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  1. #21

  2. #22
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    23 Afghans killed in US-led airstrikes



    At least 23 people, including seven women, have been killed in two US-led airstrikes on the eastern provinces of Kunar and Laghman in Afghanistan.


    Local witnesses said on Sunday that at least seven women died and several others were wounded in an overnight attack in Laghman.

    The US-led military coalition has confirmed the airstrike.

    Sixteen other Afghans were also killed in another airstrike carried out in Kunar on Sunday.

    Many civilians have lost their lives in the US-led operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past months, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of the deadly assaults.


    The US claims that its airstrikes target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks.

    The issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan is highly sensitive and has been a major source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Washington.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/09...ed-airstrikes/

  3. #23
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    Obama imprisons and tortures journalist for exposing drone terrorism in Yemen

    Abdullah Haider Shaye was one of the few journalists who covered the massacre of 14 women and 21 children in Yemen back in 2009. He documented evidences that suggested the United States was behind these drones attacks - and he specifically brought to attention the number of cluster bombs and remnants of "Made in USA" missiles dropped over these civilians. Initially, the Yemeni government took responsibility for it but Shaye's evidence countered this and put Obama on the spotlight. Because of this he has been in prison for approximately two years now. He has been tortured, beaten, held in solitary confinement by Yemeni forces who are, of course, obedient to Obama.

    Former President Saleh was actually willing to pardon Shaye but Obama spoke out against it and "expressed concern" over it. Amnesty International is writing for action to try to get Shaye the justice he deserves.

    So to sum up, yes, he's a prisoner of conscience because he has been subjected to torture for crimes he never committed - the only crime he committed was exposing President Obama's ruthless drone warfare.

    Here's an article on him: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/14/obam...ent/singleton/

    article is also posted in current events: http://forum.netmuslims.com/showthre...-drone-attacks

  4. #24
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    European court rules CIA tortured, sodomized German man

    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the kidnapping and illegal transfer of a German national to US custody has violated the most basic guarantees of human decency.


    The France-based court ruled on Thursday that the treatment Khalid el-Masri, a German citizen, who was detained at an airport in Macedonia in 2003, suffered at the hands of a CIA rendition team amounted to torture.

    El-Masri, who was kidnapped due to the fact that his name was identical to that of an al-Qaeda terrorist, was “severely beaten, sodomized, shackled and hooded, and subjected to total sensory deprivation” by the CIA rendition team in the presence of Macedonian authorities.


    He was later transferred to a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan without access to his family, a lawyer or German consular officers.

    According to el-Masri, he was kept in Afghanistan for four months before US officials realized he had been mistakenly detained. They then sent him to Albania where he was placed on a commercial flight back to German and advised against telling anyone about his ordeal.

    The el-Masri case was originally filed against the Macedonian government as the court does not have jurisdiction over the US. However, the ruling is a powerful condemnation of the CIA over its rendition techniques, which amount to torture.

    The CIA has declined to comment on the ruling.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12...ed-german-man/

  5. #25
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    Obama’s ‘kill list’ critic found in dead in New York City



    Prominent American blogger and computer prodigy Aaron Swartz, who spoke against US President Barack Obama’s “kill list” and cyber attacks against Iran, has been found dead in New York.


    Police found the body of the 26-year-old in his apartment in New York City borough of Brooklyn on Friday, said a spokeswoman for the city’s chief medical examiner.

    Brooklyn’s chief medical examiner ruled the death a suicide by hanging, but no further detail is available about the mysterious death.

    Last year, Swartz openly criticized the US and the Israeli regime for launching joint cyber attacks against Iran.

    The blogger was also vocal in criticizing Obama’s so-called kill list and other policies.

    Obama has been reportedly approving the names put on the “kill lists” used in the targeted killing operations carried out by US assassination drones.

    Every week or so, more than 100 members of the US national security team gather via secure video teleconference run by the Pentagon and go over the biographies of suspects in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, and “nominate” those who should be targeted in the attacks.


    Obama is then provided with the identities of those put on the “kill list” and signs off on every strike in Yemen and Somalia as well as the risky strikes in Pakistan.

    Swartz was also widely credited for co-authoring the specifications for the Web feed format RSS 1.0 (Rich Site Summary) which he worked on at age 14.

    RSS is designed to deliver content from sites that change constantly, such as news pages, to users.

    Swartz was critical of monopoly of information by corporate cartels and believed that information should be shared and available for the benefit of society.

    “Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves,” he wrote in an online “manifesto” in 2008.

    Based on that belief, the computer prodigy founded the nonprofit group DemandProgress.

    The group launched a successful campaign to block a 2011 bill that the US House of Representatives called the Stop Online Piracy Act.

    Had it been approved, the bill would have allowed court orders to restrain access to some websites considered to be involved in illegal sharing of intellectual property.

    DemandProgress argued that the thwarted Stop Online Piracy Act would have broadly authorized the US government to censor and restrict legitimate Web communication.

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/0...nd-dead-in-ny/

  6. #26
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    Who are the real drug dealers?



  7. #27
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    U.S. Defends Afghan Role After Exit Order

    Some in Wardak Cheer Karzai Move; Coalition Calls Abuse Allegations Untrue, Says Special Forces Are Vital Against Taliban


    MAIDAN SHAHR, Afghanistan—When Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered U.S. Special Operations Forces to withdraw from Wardak—one of the country's most dangerous provinces—the decision caught U.S. and coalition officials by surprise.

    But some Wardak residents, upset with reports of abuses by the foreigners and their local allies, said it was a welcome, if long overdue, move.

    "We were so happy," said Shafiqullah, a resident of the village of Karmalayee Kala. "People were calling to tell each other the good news."

    A day after Mr. Karzai ordered U.S. Special Operations Forces out of their province, many residents here said they routinely endure mistreatment and worse at the hands of elite foreign units and Afghans working with them.

    Afghan authorities cited such alleged incidents, which they said included the seizing of a local university student who was later found with his throat slit, as the reason for ordering U.S. special-operations units out of Wardak, a strategic province on the western approach to Kabul...

    ...An Afghan official in Wardak said..."We have received many complaints from the residents that Special Forces are killing, harassing and torturing them..."

    ...In December, a video surfaced of an Afghan man being beaten in Wardak...coalition officials identified the assailant as a civilian who worked as an interpreter for international forces... A coalition official said the military had investigated similar claims of abuse by U.S. Special Operations Forces since then...

    ...Some Wardak villagers on Monday claimed firsthand knowledge of alleged abuses, although they said the identity of alleged perpetrators wasn't always clear. U.S. special-operations troops sometimes wear local dress, and irregular Afghan militiamen sometimes don castoff pieces of Afghan or coalition uniforms.

    Sayed Agha, of Ibrahimkhil village, described troops he accused of abuses as wearing Afghan dress and turbans, and riding on motorcycles.

    "The majority of them are Afghans, but they have Americans with them as well," he said. "I know so many people who have joined the insurgency because of them."

    Haji Abdul Qayum, a tribal elder in Ibrahimkhil, said special-operations troops often raided houses, sometimes beating or killing civilians. He said nine people from his village and another district were missing, eight were killed and dozens wounded in various incidents.

    "All of them are civilians,
    "
    he said. "I met the Special Forces commander and complained to him, and gave him the list of the missing people, but he didn't take it seriously."

    U.S. and coalition special-operations forces, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, have raised their own Afghan auxiliary units in the past, some of them with only a tenuous link to the Afghan government. Some of these auxiliaries, while technically on the payroll as security guards for U.S. installations, have been carrying out raids and patrols...

    ...Situated west of Kabul, Wardak province straddles the vital highway between the capital and the southern city of Kandahar. Control of Wardak is essential to securing Kabul, and many local residents say they have fled their native villages to Kabul and the provincial capital of Maidan Shahr because of persistent insecurity.

    Malak, also of Ibrahimkhil, said 80 families had recently left the village because of violence. He moved with his wife and five children to Maidan Shahr.

    "We haven't seen such oppression in the past three decades of war," he said.

    Suliman Zahid, a medical doctor in Wardak's Chaak district, complained that a special-operations team had taken over his house and evicted his parents.

    "They are not paying any rent and don't have any contract with me, and I just want them out of my house," he said. "They tell people that they are paying me, but I don't get any rent from them. They have put me between a rock and a hard place—I am afraid of them..


    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...994884334.html


    -----------------------

    Afghans hold demo to protest against abuses by US-led forces

    People have taken to the streets in central Afghanistan to express their outrage against the alleged abuses committed by US Special Forces against civilians.

    The rally was held on Tuesday in the province of Wardak where demonstrators chanted anti-US slogans.

