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  1. #41
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    Teresa May the UK home secretary has made it a signature of her tenure to strip 17 others of their citizenship, in each case doing so after they left the country. All but one (Anna Chapman, the Russian spy) were Muslim.

    They are then secretly kidnapped by the U.S. which has become a nation that zealously kidnaps Muslims from foreign countries on the scantest suspicion of being threats to the U.S. and tortures them for indefinite amounts of time. Yes, solitary confinement is torture. Hashi and his co-defendants are three among many such men held here in the U.S. — outside of Guantánamo. Many have still not been charged (and they call Sharia barbaric!).

    Then they tell the world Islam makes Muslims turn to violence not their policies...

    This young kidnapped boy in this article is now starving himself to death

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

    This is counterterrorism?: The shocking story of Mahdi Hashi


    Weeks into his hunger strike, Hashi's rendition and solitary confinement are scarily underreported -- and unclear



    In the last 10 days, the story of Mahdi Hashi’s hunger strike has seeped, barely, into the public sphere. There has been one “official” tweet about Hashi’s failing health, as he entered his fourth week of a hunger strike at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. There have been few stories about it since that tweet.

    Hashi’s name is not well known, but his treatment at the hands of the U.S. and U.K. over the last year should give pause. A British citizen of Somali descent, he migrated to England at a young age with his parents. At 18, he was a community youth worker, and was continually pressured by MI5 (the British equivalent of the CIA) to cooperate with them and spy on fellow Somalis (akin to the tactics of the FBI and the NYPD). Growing tired of their harassment, Hashi filed a complaint with his local MP Frank Dobson in 2009. As well, he spoke with a caseworker at Cage Prisoners, which recorded his story (see pp.18-20 of pdf). ​

    But things became worse. On several occasions, he was detained at British airports, interrogated and warned against leaving. On one occasion, after having been interrogated at Gatwick Airport, he insisted on continuing his trip to Djbouti to visit his grandmother, only to be detained and interrogated for hours there. He was refused entry and sent back to the U.K. Finally, escaping the unceasing harassment, Hashi moved to Somalia, where he married and had a child. In mid-2012, at the age of 23, Hashi disappeared altogether. Worried, his family appealed to the British government, who informed them that their hands were tied, because—alas—he was no longer a citizen.

    Perhaps because he renounced it, you speculate. Not quite. The British government disfranchised him. British Home Secretary Theresa May stripped him of his citizenship, which she informed him by letter:

    “As Secretary of State, I hereby give notice … that I intend to have an order made to deprive Mahdi Mohamed Hashi of your British citizenship.

    ‘This is because I am satisfied that it would be conducive to the public good to do so. The reason for this decision is that the Security Service assess that you have been involved in Islamicist (sic) extremism and present a risk to the national security of the United Kingdom due to your extremist activities.’

    May has made it a signature of her tenure to strip 17 others of their citizenship, in each case doing so after they left the country. All but one (Anna Chapman, the Russian spy) were Muslim. Technically, the British state may only do this when a person has dual citizenship, in order to avoid leaving a person stateless. Still, it is difficult to argue that Hashi could have turned to the Somali government to defend him, even if he had learned of the decision before he disappeared. May’s letter to Hashi was dated several weeks before he was rendered to the United States.

    The ease and timing of the British decision is worthy of harsh and loud criticism. Hashi had never been arrested in the U.K. However, at age 16, he was held in an Egyptian jail for nine days for a visa that still had two weeks left before renewal was needed. That event, which Hashi reported to the advocacy group Cage Prisoners back in 2010, was somehow linked to suspected terrorist activity, although it is unclear whether there was evidence to back that suspicion. It is also unclear what constitutes evidence of “Islamicist extremism.” By the time he moved to Somalia, there were still no evident ties to terrorists — except insofar as his work with British Somali youth was automatically assumed to be such a tie. In other words, Hashi’s guilt was through his association with other Somalis.

    For the British, whose collusion with the U.S. on most things “counterterrorism” is noteworthy, this was an occasion to let someone else deal with the “problem” of Mahdi Hashi. As Paul Pillar, an ex-CIA employee suggests in this very good article by the Guardian’s Ian Cobain on the British collaboration with the U.S.: “From the United Kingdom point of view, if it is going to be a headache for anyone: let the Americans have the headache.”

    In other contexts — outside of America’s counterterrorism practices, where accusing young men of criminal and terrorist activities without evidence is endorsed uncritically in the name of national security by all good Americans – we call such suspicion in the absence of evidence racism. When the NYPD does it, we call it racial profiling.

