

‘It’s apparent to me that the United States government has absolutely no desire to credibly investigate or in any other way hold accountable the people who tortured my client,’ Cheryl Bormann, a Chicago attorney who represents bin Attash, also told Ackerman.”

—>Like the Senate Torture inquiry, the NYT has also chosen not to interview key torture victims. It also decided not to print this story.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Common Dreams:
“As New War Rages, Study Finds, Mainstream Media Silences Debate.
New analysis finds little opposition in mainstream media to latest US military attacks on Middle East nations.

-In total, 205 sources appeared on the programs discussing military options in Syria and Iraq. Just six of these guests, or 3 percent, voiced opposition to US military intervention. There were 125 guests (61 percent) who spoke in favor of US war. 
-On the high-profile Sunday talk shows, 89 guests were invited to talk about the war. But just one, Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, could be coded as an anti-war guest. 
-Guest lists leaned heavily on politicians and military insiders. Current and former US government officials—politicians and White House officials—made up 37 percent of the guest lists. Current and former military officials accounted for 7 percent of sources. Journalists made up 46 percent of the sources.”

—>The nation’s media is pushing for war again. When will they ever learn? Or better yet, when will we ever learn: to turn off our TV’s and question the US empire’s military expansion.


Guardian UK:
“Rich countries are subsidizing oil, gas and coal companies by about $88bn a year to explore for new reserves, despite evidence that most fossil fuels must be left in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

The most detailed breakdown yet of global fossil fuel subsidies has found that the US government provided companies with $5.2bn for fossil fuel exploration in 2013, Australia spent $3.5bn, Russia $2.4bn and the UK $1.2bn. Most of the support was in the form of tax breaks for exploration in deep offshore fields.

The public money went to major multinationals as well as smaller ones who specialise in exploratory work, according to British think tank the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Washington-based analysts Oil Change International.”

—>The NYT didn’t report this story. Big oil controls not only our government, but our media as well. The weapons makers want more war, and the oil companies want more global warming. Good for business, bad for you and me.   


“Jewish nation-state bill sets out to establish democracy for Jews only. The bill proposing a basic law on Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people will be presented to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday in its original form. This version … lets the cat out of the bag: The Jewish character of Israel supersedes its democratic character. The Jewishness of the state is manifest in discrimination against Arabs, and its democracy is none other than a regime that lets the majority do anything it wants and exploits the minority.

The current version of the bill states specifically that it is intended to outrank any ordinary legislation or basic law that preceded it, and that all legislation will be interpreted through it. Thus, the bill undermines the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom (1992), which ensures the right to human dignity, including the right not to be discriminated against based on affiliation to a certain group.

The bill also obviates the official status of the Arabic language, encourages preference for Jewish communities as opposed to non-Jewish ones, and declares that the state reserves the possibility to establish communities on the basis of national or religious affiliation.”

—>Would the US media ever let the American people know that Israel is legislating apartheid? Like the war lobby and the Big Oil lobby, the Israeli lobby runs the show when it comes to covering up stories it doesn’t like.