    Anger is rising among Afghans over the mistreatment of locals, the desecration of Islamic holy places, and the killing of civilians by US-led foreign troops across the war-torn country. The Afghans have held numerous protests against the foreign forces.

    The protests came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement on Sunday saying that “it became clear that armed individuals named as US Special Force stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people.”

    On Monday, an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman, Gen. Gunter Katz, rejected Karzai's allegations saying, “Over the past few weeks there have been various allegations of special forces conducting themselves in an unprofessional manner” in Wardak.

    He added that "so far, we could not find evidence that would support these allegations."

    The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism.

    The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country despite the presence of thousands of US-led soldiers.


    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/02...forces-abuses/


  8. #28
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    James Steele: America's mystery man in Iraq

    The full length version of 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centres in Iraq


  9. #29
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    MI6 and CIA were told before invasion that Iraq had no active WMD

    BBC's Panorama reveals fresh evidence that agencies dismissed intelligence from Iraqi foreign minister and spy chief




    Fresh evidence is revealed today about how MI6 and the CIA were told through secret channels by Saddam Hussein's foreign minister and his head of intelligence that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction.

    Tony Blair told parliament before the war that intelligence showed Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programme was "active", "growing" and "up and running".

    A special BBC Panorama programme tonight will reveal how British and US intelligence agencies were informed by top sources months before the invasion that Iraq had no active WMD programme, and that the information was not passed to subsequent inquiries.

    It describes how Naji Sabri, Saddam's foreign minister, told the CIA's station chief in Paris at the time, Bill Murray, through an intermediary that Iraq had "virtually nothing" in terms of WMD...

    ...Panorama confirms that three months before the war an MI6 officer met Iraq's head of intelligence, Tahir Habbush al-Tikriti, who also said that Saddam had no active WMD. The meeting in the Jordanian capital, Amman, took place days before the British government published its now widely discredited Iraqi weapons dossier in September 2002.

    Lord Butler, the former cabinet secretary who led an inquiry into the use of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, tells the programme that he was not told about Sabri's comments, and that he should have been.

    Butler says of the use of intelligence: "There were ways in which people were misled or misled themselves at all stages."

    When it was suggested to him that the body that probably felt most misled of all was the British public, Butler replied: "Yes, I think they're, they're, they got every reason think that."

    The programme shows how the then chief of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, responded to information from Iraqi sources later acknowledged to be unreliable.

    One unidentified MI6 officer has told the Chilcot inquiry that at one stage information was "being torn off the teleprinter and rushed across to Number 10".

    Another said it was "wishful thinking… [that] promised the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow".

    The programme says that MI6 stood by claims that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger, though these were dismissed by other intelligence agencies, including the French.

    It also shows how claims by Iraqis were treated seriously by elements in MI6 and the CIA even after they were exposed as fabricated including claims, notably about alleged mobile biological warfare containers, made by Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, a German source codenamed Curveball. He admitted to the Guardian in 2011 that all the information he gave to the west was fabricated.

    Panorama says it asked for an interview with Blair but he said he was "too busy".

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...esh-wmd-claims


    Comments:

    Obviously there were sell out traitors in Iraq who were giving fabricated information to the western nations in the interest of Invasion, one which only benefit the OIL tycoons and those in bed with them.

  10. #30
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    Iraq war: Ever more shocked, never yet awed



    At 10 years since the launch of Operation Iraqi Liberation (to use the original name with the appropriate acronym, OIL) and over 22 years since Operation Desert Storm, there is little evidence that any significant number of people in the United States have a realistic idea of what our government has done to the people of Iraq, or of how these actions compare to other horrors of world history.


    A majority of Americans believe the war since 2003 has hurt the United States but benefitted Iraq. A plurality of Americans believe not only that Iraqis should be grateful, but that Iraqis are in fact grateful.

    A number of US academics have advanced the dubious claim that war making is declining around the world. Misinterpreting what has happened in Iraq is central to their argument. As documented in the full report, by the most scientifically respected measures available, Iraq lost 1.4 million lives as a result of OIL, saw 4.2 million additional people injured, and 4.5 million people become refugees. The 1.4 million dead was 5% of the population.

    That compares to 2.5% lost in the US Civil War, or 3 to 4% in Japan in World War II, 1% in France and Italy in World War II, less than 1% in the U.K. and 0.3% in the United States in World War II. The 1.4 million dead is higher as an absolute number as well as a percentage of population than these other horrific losses. US deaths in Iraq since 2003 have been 0.3% of the dead, even if they’ve taken up the vast majority of the news coverage, preventing US news consumers from understanding the extent of Iraqi suffering.

    In a very American parallel, the US government has only been willing to value the life of an Iraqi at that same 0.3% of the financial value it assigns to the life of a US citizen.

    The 2003 invasion included 29,200 airstrikes, followed by another 3,900 over the next eight years. The US military targeted civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances. It also made use of what some might call “weapons of mass destruction,” using cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new kind of napalm in densely settled urban areas.

    Birth defects, cancer rates, and infant mortality are through the roof. Water supplies, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, bridges, and electricity supplies have been devastated, and not repaired. Healthcare and nutrition and education are nothing like they were before the war. And we should remember that healthcare and nutrition had already deteriorated during years of economic warfare waged through the most comprehensive economic sanctions ever imposed in modern history.

    Money spent by the United States to “reconstruct” Iraq was always less than 10% of what was being spent adding to the damage, and most of it was never actually put to any useful purpose. At least a third was spent on “security,” while much of the rest was spent on corruption in the US military and its contractors.

    The educated who might have best helped rebuild Iraq fled the country. Iraq had the best universities in Western Asia in the early 1990s, and now leads in illiteracy, with the population of teachers in Baghdad reduced by 80%.

    For years, the occupying forces broke the society of Iraq down, encouraging ethnic and sectarian division and violence, resulting in a segregated country and the repression of rights that Iraqis used to enjoy even under Saddam Hussein’s brutal police state.

    While the dramatic escalation of violence that for several years was predicted would accompany any US withdrawal did not materialize, Iraq is not at peace. The war destabilized Iraq internally, created regional tensions, and -- of course - generated widespread resentment for the United States. That was the opposite result of the stated one of making the United States safer.

    If the United States had taken five trillion dollars, and - instead of spending it destroying Iraq - had chosen to do good with it, at home or abroad, just imagine the possibilities. The United Nations thinks $30 billion a year would end world hunger. For $5 trillion, why not end world hunger for 167 years? The lives not saved are even more than the lives taken away by war spending.

    A sanitized version of the war and how it started is now in many of our school text books. It is not too late for us to correct the record, or to make reparations. We can better work for an actual reduction in war making and the prevention of new wars if we accurately understand what past wars have involved.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03...entment-at-us/

  11. #31
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    Iraq War Anniversary: Birth Defects And Cancer Rates At Devastating High In Basra And Fallujah (VIDEO)

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/2...er_us_has_left



    Ten years after the start of the U.S. invasion in Iraq, doctors in some of the Middle Eastern nation's cities are witnessing an abnormally high number of cases of cancer and birth defects. Scientists suspect the rise is tied to the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus in military assaults.


    On the war's ten-year anniversary, Democracy Now! spoke with Dahr Jamail, an Al Jazeera reporter who recently returned from Iraq. Jamail recounts meeting Dr. Samira Alani, a doctor in the city of Fallujah focusing on the issue of birth defects.
    She said it's common now in Fallujah for newborns to come out with massive multiple systemic defects, immune problems, massive central nervous system problems, massive heart problems, skeletal disorders, babies being born with two heads, babies being born with half of their internal organs outside of their bodies, cyclops babies literally with one eye -- really, really, really horrific nightmarish types of birth defects.
    Jamail says that the current rate of birth defects for the city of Fallujah has surpassed those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the nuclear attacks at the end of World War II.

    Echoing Jamail's findings, a September 2012 study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology that focused on maternity hospitals in the cities of Basra and Fallujah recorded a devastating number of birth defects in the past decade. The study also indicated that childhood leukemia and other types of cancers are on the rise.
    The study opens:

    Between October 1994 and October 1995, the number of birth defects per 1,000 live births in Al Basrah Maternity Hospital was 1.37. In 2003, the number of birth defects in Al Basrah Maternity Hospital was 23 per 1,000 livebirths. Within less than a decade, the occurrence of congenital birth defects increased by an astonishing 17-fold in the same hospital.
    As David Kenner notes in Foreign Policy, the numbers of miscarriages and birth defects are much higher than before the start of the war and are also "wildly out of proportion" to numbers collected in the rest of the world.
    Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the 2012 study and a toxicologist at the University of Michigan, told The Independent in 2012 that there is "compelling evidence" to connect the growing number of defects at birth to the military assaults in Basra and Fallujah.