    African-American, Latino and Muslim communities in New York are intimately familiar with the judgment of “guilt by association.”

    Hashi was detained, abused, and interrogated in Djbouti for several months before being handed over for more interrogations to the Americans. After several months, he suddenly appeared in handcuffs in a Brooklyn Federal Court right before Christmas of 2012, along with 2 Swedish men of Somali descent.

    No news had been heard about Hashi until Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, when Cage Prisoners reported that he had been on a hunger strike and that his health was failing.

    The MCC, where Hashi is being held in solitary confinement, did not confirm that he was on a hunger strike or that he was in critical condition. According to Saghir Hussain, the solicitor for Hashi’s family, they learned of his strike through a phone call with Hashi, which was interrupted “after about 60 seconds or so.” Calls to Hashi’s attorney, Harry Batchelder, were not returned.

    According to Arnaud Mafille, a caseworker at Cage Prisoners, the organization that originally tweeted out the news, “He was in hospital for a week due to his hunger strike. He was diagnosed with jaundice. He was released from the hospital after one week. As far as we know he’s still on a hunger strike.”

    He does not appear to have been force-fed yet. The Hashi family was unable to learn much more because of the special administrative measures (SAMs) imposed on him.

    According to Mafille, Hashi is refusing food in a last ditch effort to have the SAM’s, which have imposed extremely limited contact with his family, removed. SAM’s often consist of extreme conditions, such as daily 23-hour solitary confinement, and extremely restrictive contact or communication with anyone including family members and attorneys. SAM’s have also been imposed upon Muslim prisoners for “infractions” such as praying in a language other than English, or even praying with an open mouth. SAM’s have become de rigeur for most, if not all, men suspected of giving material support to organizations or individuals themselves suspected of terrorism. These determinations are often based on guilt by association with an organization or individual, as for persons of Somali descent who may have donatedeven a small amount of money for charitable purposes to groups affiliated with Al-Shabaab.

    No new details in Hashi’s case were heard until last Wednesday, several days after his hunger strike and failing liver had been reported. Independently, it appears, CBS News reported that a new document was “quietly dropped” into the files of Mahdi Hashi and his co-defendants, Ali Yasin Ahmed, and Mohammed Yusuf’s files.

    The letter, by U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, alleges that they had substantial knowledge that al-Qaida was building a chemical weapons factory, and that they had substantial countersurveillance expertise. I have written about Lynch’s allegations in more detail elsewhere, but here it’s noteworthy that there has been no mention of their supposed familiarity with a chemical weapons program or countersurveillance expertise until now.

    It’s also worth noting the timing of Lynch’s letter. It is entered into Hashi’s and the others’ files one month after the chemical gas attack in Syria, and four months since Edward Snowden’s leaked documents confirmed extensive NSA surveillance of American citizens, foreign nationals and international citizens alike. And perhaps it’s also worth noting that those revelations were met by the standard National Security response that surveillance was needed to foil the terrorists, who presumably had superior intelligence capacities.

    Lynch’s letter also requests separate appearances for all three defendants on the grounds that their terrorist “proclivities” might cause death or bodily injury to others, or to themselves. Given that their SAMs probably mandate extremely restrictive conditions with negligible contact with anyone or anything, it’s unclear how exactly they could be a danger to anyone.

    Last week, a Twitter account called @StatelessMahdi tweeted a picture of Hashi’s mother standing outside the US embassy in London, holding a sign that says “Free Mahdi Hashi.” It reminds me of the pictures of Yusef Salaam’s mother who, in 1989, would appear at her teenaged son’s trial wearing a “Yusef is Innocent” T-shirt.

    In Ken Burns’ recent documentary “The Central Park Five,” there is footage of Sharonne Salaam encountering jeering and laughing crowds on her way into the courtroom, wearing a T-shirt declaring her son’s innocence. These were crowds who were convinced of New York Daily News’ headlines, naming Salaam and the 4 other black teenagers as part of a “Wolf Pack,” as marauders, animals, brutes who preyed on a young white woman, known as the Central Park Jogger. Many other newspapers across the country followed suit in sensationalizing the racial dimensions of the case. They convicted the teenagers by media, as did Mayor Edward Koch, then aspiring mayor David Dinkins, Donald Trump and others. Trump went as far as spending $85,000 to publish full-page ads in four daily New York City newspapers, demanding the return of the death penalty and more police for these “roving band of wild criminals.”

    As we know today, Salaam and the other four teenagers would spend years in jail after having been railroaded into false confessions. As we also know today, they were innocent of any wrongdoing. As in Salaam’s case, the signs that Hashi was going to be profiled were there when he was a mere teenager, well before his disappearance from Somalia.