    In a new op-ed for Al Jazeera, Savabieasfahani writes that the cancer and birth defect "epidemic" constitutes an "extraordinary public health emergency in Iraq" and that large-scale testing of the environment in the affected cities is of utmost urgency.


    Watch Democracy Now!'s interview Dahr Jamail in the video above, and see the Democracy Now! website for more coverage.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2917701.html

  12. #32
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    Camp Nama: British personnel reveal horrors of secret US base in Baghdad


    Detainees captured by SAS and SBS squads subjected to human-rights abuses at detention centre, say British witnesses

    British soldiers and airmen who helped to operate a secretive US detention facility in Baghdad that was at the centre of some of the most serious human rights abuses to occur in Iraq after the invasion have, for the first time, spoken about abuses they witnessed there.

    Personnel from two RAF squadrons and one Army Air Corps squadron were given guard and transport duties at the secret prison, the Guardian has established.

    And many of the detainees were brought to the facility by snatch squads formed from Special Air Service and Special Boat Service squadrons.

    Codenamed Task Force 121, the joint US-UK special forces unit was at first deployed to detain individuals thought to have information about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Once it was realised that Saddam's regime had long since abandoned its WMD programme, TF 121 was re-tasked with tracking down people who might know where the deposed dictator and his loyalists might be, and then with catching al-Qaida leaders who sprang up in the country after the regime collapsed.

    Suspects were brought to the secret prison at Baghdad International airport, known as Camp Nama, for questioning by US military and civilian interrogators. But the methods used were so brutal that they drew condemnation not only from a US human rights body but from a special investigator reporting to the Pentagon.

    A British serviceman who served at Nama recalled: "I saw one man having his prosthetic leg being pulled off him, and being beaten about the head with it before he was thrown on to the truck."

    On the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a number of former members of TF 121 and its successor unit TF6-26 have come forward to describe the abuses they witnessed, and to state that they complained about the mistreatment of detainees.

    The abuses they say they saw include:

    • Iraqi prisoners being held for prolonged periods in cells the size of large dog kennels.
    • Prisoners being subjected to electric shocks.
    • Prisoners being routinely hooded.
    • Inmates being taken into a sound-proofed shipping container for interrogation, and emerging in a state of physical distress.

    It is unclear how many of their complaints were registered or passed up the chain of command. A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said a search of its records did not turn up "anything specific" about complaints from British personnel at Camp Nama, or anything that substantiated such complaints.

    Nevertheless, the emergence of evidence of British involvement in the running of such a notorious detention facility appears to raise fresh questions about ministerial approval of operations that resulted in serious human rights abuses.

    Geoff Hoon, defence secretary at the time, insisted he had no knowledge of Camp Nama. When it was pointed out to him that the British military had provided transport services and a guard force, and had helped to detain Nama's inmates, he replied: "I've never heard of the place."

    The MoD, on the other hand, repeatedly failed to address questions about ministerial approval of British operations at Camp Nama. Nor would the department say whether ministers had been made aware of concerns about human rights abuses there.


    Former army officer Crispin Blunt accused defence secretary John Hutton in 2009 of sweeping under the carpet the evidence of direct British service involvement. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

    However, one peculiarity of the way in which UK forces operated when bringing prisoners to Camp Nama suggests that ministers and senior MoD officials may have had reason to know those detainees were at risk of mistreatment. British soldiers were almost always accompanied by a lone American soldier, who was then recorded as having captured the prisoner. Members of the SAS and SBS were repeatedly briefed on the importance of this measure.

    It was an arrangement that enabled the British government to side-step a Geneva convention clause that would have obliged it to demand the return of any prisoner transferred to the US once it became apparent that they were not being treated in accordance with the convention. And it consigned the prisoners to what some lawyers have described as a legal black hole.

    Surrounded by row after row of wire fencing, guarded by either US Rangers or RAF personnel, and with an Abrams tank parked permanently at its main gate, to the outside observer Camp Nama seemed identical to scores of military bases that sprang up after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Once inside, however, it was clear that Nama was different.

    Not that many people did enter the special forces prison. It was off limits to most members of the US and UK military, with even the officer commanding the US detention facility at Guantánamo being refused entry at one point. Inspectors from the International Committee of the Red Cross were never admitted through its gates.

    One person who has been widely reported to have been seen there frequently was General Stanley McChrystal, then commander of US Joint Special Operations forces in Iraq.


    General Stanley McChrystal, then commander of US Joint Special Operations forces in Iraq, was said to have visited Nama. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

    While Abu Ghraib prison, just a few miles to the west, would achieve global notoriety after photographs emerged depicting abuses committed there, Camp Nama escaped attention for a simple reason: photography was banned. The only people who attempted to take pictures – a pair of US Navy Seals – were promptly arrested. All discussion of what happened there was forbidden.

    Before establishing its prison at Nama, TF 121 had been known as Task Force 20, and had run a detention and interrogation facility at a remote location known as H1, in Iraq's western desert. At least one prisoner had died en route to H1, allegedly kicked to death aboard an RAF Chinook.

    The British were always junior partners in TF 121. Their contingent was known as Task Force Black. US Delta Force troops made up Task Force Green and US Army Rangers Task Force Red. One half of Task Force Black comprised SAS and SBS troopers, based a short distance away at the government compound known as the Green Zone. They detained so-called high-value detainees, who were brought to Camp Nama. The other half were the air and ground crews of 7 Squadron and 47 Squadron of the RAF, and 657 Squadron of the Army Air Corps, who lived on the camp itself, operating helicopters used in detention operations and a Hercules transport aircraft.

    "The Americans went out to bring in prisoners every night, and British special forces would go out once or twice a week, almost always with one American accompanying them," one British serviceman who served at Nama recalled earlier this month.

    ''The prisoners would be brought in by helicopter, usually one at a time, although I once saw five being led off a Chinook. They were taken into a large hangar to be bagged and tagged, a bag put over their heads and their hands plasticuffed behind their backs. Then they would be lifted or thrown on to the back of a pick-up truck and driven to the Joint Operations Centre."
    The Joint Operations Centre, or JOC, was a single story building a few hundred yards from the airport's main runway. Some of those who served at Nama believed it had formerly been used by Saddam's intelligence agencies.

    The US and UK forces worked together so closely that they began to wear items of each others' uniforms. But while British personnel were permitted into the front of the JOC, few were allowed into the rear, where interrogations took place. This was the preserve of US military interrogators and CIA officers based at Camp Nama. "They included a number of women," said one British airman. "One had a ponytail and always wore two pistols, so we had to nickname her Lara Croft."

    There were four interrogation cells at the rear of the JOC, known as the blue, red, black and soft rooms, as well as a medical screening area. The soft room contained sofas and rugs, and was a place where detainees could be shown some kindness. Harsh interrogations took place in the red and blue rooms, while the black room – described as windowless, with hooks in the ceiling, and where every surface was painted black – is said to be the cell where the worse abuses were perpetrated.

    According to an investigation by Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO, detainees were subject to "beatings, exposure to extreme cold, threats of death, humiliation and various forms of psychological abuse or torture" at the JOC. The New York Times has reported that prisoners were beaten with rifle butts and had paintball guns fired at them for target practice.

    Signs posted around Nama are said to have proclaimed the warning "No Blood, No Foul": if interrogators did not make a prisoner bleed, they would not face disciplinary action.

    There was also an overspill interrogation room cell behind the JOC: a shipping container lined with padding. "You could see people being taken in there, and they were in pretty poor shape when they were taken out," said one British witness. He adds: "Everyone's seen the Abu Ghraib pictures. But I've seen it with my own eyes."

    A number of British soldiers who served with TF 121 said that some SAS officers were permitted to attend interrogations at the rear of the JOC. Human Rights Watch reports that one SAS officer took part in the beating of a prisoner thought to know the whereabouts of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

    While not being interrogated, according to witnesses, prisoners were held in cells the size of large dog kennels. "They were made of wire mesh with sloping corrugated roofs," said a British ex-serviceman who served at Nama. "They were chest high, and two feet wide. There were about 100 of them, in three rows, and they always appeared to have at least one prisoner in each. They would be freezing at night, and really hot during the day.

    "The prisoners were mostly men, although I did see two women being taken into the JOC for interrogation. I've no idea what became of them, or to any of the male prisoners after their interrogation was completed."

    Some of the scenes at Nama were so disturbing that personnel serving there would literally look the other way, rather than witness the abuse. "I remember being on sentry duty at a post overlooking the dog kennels, and the guy I was with wouldn't even look at them," one British eyewitness recalls. "I was saying: 'Hey turn around and look at them.' And he wouldn't. He just wouldn't turn around, because he knew they were there."

    Some complaints made at the time by British personnel were immediately suppressed. "I remember talking to one British army officer about what I had seen, and he replied: 'You didn't see that – do you understand?' There was a great deal of nervousness about the place. I had the impression that the British were scared we would be kicked off the operation if we made a fuss," the ex-serviceman said.

    According to one US interrogator interviewed by Human Rights Watch, however, written authorisations were required for many of the abuses inflicted on prisoners at Nama, indicating that their use was approved up the chain of command.

    "There was an authorisation template on a computer, a sheet that you would print out, or actually just type it in," the interrogator said. "It was a checklist. It was already typed out for you, environmental controls, hot and cold, you know, strobe lights, music, so forth. But you would just check what you want to use off, and if you planned on using a harsh interrogation you'd just get it signed off. It would be signed off by the commander."


    According to one British serviceman who was at Nama, US soldiers would bring prisoners in every night. Photograph: Jehad Nga/Corbis

    Camp Nama was such a secret location that when General Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, was sent to Iraq in August 2003 to advise on interrogation regimes he was initially refused entry, according to Human Rights Watch.

    At the end of 2003, the Pentagon sent a special investigator, Stuart Herrington, a retired military intelligence colonel, to discover more about the methods being employed at Nama. In December that year Herrington reported: "Detainees captured by TF 121 have shown injuries that caused examining medical personnel to note that 'detainee shows signs of having been beaten'. It seems clear that TF 121 needs to be reined in with respect to its treatment of detainees."

    More than 30 members of the task force were subsequently disciplined for abusing prisoners. Yet the beatings continued, according to British witnesses. The dog kennel cells remained in place, and UK special forces continued to be used to snatch suspects to be brought in for interrogation. "I can see now that we were supplying the meat for the American interrogators," says one.

    In February 2004, senior British special forces and intelligence officers felt emboldened enough to mount a detention operation without an accompanying US soldier. Troopers surrounded a house in southern Baghdad that MI6 had identified as a safe house for foreign fighters. Two men were killed in the raid and two others of Pakistani origin were detained and handed over to the US authorities.

    After questioning at Nama, the pair were flown to Bagram, north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, where they are thought to remain incarcerated, despite efforts by lawyers to secure their release by persuading the appeal court in London to order the issuing of a writ of habeas corpus.

    Two months later, in April 2004, US news media published a series of shocking photographs showing the abuse of prisoners at a different prison, Abu Ghraib, where individuals detained by regular troops rather than special forces were being held. A few days later Task Force 121 was renamed Task Force 6-26. Shortly after this, two US Navy Seals – who had their own compound with Camp Nama – were seen taking photographs from the roof of their building. Both men were immediately arrested, British witnesses say and were not seen at Nama again.
    Later that summer the secret prison was moved to Balad, a sprawling air base 50 miles north of Baghdad, where it became known as the Temporary Screening Facility (TSF). The Army Air Force and RAF troops continued their role there.

    SAS troops continued to provide detainees for interrogation, operating from their base in one of a row of seven large villas inside the Green Zone. The villa next door was occupied by troops from Delta Force. Each of the homes had a swimming pool, and at the end of the long garden behind the SAS villa was a large hut occupied by a UK military intelligence unit, the Joint Forward Interrogation Team, or JFIT.

    Individuals detained by the SAS – accompanied by their lone American escort – would be flown by helicopter to a landing pad behind the villas, and taken straight to the JFIT. According to former members of TF 6-26, after a brief interrogation by the British, they would be handed over to US forces, who would question them further before releasing them, or arrange for them to be flown north to Balad.

    In late 2003, according to former taskforce members, two SAS members wandered next door to the Delta Force villa, where they were horrified to see two Iraqi prisoners being tortured. "They were being given electric shocks from cattle prods and their heads were being held under the water in the swimming pool. There were less visits next door after that."

    While a complaint was made, it is not thought to have reported through the chain of command. And it certainly appears not to have reached Downing Street, as shortly afterwards Tony Blair, then prime minister, visited the SAS house to thank the troopers for their efforts.

    By the end of 2004, according to the BBC journalist Mark Urban, MI6 officers who had visited the secret prison at Balad were expressing concern that the kennel cells had been reconstructed there, and the British government later warned the US authorities that it would hand over prisoners only if there was an undertaking that they would not be sent there.
    Shortly afterwards, the RAF Hercules operated by the task force was shot down while flying from Nama to Balad, with the loss of all 10 men on board. It was the largest loss of life suffered by the RAF in a single incident since the second world war.

    By now, a growing number of British members of the task force were deeply disillusioned about their role. When one, SAS trooper Ben Griffin, decided he could not return to Iraq, he expected to be face a court martial. Instead, he discovered that a number of his officers sympathised with him, and he was permitted to leave the army with a first-class testimonial.
    When Griffin went public, making clear that British troops were handing over to the US military large numbers of prisoners who faced torture, the MoD came under pressure to explain itself. In February 2009 the then defence secretary, John Hutton, told the Commons that "review of records of detention resulting from security operations carried out by UK armed forces" had disclosed that two men who had been handed over had since been moved to Afghanistan. His statement made no mention of the joint task force, of H1, or of Camp Nama or Balad or how British airmen and soldiers were helping to operate the secret prisons.

    Crispin Blunt, a Tory MP and former army officer, accused Hutton of "simply sweeping under the carpet the apparent evidence of direct British service involvement with delivery to gross mistreatment amounting to torture involving hundreds if not thousands of people".

    Today, 10 years after the invasion and the creation of the joint US-UK taskforce that detained and interrogated large numbers of Iraqis, the MoD responds to questions about their abuse by stating that it is aware only of "anecdotal accounts" of mistreatment, and that "any further evidence of human rights abuse should be passed to the appropriate authorities for investigation".

    Griffin had done just that, asking the MoD itself to investigate the activities of the taskforce of which he had been a member. The MoD obtained an injunction to silence him, and warned he faced jail if he ever spoke out again.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/01/camp-nama-iraq-human-rights-abuses

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    US bomb kills 30 at Afghan wedding

    At least 30 members of an Afghan wedding party were killed and many more wounded when a U.S. plane bombed a village in the central province of Uruzgan today, Afghan officials and residents said.

    The bombing happened today in a village in the rugged, mountainous region 175 km (105 miles) northeast of the southern city of Kandahar, residents said.

    They told the local Pashtu service of the BBC at least 120 people had been either killed or wounded.

    A Defence Ministry official said celebrants were firing into the air, as is traditional in Pashtun weddings.

    "There was no-one to help last night," resident Abdul Saboor told the BBC. "We managed to transfer some of the wounded to Kandahar in the morning. Some of the foreigners' choppers also came to help.

    "There are no Taliban or al Qaeda or Arabs here. These people were all civilians, women and children."

    Defence Ministry offical Dr Gulbuddin told Reuters: "More than 30 people were killed. It was a wedding ceremony and some of the participants were firing in the sky as part of the celebration. Americans have confessed that they made a mistake."

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    16 civilian Afghans massacred by US Army

    afghan16.jpg

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    ADF 'pressured' to abuse Afghans held at Tarin Kowt


    Military police at Australia's detention centre in Afghanistan were pressured to make prisoners more ''pliable'' by gagging them, depriving them of sleep and denying them exercise, Fairfax Media has been told.

    Sources with first-hand knowledge of the detention centre at Tarin Kowt said senior officers from Australia's special forces as well as the ''force exploitation team'' - defence intelligence - pressed the detention management team to ''condition'' suspected insurgents ahead of interrogation.

    The account given by various sources is among claims that contrast with Defence Minister Stephen Smith's assurances this week that Australia approached its responsibility for treating detainees ''with dignity and respect with the utmost seriousness''.

    Other claims included:

    ■A young male detainee, deaf and mute and possibly intellectually disabled, was held in the centre because of pressure from the Special Operations Task Group despite concerns he was not fit to be detained.

    ■A senior Afghan intelligence officer, a Colonel Hanif, complained vigorously that detainees were being transferred from Australian to Afghan custody on scant evidence that they were actually insurgents.

    ■The ADF denied a teenage boy access to his dying father, a suspected insurgent who had been shot during a battle with Australians. The boy was allegedly turned over to US interrogators, although the ADF denies this.

    The claims relate to 2010 and 2011, after Australia took over responsibility for managing detainees in Oruzgan province from the withdrawn Dutch troops.