    The U.S. has become a nation that zealously kidnaps men from foreign countries on the scantest suspicion of being threats to the U.S. and tortures them for indefinite amounts of time. Yes, solitary confinement is torture. Hashi and his co-defendants are three among many such men held here in the U.S. — outside of Guantánamo. Many have still not been charged.

    This should not be who we are.

    If Lynch’s allegations that Hashi and his co-defendants have substantial knowledge of a chemical weapons programs and are countersurveillance experts, then we need to have a speedy and open trial to see exactly how that expertise was acquired — and how the U.S. obtained that evidence. If Hashi is indeed guilty, that fact will not be established through secret interrogations or unlawful renditions. If he is guilty, that fact won’t be established by secret evidence or tortuous SAMs that eliminate his ability to have contact with the outside world. It will only be established through a lawful prosecution, a vigorous defense, timely evidence and a transparent trial. The U.S. government’s case against Hashi can only be enhanced by treating him and his co-defendants humanely and sharing the evidence with the public. Until then, skepticism and doubts about the ethics of this nation’s counterterrorism practices will and should prevail.

  2. #42
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    Shocking photos emerge showing U.S. Marines burning bodies of Iraqi insurgents, posing for pictures with skeletons and even an enemy soldier's remains being eaten by a dog as Pentagon launches probe


    • The explosive photographs, reportedly taken in Fallujah in 2004, have sparked a Marine Corps investigation
    • However, many of the 41 shots, obtained by TMZ, are just too grisly to publish
    • Two pictures show a Marine pouring gasoline on the enemy remains, another two images show the Iraqi soldiers going up in flames while a fifth picture captures the charred bodies
    • U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, determined the photos had not been brought to their attention before



    Shocking images depicting U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of what appear to be Iraqi insurgents, have emerged today.

    The explosive photographs, reportedly taken in Fallujah in 2004, have already sparked a Marine Corps investigation, but many of the 41 gag-inducing shots are just too grisly to publish.

    Two pictures show a Marine pouring what looks like gasoline on the remains of enemy soldiers and another two images appear to show the remains go up in flames. Two more capture the horrifically charred bodies.


    WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC CONTENT


    Horrific: Shocking images depicting U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of what appear to be Iraqi insurgents, have emerged today



    Burning: The explosive photographs, reportedly taken in Fallujah in 2004, appear to show U.S. soldier pouring gasoline on the bodies of Iraqi insurgents

    The sick snaps were exclusively obtained by TMZ, who turned them over to the Pentagon last week, triggering the probe.

    According to the website, U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of military operations in the Middle East, reviewed the photos to determine if they had been brought to their attention before.

    They determined they had not.

    Other horrific pictures show a Marine squatting next to a skull to pose for the camera. His U.S. military uniform is clear, on his face he wears a wide grin and he is pointing his gun at the skeleton.
    Another picture shows a soldier rifling through the pockets of the scant remains of an Iraqi soldier.

    TMZ said it has withheld the bulk of the images - including one showing a body being eaten by a dog - because they are just too graphic.




    Grim: Many of the 41 gag-inducing shots are just too grisly to publish




    probe: The gruesome images have already sparked a Marine Corps investigation




    Charred: Two more pictures capture the horrifically charred bodies


    It reported seeing well over a dozen dead insurgents in total in the heinous pictures, in various states, including some covered in flies.

    The Department of Defense said the pictures appear to show U.S. soldiers in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The code outlines that it is a crime to mishandle remains.

    There is no statute of limitations on the crime, which means the Marines can be prosecuted even if they're no longer active in the military. If convicted, the soldiers could go to prison.

    'We are aware of photos appearing on TMZ.com that depict individuals in U.S. Marine uniforms burning what appear to be human remains,' Cmdr Bill Speaks, from the Secretary of Defense's office, told MailOnline Wednesday.



    Pentagon: The sick snaps were exclusively obtained by TMZ, who turned them over to the Pentagon last week, triggering the probe



    Posing: Other horrific pictures show a Marine squatting next to a skull to pose for the camera. His U.S. military uniform is clear, on his face he wears a wide grin and he is pointing his gun at the skeleton




    Pickpocket: The Department of Defense said the pictures appear to show U.S. soldiers in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The code outlines that it is a crime to mishandle remains


    'The Marine Corps is currently investigating the veracity of these photos, circumstances involved, and if possible, the identities of the service members involved.

    'The findings from this investigation will determine whether we are able to move forward with any investigation into possible wrongdoing.'