    Mr Smith gave a detailed statement to Parliament on Thursday in which he said...1898 suspects had been detained between August 2010 and May 15 this year. Over the same period, there had been 198 allegations of mistreatment by the ADF...

    ...But Fairfax Media has been told that in the first year Australia was running the detention system, tensions flared between the military police who managed the detainees and the forces who captured and interrogated them.

    One source said: ''We had two very conflicting sets of guidelines: one was to treat them humanely but the other was the pressure from the SOTG and intelligence guys who wanted us to condition them in such a way as to make them more pliable … so their state of mind was conducive to interrogation. They wanted us to gag and hood the detainees to stop them from talking to each other.''

    He said the detention centre's commanding officer had fought that, saying: ''If we gag and hood these guys, someone will die.''...

    www.theage.com.au

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    Three mass graves with 1,000 corpses found in Iraq

    Iraqi officials have found three mass graves containing the bodies of about 1,000 people thought to have been executed by US soldiers during their occupation of the country.


    The graves were uncovered in Iraq's western province of al-Anbar. The remains are believed to be from victims killed by US forces during 2004 and 2005 in the city of Fallujah, located roughly 69 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad.

    “Security forces and rights groups found the three mass graves in Saqlawiyah and Ameriyah of Fallujah near a cemetery north of the city. They contain the remains of about a thousand people,” Deputy Chairman of Anbar's provincial council, Sadoun Obaid al-Shaalan, said on Wednesday.

    He also called on the Iraqi government to order DNA tests on the remains to ascertain the identity of the victims, especially since there are hundreds of families in Anbar - particularly Fallujah - who are trying to discover the fate of their lost children.

    The first battle of Fallujah was an unsuccessful attempt by the US military to capture the city in April 2004.

    Fighting broke out after four US mercenaries from Blackwater Company were killed, dismembered and hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

    On May 1, 2004, the US troops withdrew from Fallujah as Lieutenant General James Conway announced that he had unilaterally decided to turn over operations to the Fallujah Brigade -- which composed of local militiamen under the command of former Ba'ath Party General Muhammed Latif.

    Iraq accounts of the first battle of Fallujah put the number of injured or dead at more than 400.

    The second battle of Fallujah was a joint American and British offensive in November and December 2004. The Iraqi narrative of the second battle puts the total number of dead and wounded at more than 5,000.


    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05...vered-in-iraq/

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    Reporter acknowledges Boston, asks White House if U.S. bombings in Afghanistan are terrorism

    It’s not very often that somebody who’s close enough to the Washington establishment to ask it a question risks upsetting the sensibilities of the government’s top gatekeepers. Even for journalists tasked with holding the powerful to account, it’s considered impolite to diverge from the manufactured reality of ‘U.S. always good, other countries good when we say.’

    And so we’ll take this opportunity to applaud McClatchy journalist Amina Ismail.

    Yesterday (April 17), Ismail asked the White House press secretary—that is, the voice of the President of the United States of America—if the U.S. bombing of civilians in Afghanistan qualifies as terrorism.

    As noted by another reporter named Rania Khalek, that was a courageous move, especially given the climate of nationalism brought on by the April 15 attack in Boston.

    “I can’t imagine it was easy given how extremely rare and frowned upon it is to challenge the dominant “war on terror” narrative, especially as a female reporter with an Arab-sounding name,” Khalek wrote, adding, “And Amina, if you’re reading this, thanks for kicking ass!”
    Here’s the transcript of Ismail’s question:

    “I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?

    In his vapid response, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney never comes close to answering the question. But we thank Ismail for trying.


    http://www.straight.com/blogra/37389...-are-terrorism

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    Washington gets explicit: its 'war on terror' is permanent

    Glenn Greenwald
    | Friday 17 May 2013




    Assistant Defense Secretary Michael Sheehan, right, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee's May 16, 2013,
    hearing on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.
    Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster



    Senior Obama officials tell the US Senate: the 'war', in limitless form, will continue for 'at least' another decade - or two

    Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post their newly minted "disposition matrix", a complex computer system that will be used to determine how a terrorist suspect will be "disposed of": indefinite detention, prosecution in a real court, assassination-by-CIA-drones, etc. Their rationale for why this was needed now, a full 12 years after the 9/11 attack:
    Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism."

    On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for this "war" - the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) - should be revised (meaning: expanded). This is how Wired's Spencer Ackerman (soon to be the Guardian US's national security editor) described the most significant exchange:
    "Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, 'At least 10 to 20 years.' . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today - atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted.

    Welcome to America's Thirty Years War."

    That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the "war on terror" will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week's big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined.

    The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of "endless war". Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so.

    It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war - justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism - that is the single greatest cause of that threat.


    In January, former Pentagon general counsel Jeh Johnson delivered a highly-touted speech suggesting that the war on terror will eventually end; he advocated that outcome, arguing:
    'War' must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs. We must not accept the current conflict, and all that it entails, as the 'new normal.'"

    In response, I wrote that the "war on terror" cannot and will not end on its own for two reasons:

    (1) it is designed by its very terms to be permanent, incapable of ending, since the war itself ironically ensures that there will never come a time when people stop wanting to bring violence back to the US (the operational definition of "terrorism"), and


    (2) the nation's most powerful political and economic factions reap a bonanza of benefits from its continuation.

    Whatever else is true, it is now beyond doubt that ending this war is the last thing on the mind of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner and those who work at the highest levels of his administration. Is there any way they can make that clearer beyond declaring that it will continue for "at least" another 10-20 years?

    The genius of America's endless war machine is that, learning from the unpleasantness of the Vietnam war protests, it has rendered the costs of war largely invisible. That is accomplished by heaping all of the fighting burden on a tiny and mostly economically marginalized faction of the population, by using sterile, mechanized instruments to deliver the violence, and by suppressing any real discussion in establishment media circles of America's innocent victims and the worldwide anti-American rage that generates.

    Though rarely visible, the costs are nonetheless gargantuan.

    Just in financial terms, as Americans are told they must sacrifice Social Security and Medicare benefits and place their children in a crumbling educational system, the Pentagon remains the world's largest employer and continues to militarily outspend the rest of the world by a significant margin.


    The mythology of the Reagan presidency is that he induced the collapse of the Soviet Union by luring it into unsustainable military spending and wars: should there come a point when we think about applying that lesson to ourselves?

    Then there are the threats to Americans' security. Having their government spend decades proudly touting itself as "A Nation at War" and bringing horrific violence to the world is certain to prompt more and more people to want to attack Americans, as the US government itself claims took place just recently in Boston (and as clearly took place multiple other times over the last several years).

    And then there's the most intangible yet most significant cost: each year of endless war that passes further normalizes the endless rights erosions justified in its name. The second term of the Bush administration and first five years of the Obama presidency have been devoted to codifying and institutionalizing the vast and unchecked powers that are typically vested in leaders in the name of war.


    Those powers of secrecy, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and due-process-free assassination are not going anywhere. They are now permanent fixtures not only in the US political system but, worse, in American political culture.

    Each year that passes, millions of young Americans come of age having spent their entire lives, literally, with these powers and this climate fixed in place: to them, there is nothing radical or aberrational about any of it. The post-9/11 era is all they have been trained to know. That is how a state of permanent war not only devastates its foreign targets but also degrades the population of the nation that prosecutes it.

    This war will end only once Americans realize the vast and multi-faceted costs they are bearing so that the nation's political elites can be empowered and its oligarchs can further prosper. But Washington clearly has no fear that such realizations are imminent. They are moving in the other direction: aggressively planning how to further entrench and expand this war.

    One might think that if there is to be a debate over the 12-year-old AUMF, it would be about repealing it. Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who heroically cast the only vote against it when it was originally enacted by presciently warning of how abused it would be, has been advocating its repeal for some time now in favor of using reasonable security measures to defend against such threats and standard law enforcement measures to punish them (which have proven far more effective than military solutions). But just as happened in 2001, neither she nor her warnings are deemed sufficiently Serious even to consider, let alone embrace.

    Instead, the Washington AUMF "debate" recognizes only two positions:

    (1) Congress should codify expanded powers for the administration to fight a wider war beyond what the 2001 AUMF provides (that's the argument recently made by the supreme war-cheerleaders-from-a-safe-distance at the Washington Post editorial page and their favorite war-justifying think tank theorists, and the one being made by many Senators from both parties), or

    (2) the administration does not need any expanded authority because it is already free to wage a global war with very few limits under the warped "interpretation" of the AUMF which both the Bush and Obama DOJs have successfully persuaded courts to accept (that's the Obama administration's position). In other words, the shared premise is that the US government must continue to wage unlimited, permanent war, and the only debate is whether that should happen under a new law or the old one.

    Just to convey a sense for how degraded is this Washington "debate":

    Obama officials at yesterday's Senate hearing repeatedly insisted that this "war" is already one without geographical limits and without any real conceptual constraints.


    The AUMF's war power, they said, "stretches from Boston to the [tribal areas of Pakistan]" and can be used "anywhere around the world, including inside Syria, where the rebel Nusra Front recently allied itself with al-Qaida's Iraq affiliate, or even what Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called 'boots on the ground in Congo'". The acting general counsel of the Pentagon said it even "authorized war against al-Qaida's associated forces in Mali, Libya and Syria". Newly elected independent Sen. Angus King of Maine said after listening to how the Obama administration interprets its war powers under the AUMF:
    This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I've been to since I've been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today."

    Former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, who testified at the hearing, summarized what was said after it was over:

    Obama officials argued that "they had domestic authority to use force in Mali, Syria, Libya, and Congo, against Islamist terrorist threats there"; that "they were actively considering emerging threats and stated that it was possible they would need to return to Congress for new authorities against those threats but did not at present need new authorities"; that "the conflict authorized by the AUMF was not nearly over"; and that "several members of the Committee were surprised by the breadth of DOD's interpretation of the AUMF."


    Conveying the dark irony of America's war machine, seemingly lifted right out of the Cold War era film Dr. Strangelove, Goldsmith added:
    Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made."

    Nobody really even knows with whom the US is at war, or where. Everyone just knows that it is vital that it continue in unlimited form indefinitely.

    In response to that, the only real movement in Congress is to think about how to enact a new law to expand the authorization even further. But it's a worthless and illusory debate, affecting nothing other than the pretexts and symbols used to justify what will, in all cases, be a permanent and limitless war. The Washington AUMF debate is about nothing other than whether more fig leafs are needed to make it all pretty and legal.

    The Obama administration already claims the power to wage endless and boundless war, in virtually total secrecy, and without a single meaningful check or constraint. No institution with any power disputes this. To the contrary, the only ones which exert real influence - Congress, the courts, the establishment media, the plutocratic class - clearly favor its continuation and only think about how further to enable it. That will continue unless and until Americans begin to realize just what a mammoth price they're paying for this ongoing splurge of war spending and endless aggression.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...n-terror-obama

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    Our Soldiers could be seen as terrorists

    AUSTRALIA'S armed forces needs to be protected from any risk of being charged with terrorism, an expert committee has recommended.

    The committee's review of Australia's counter-terrorism legislation says the present definition of a terrorist act theoretically encompassed Australian forces in authorised military operations abroad.


    "Such a situation is clearly undesirable," the review tabled in parliament on Tuesday said.


    "The committee considers that conduct done in the course of ... a person's service in any capacity with the Australian armed forces should be exempted from the definition of terrorism."


    Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the report by a joint commonwealth-state panel - and a related one by Bret Walker SC into national security legislation - would be considered seriously.


    He said the reviews were undertaken to help protect Australia while administering national security and counter-terrorism laws "in a just and accountable way".


    Other recommended changes to the definition of a terrorist act by the COAG committee include adding a "hoax threat".


    It said a terrorist-related hoax could cause alarm and distress and divert emergency services. However, the penalty should be less than that applied to a genuine threat.


    The committee said harm from terrorism should include psychological harm and could apply to victims of mass-casualty attacks and to hostages.


    It said rarely used control orders should be kept.


    But it believed there should be greater safeguards against abuse and to ensure fair hearings.


    It also recommended that only Federal Court judges be empowered to make control orders.


    The committee split over preventative detention.


    However, the majority said commonwealth, state and territory detention should be repealed.


    If any form of it was retained, it would need complete restructuring which may reduce its operational effectiveness.


    The committee rejected a call by the Australian Federal Police for a new offence of funding a terrorist organisation through negligence.


    A negligence-based offence in counter-terrorism laws was not appropriate, it said.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/nat...-1226642439779

    Comments:

    Such are these hypocrites, who terrorize, torture, rape and murder innocents in the Muslim countries they occupy. They are trying change their own definitions of terrorism to avoid persecution rather then have any moral compass to not engage in such war crimes in the first place.

  20. #40
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    Obama’s Legacy

    June 28, 2013


    Among other things since becoming president, Barack Obama has:




    Here’s a partial history of Obama’s dealings – listed (roughly) chronologically, most recent first:


    News after Obama was elected to a second term






    • Obama admits the U.S. kills innocent civilians: “it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties” (read).
    • The United States has formally said for the first time that it killed Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and three other US citizens in anti-terror strikes abroad (read).
    • Obama administration secretly obtains trove of Associated Press phone records in “unprecedented intrusion” (read).
    • Cornel West: Obama ‘Is a War Criminal’ (read).
    • Four Obama policies that help keep Gitmo open (read).
    • Obama’s calls George W. Bush a “good man” at Bush library dedication (read).
    • The first of 500 Marines have begun deploying to Spain as part of a new rapid reaction force to respond to threats against U.S. citizens, government personnel or installations in Africa (read).
    • It’s Official: A Democratic President Proposes to Cut Social Security (read).
    • While Urging Gun Laws at Home, Obama Joins NRA to Weaken U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (read).
    • Signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law.
    • Obama Admin: GPS Tracking Without Warrants ‘Necessary’ – Insists Tracking Americans’ Every Movement Has ‘Minimal’ Privacy Impact (read).
    • Obama inflames anti-Iran hysteria by speculatively claiming “Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close” (read).
    • Obama administration to let spy agencies scour Americans’ finances (read).
    • U.S. Steps Up Aid to Syrian Opposition, Pledging $60 Million (read). Previous related: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on all Muslims to back the rebels in Syria in the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad (read); (read).
    • Obama sends U.S. troops to Niger to set up drone base (read).
    • Obama’s Possible Frack-Friendly Energy Plan a ‘Nail in the Coffin’ for Climate: Choice of MIT professor Ernest Moniz, known for championing gas fracking, as head of Department of Energy receives rebuke (read).
    • Obama Maneuvers to Keep Kill List Memos Permanently Secret (read).
    • Obama OKs $50 million to assist France in Mali (read).
    • In State of the Union, Obama Misleads on Foreign Policy. ”Over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan,” the President said. But Obama is overselling this withdrawal: by the end of this year, the number of troops in Afghanistan will be about equal to the number that were there when Obama was elected. This is only a “withdrawal” because he decided to triple troop levels in an ill-advised military surge (read).
    • Barack Obama is Pushing Gun Control at Home, but He’s a Killer Abroad (read).
    • White House: Drone Killings ‘Ethical and Wise’ (read).
    • US responds to Israeli attack on Syria by warning Syria (read).
    • Obama’s nomination of Mary Jo White for SEC chief reveals the president still isn’t serious about cracking down on big banks (read).
    • Obama Inaugural Speech: US to Maintain Global Military Presence (read).
    • The Untouchables: How the Obama Administration Protected Wall Street from Prosecutions (read).
    • MLK: I have a dream. Obama: I have a drone (read).
    • The Pipeline President: Obama’s Keystone XL (read).
    • Three Ways Obama Carried Bush’s Tyrannical Torch, in Just One Week – Warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, Indefinite detention without charge or trial, Targeted killings of suspects by drone, without any pretense of due process (even if they are US citizens) remains none of the American people’s business (read).





    • Obama signs 2013 NDAA – blocking closure of Gitmo (read).
    • Amy Goodman: Obama’s New Year’s Resolution: Protect the Status Quo – a number of bills were signed into law by President Barack Obama that renew some of the worst excesses of the Bush years (read).
    • The Obama Administration deported more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants in the 2012 fiscal year, the most in the nation’s history (read).


    • Announced on Christmas Eve: The U.S. will be sending Army brigades into as many as 35 African nations in early 2013 (read).
    • Obama Administration Snubs Risk, Set to OK ‘Frankenfish’ (read).
    • The US is going to “substantially increase its military presence in the Philippines, increasing the number of troops, aircraft and ships which routinely rotate through the country,” – a reason given: to “serve The Philippines when struggling against natural disasters.” (read)
    • Obama’s Deficit Proposal: Cut Social Security Benefits (read).
    • Remember All the Children, Mr. President. Remember the 35 children who died in Gaza this month from Israeli bombardments (with your approval and U.S. weapons). Remember the 168 children who have been killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan since 2006. Remember the 231 children killed in Afghanistan in the first 6 months of this year (read).
    • Barack Obama’s tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones (read).
    • Obama sends 400 troops to Syrian border (read).
    • Obama grants unprecedented powers for warrantless surveillance. The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited (read).
    • Obamacare Architect Leaves White House for Pharmaceutical Industry Job (read).
    • US to leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan past 2014 (read).
    • Obama ‘drone-warfare rulebook’ condemned by human rights groups (read).
    • Obama says he is “fully supportive” of Israel’s attack on Gaza. “There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on from outside its borders” (We wonder if Obama applies this logic to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan where the U.S. is raining down missiles on those countries) (read).
    • Obama Administration: Hamas to Blame for Gaza Violence. Says Israel ‘has the right to defend itself’ (but makes no mention of Palestinians having the same right) (read).
    • Obama-appointed Afghanistan commander supports troops there past 2014 (read).
    • U.S. expands counterterrorism assistance in Cambodia in spite of human rights concerns (read).
    • Julian Assange: Reelected Obama a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. “All of the activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under an Obama administration.” (read)


    News prior to Obama being elected to a second term


    • 4 More Drones! Robot Attacks Are on Deck for Obama’s Next Term (read).
    • Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years (read).
    • US-backed regime in Bahrain bans all protests. Obama continues to support the brutal Bahraini dictatorship, valuing ruthless control of the Persian Gulf over democracy (read).
    • UN Official: Aspects of US Drone Program Clearly ‘War Crimes’ (read). (Which makes Obama a war criminal.)
    • Obama Moves to Make the ‘War on Terror’ Permanent. Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian euphemism – ‘disposition matrix’ – the administration institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim (read).
    • U.S. Begins Talks to Extend Troop Presence in Afghanistan Beyond 2014 (read).
    • Obama implements additional Iran sanctions (read).
    • Electronic monitoring by Justice Department on the rise under Obama, ACLU says (read).
    • At UN, Obama Falsely Claims America Sides With Democratic Change in Mid East (read).
    • New Stanford/NYU Study Documents the Civilian Terror from Obama’s Drones (read). ‘Counterproductive’ drone war “terrorizes” civilians in Pakistan. The drone war has given rise to “anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities”.
    • Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA (read).
    • Obama administration to spend an estimated $350 billion on nuclear weapon upgrades (read). (But the US doesn’t acknowledge its hypocrisy in sanctioning & threatening Iran for pursuing nuclear energy).
    • AIPAC thanks Obama for ‘steadfast support’ (read).
    • Obama Admin Appeals Overruling of Indefinite Detention Under NDAA (read).
    • Rahm Emanuel: President Obama supports me against striking teachers in Chicago (read).
    • Obama has kept his promise to not prosecute CIA torturers, leaving them unaccountable (read).
    • Suspected U.S. drone strike kills civilians in Yemen, officials say (read).
    • Obama Gives Shell Green Light to Start Risky Arctic Drilling (read).
    • Obama sends 200 Marines to Guatemala to fight drug trafficking (read).
    • Obama authorized covert support for Syrian rebels, sources say (read).
    • Obama signs law increasing aid to Israel day before Romney trip to Holy Land (read).
    • Obama in Yemen: Killing Civilians, Bolstering Dictatorship, and Bombing in Secret (read).
    • Obama signs executive order giving himself control of all communication systems in America (read).
    • U.S. beefs up Persian Gulf forces (read).
    • U.S. eyes return to some Southeast Asia military bases (in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines) (read).
    • Obama Ignored CIA Report Against Afghan Escalation (read).
    • Under Obama, the export of American arms to countries around the world — even those actively repressing their own citizens — is booming. The United States is the world’s top provider of major conventional weapons (read).
    • C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition (read).
    • Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN rapporteur (read).
    • Obama asserts presidential powers he once spoke critically of (read).
    • Obama administration rejects FOIA requests from NYT, ACLU for “targeted killing” papers (read).
    • Ex-CIA Official Slams Obama’s ‘Indiscriminate’ Use of Drones (read).
    • What’s behind Obama’s new military base in Chile? (read)
    • Jeremy Scahill Says Obama Strikes In Yemen Constitute ‘Murder’ (read).
    • “As shown through his stepped-up drone campaign, Barack Obama has become George W. Bush on steroids.” (read)
    • Obama order set off wave of cyber-attacks against Iran (read).
    • Obama Personally Oversees ‘Secret Kill List’: NYT (read). Obama and Drone Warfare: Will Americans Speak Out? (read)
    • Obama OKs Proliferation of US “Hunter-Killer” Drone Technology – Administration plans to arm Italy’s fleet of Reaper drones (read).
    • Obama touts American exceptionalism, ‘end of wars’ in Air Force graduation speech (read).
    • Top Obama Officials, Secretive Process Create ‘Assassination List’ – President Obama’s counter-terrorism chief has “seized the lead” in secretly determining who will die by US drone (read).
    • Obama’s ‘Poverty-Relieving’ Plan for Africa a Profit Boon for Giant Agribusiness (read).
    • Obama signed a reauthorization bill directing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to write rules opening the national air space to drones by 2015 (read).
    • Obama has opened three new military bases in Honduras (read).
    • Ex-CIA Interrogator: Obama’s War on Terror Is Less Ethical Than Bush’s. ”We don’t capture anybody any more… [Obama's] default option… has been to … take no prisoners…How could it be more ethical to kill people rather than capture them?” (read)
    • Jeremy Scahill: US Has Become ‘Nation of Assassins’ (read).
    • The Drone-Happy President: Obama Escalates in Yemen – Again. Obama allows the CIA and the military to fire even when the identity of those who could be killed is not known (read).
    • Obama Administration Again Proposes Polar Bear Extinction Plan – New Rule Echoes Bush Plan Ignoring Polar Bears’ Plight (read).
    • The Obama administration has already launched six times as many drone strikes as the Bush administration in Pakistan alone, killing hundreds of innocent people and devastating families (read).
    • Strip-Searches: Obama Wants You to Bend Over (Or Squat) and Spread ‘Em (read).
    • Air Force ramps up drone war. New documents reveal plans to more than quadruple Reaper missions by 2016 (read).
    • Obama Signs “Fraud-Friendly” JOBS Act into Law. Economist: Bill will bring fraud, destroy jobs (read). Why Obama’s JOBS Act Couldn’t Suck Worse (read).
    • U.S. draws up plans for nuclear drones (read).
    • Our government is watching us more. New guidelines permit the federal counterterrorism investigators to collect, search and store data about Americans who are not suspected of terrorism, or anything (read).
    • U.S. joins effort to equip and pay ‘rebels’ in Syria (read).
    • Drone strikes in Yemen soar as U.S. stokes ‘secret war’ – America has dramatically stepped up its “secret war” in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of drone attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed scores of civilians (read).
    • Obama to fast-track segment of Keystone pipeline, other energy projects (read); Native Americans Forced to Protest from ‘Cage’ (read).
    • Bush’s “Total Information Awareness” data mining program revived by the Obama administration (read).
    • Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources (read). Related: “Obama’s Creepy Executive Order: Permanent War Economy” (read).
    • Obama signs anti-protest trespass bill into law (read).
    • Obama administration moves to aid Syrian opposition (read).
    • Obama’s Attorney General says U.S. can assassinate American citizens abroad (without being charged with anything or given a trial) (read).
    • White House helps pay for NYPD Muslim surveillance (read).
    • US drones circle over the Philippines. A United States-supported airstrike that destroyed with causalities an Abu Sayyaf hideout on the remote island of Jolo in the southern Philippines represented the first known use of the unmanned aerial assault craft in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counter-insurgency operations against terrorism-linked rebel groups (read).
    • Obama sees single-candidate election in Yemen as ‘model’ for Middle East (read).
    • Obama: U.S. in ‘lockstep’ with Israel on Iran (read).
    • U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners in Pakistan; Obama indirectly admits that U.S. strikes have killed civilians by claiming the drone campaign a “targeted, focused effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”. . . . (read)
    • We’re #47! After Occupy Journalist Arrests, US Plummets in Global Press Freedom Rankings (read).
    • Yemen dictator allowed into the U.S. A day after he was granted immunity by the Yemeni parliament, Yemen’s presumably-departing dictator of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh is on his way to the U.S. for treatment (read). (Comparing Yemen’s Saleh to Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi: Saleh killed his own people – people who peacefully protest his tyrannical reign. Gadhafi killed his own people – people who violently rose up against him. Saleh gets to enter the U.S. Gadhafi got murdered – SPFP)
    • 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free (read).
    • Has Obama taken Bush’s ‘preemption’ strategy to another level? (read)
    • Obama sending 5 US military officers to South Sudan (read).
    • The White House has declared the government of South Sudan eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the U.S. The announcement came amid an outbreak of violence between two South Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000 people needing aid (read).
    • The White House has declared the government of South Sudan eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the U.S. The announcement came amid an outbreak of violence between two South Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000 people needing aid (read).
    • President Obama Signs the NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill into Law. The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director (read).
    • Weapon’s proliferation: In same week $30 billion weapon deal with Saudi Arabia is finalized, Pentagon reaches $3.5 billion weapon deal with UAE (read).
    • White House rejects calls for oversight on drone killings (read).
    • TSA spreading its wings beyond airports (read).
    • The Obama administration has decided in principle to allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment (read).
    • National Defense Authorization Act – By signing the ‘anti-terror’ bill the president could end up being worse than his Republican predecessor on civil liberties (read).
    • The Zenith of Civil Libertarian Anger at President Obama (read).
    • Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war (read).
    • Obama asks Iran to return downed U.S. surveillance drone (read). Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran (read).
    • Obama Promises to Label GMOs (read).
    • Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison (read).
    • Obama: U.S. to expand military in Australia (read); 2,500 US Marines to be stationed in Australia (read).
    • Obama Administration Delays Keystone Pipeline Decision to After Election (read).
    • Obama’s Offshore Oil Plan a Disaster for Wildlife, Climate (read).
    • Palestine Wins UNESCO Membership… And Obama Withdraws (read).
    • Obama’s new war in Uganda (read).
    • Obama’s proposal would gut Freedom of Information Act (read).
    • As troops pull out of Iraq, Obama plans more combat forces elsewhere in the Middle East (read).
    • The U.S. will maintain a presence in Iraq even after “ending” of war (read).
    • New Obama Foreclosure Plan Helps Banks at Taxpayers’ Expense (read).
    • US Troop Deaths in Afghan War Under Obama Now Twice That Under Bush (read).
    • Obama sends 100 US combat troops to Uganda to help fight ‘rebels’ (read).
    • Obama vows to seek ‘toughest’ Iran sanctions to punish Iranian officials whom he accused of complicity in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States (read).
    • Obama Waives Penalties on Countries That Employ Child Soldiers – Again! (read)
    • U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki. The lethal strike marked the first known case in which the Obama administration tracked down and killed a U.S. citizen. The raid also killed a second American, Samir Khan (read). With the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, the due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality (read).
    • Obama accommodates Turkey’s request for drone aircraft in fight against Kurdish separatists (read).
    • Photos & videos of Bin Laden’s killing should not be released because they would reveal military and intelligence secrets and could lead to violence against U.S. personnel, the Obama administration argued (read).
    • Obama quietly renews U.S. embargo on Cuba (read).
    • U.S. drones attack in southern Somalia (read).
    • Obama secretly sold bunker-busting bombs to Israel: report (read).





    • US Resumes Arms Sales to Bahrain. Less than three months after including Bahrain on a list of human rights offenders requiring the United Nations’ attention, the Obama administration seems to have changed its mind (read).
    • Obama silent as U.S. murders Troy Davis (read).
    • Peace Prize-Winner Obama Savages Somalia (read).
    • U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say (read).
    • “Obama cozies up to Uzbekistan dictator” – lobbies congress to sell more military equipment to one of the world’s most repressive leaders (read).
    • U.S. to build new massive prison in Bagram, Afghanistan (read).
    • New American Ally in Somalia: ‘Butcher’ Warlord (read). (Also check out Jeremy Scahill’s extensive piece on U.S. history in Somalia).
    • The United States reserves the right to pursue terrorists unilaterally in other countries, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said in a speech at Harvard Law School (read).
    • The Obama administration has significantly increased the frequency of drone strikes and other air attacks against the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there (read).
    • Obama Pushes NAFTA Style Trade Policy Despite 2008 Promise (watch).
    • Obama said that if the Palestinians try to achieve statehood in the UN Security Council, the US will oppose the proposal (read).
    • Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule, buoying business interests that had lobbied heavily against it, angering environmentalists and rejecting the advice of his top environmental regulators (read). Related: Obama asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a plan to limit smog pollution that was projected to prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths from heart and lung complications (read).
    • US kills 30 in airstrikes on Yemen (read).
    • Jeremy Scahill: What’s happening in Libya is essentially a “NATO enforced regime change” and that President Obama is “implementing the Bush domino agenda in the Middle East” (watch).
    • Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal (read).
    • A secret war in 120 countries: Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done … for the day. (read)
    • Progressives Complain Obama’s Debt Deal ‘Trades People’s Livelihoods for the Votes of a Few Unappeasable Right-Wing Radicals’ (read).
    • Rep. Luis Gutierrez Arrested Outside White House Protesting Record Deportations Under Obama’s Watch (read).
    • Obama exploits the tragedy in Norway “It’s a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring,” Obama said prior to learning the identity of the assailant, clearly trying to justify his military strikes in 6 Muslim nations. No doubt Obama was later stunned, if not disappointed, that the person responsible for the killings in Norway was a non-Arab Christian, and not a ‘Muslim terrorist’.
    • Obama’s escalating war in Yemen – As its government teeters, the impoverished and chaotic Gulf nation is the focus of a U.S. bombing campaign (read).
    • Obama’s approval ratings across the Arab World are 10% or less, according to a Zogby study of about 4,000 people (read).
    • CIA Exhales: 99 Out of 101 Torture Cases Dropped (read).
    • U.S. millions fund world’s newest army, South Sudan, despite worries of its human rights abuses, including killings, most recently in April when hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded by the U.S. ally (read).
    • The Obama administration is expanding its drone war to Somalia, which makes six countries where the United States is using drones to conduct lethal attacks: Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen (read). Also, the US is supplying drone aircrafts to Uganda and Burundi to help them fight in Somalia (read).
    • Obama Admin Warns of “Fines and Incarceration” if U.S. Citizens Set Sail with Gaza Aid Flotilla (read).
    • “Yet tonight, we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding,” Obama trumpeted in his speech announcing his plan to withdraw some U.S. troops in Afghanistan (read). (Given that George W. Bush had about half as many troops in Afghanistan as Obama will after the withdrawals, this claim is disingenuous. But what takes Obama’s assertion to the level of Orwellian, is that he makes this claim while he has started new wars in Libya and Yemen, has escalated drone strikes in Pakistan, has ramped up the U.S. proxy war in Somalia, and has begun funding the new army in South Sudan.)
    • Just prior to Obama’s speech on withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $14.2 million contract to a Turkish company to construct an eight-building barracks complex for 12,000 troops at Bagram Air Field. Completion date is scheduled for fall of 2013 (read).
    • Former CIA Director Hayden: Obama follows in Bush’s footsteps on War Powers (read) in Libya. In a campaign marked by stinging criticism of President George W. Bush‘s alleged executive excess, then-candidate Obama wrote: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Yet Obama is now claiming authority to bomb Libya.
    • Obama overruled 2 top lawyers on War Power in Libya (read).
    • Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and eight other congress members file lawsuit against Obama for taking military action in Libya without first seeking congressional approval, an apparent violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution (read).
    • Noam Chomsky: “Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring. And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don’t want democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence on policy, the US and Britain would be tossed out of the Middle East. That’s why they are terrified of democracies in the region” (read).
    • Whistleblowers Suffer More than Ever Under Obama (read).
    • Obama’s support of the repressive monarchy of Bahrain: The Obama administration approved $200M in military sales to Bahrain in run-up to violent crackdown (read). Bahrain crown prince meets with Obama in DC - Officials reaffirm the strong US commitment to Bahrain (read).
    • Chicago Tribune editorial writer: Obama and the pursuit of endless war – starting new fights and prolonging the old ones (read).
    • FBI to Expand Domestic Surveillance Powers as Details Emerge of Its Spy Campaign Targeting Activists. The F.B.I. is giving its agents new leeway to infiltrate organizations, search household trash, use surveillance teams and search databases in domestic investigations. FBI agents will now be able investigate people and organizations “proactively” without firm evidence for suspecting criminal or terrorist activity (watch/read).
    • As chaos engulfs Yemen, the U.S. is diabolically intensifying a secret campaign of airstrikes, according to the New York Times.
    • Report: Over 2,600 Activists Arrested in US Protests since Obama took office (read).
    • In 2007, then-Senator Obama said: “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”… In 2011, President Obama did not find his shoes to join the massive protests in Wisconsin ( read)
    • Pentagon to consider cyber-attacks an act of war (read).
    • Obama signs Patriot Act extension into law (read).
    • White House: No need for congressional approval for Libya (read).
    • Obama administration praises Israel for its restraint after it kills 20 on the “Nakba” (read).






 

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