    Some have suggested the Marines may have been burning the remains as a sanitary measure.

    However, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren said the proper handling of war remains is set by U.S. military regulation and that the actions depicted in the photos 'are not what we expect from our service members.'

    Cmdr Speaks said the deplorable acts depicted in the images are not representative of the millions of hardworking men and women who have served in the Middle East.

    'The actions depicted in these photos are not what we expect from our service members, nor do they represent the honorable and professional service of the more than 2.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan,' he told MailOnline.

    In 2005 report, U.S. soldiers in Gumbad, Afghanistan were investigated for burning the bodies of two enemy fighters.

    The men argued they set alight the corpses for hygienic reasons, after local citizens had not retrieved the bodies after 24 hours.

    A report concluded that the action indicated poor judgement but was not a war crime.
    It stated: 'Based on the criminal investigation, there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation of desecration or any violation of the Law of War. However, there was evidence of poor decision-making and judgment, poor reporting and lack of knowledge and respect for local Afghan customs and tradition.'

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2s5d8m4nL



  3. #43
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    MI5 accused in further case of complicity in torture


    Posted on 22/05/2014



    The Independent reveals fresh allegations of MI5’s complicity in the torture of a young Somali man held in an Egyptian prison in an exclusive report this week.


    Following previous reports by the same paper which has unearthed a number of cases in recent years, the paper covers claims by Ahmed Diini, a 25 year old grandson of deposed Somalian President Mohamed Siad Barre, who alleges he was questioned by an MI5 officer while being tortured in prison in Cairo. In his eight months’ imprisonment in Cairo, Diini claims he was shackled, hooded, repeatedly beaten, stripped naked and threatened with electrocution, whipped and faced threats his wife would be raped. Diini claims he was offered his freedom in return for working for the security services, an offer he declined.


    Diini, a Dutch national who has two daughters living in the UK left Britain in 2011 to marry a German woman but was made subject of an exclusion order while out of the country with the Home Secretary accusing him of being involved in Islamic extremism. He took his family to live in Egypt where he was incarcerated though later released without charge. Travelling out of Egypt, to Holland via Turkey, Diini was apprehended again on a US arrest warrant after accusations from America that he was a member of the Somali-based terrorist organisation, al Shabaab.


    The Independent discloses that Diini wrote a letter that was smuggled out through his lawyer in which he claims he was visited by a British security agent during his incarceration. Diini wrote “I am now 100 per cent sure that the British secret service are part of this trouble, because I met one of their secret service agents who tried to induce me to work with them in exchange for my freedom. He visited me here in prison, a white Brit with a Londonish accent. He told me my Dutch government is not capable of doing anything for me.”


    He claims the British agent ended their half an hour interview with a warning that “I will be back so make your decision wisely, it’s your freedom.”


    Diini claims to have been targeted by MI5 as early as 2006 and over the five years he lived in Birmingham, until 2011, before he went abroad.


    His younger brother, Mahamuud Diinni, told the Independent that “I saw how my brother’s life was made miserable by MI5 when he lived in the UK and how they continued to make life difficult for him while he was in Egypt. My brother has never had anything to do with al Shabaab.”


    According to Cage, Dinni’s testimonial is the first new evidence of British complicity in torture since 2008.


    Asim Qureshi, Research Director at Cage, points out that “The case of Ahmed Diini raises serious questions over the Government’s treatment of the Somali community. The MI5 harassment he was subjected over here echoes the testimonies of many other Somali youngsters.”


    The Independent first published reports of the harassment faced by Somali men and their targeting by security officials eager to enlist their services into spying on their communities in 2009. Sharhabeel Lone, chairman of the Kentish Town Community Centre, where some of the Somali men affected used to gather, wrote then to his local MP concerning the claims of harassment stating:


    Threatening British citizens, harassing them in their own country, alienating young people who have committed no crime other than practising a particular faith and being a different colour is a recipe for disaster.


    “These disgraceful incidents have undermined 10 years of hard work and severely impacted social cohesion in Camden. Targeting young people that are role models for all young people in our country in such a disparaging way demonstrates a total lack of understanding of on-the-ground reality and can only be counter-productive.


    “When people are terrorised by the very same body that is meant to protect them, sowing fear, suspicion and division, we are on a slippery slope to an Orwellian society.”


    Diini’s case is being investigated by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

    http://iengage.uk.net/news/mi5-accus...icity-torture/

  4. #44
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    White phosphorous used in Afghan war: Report

    May 15, 2011




    Leaked documents have revealed that US-led forces in Afghanistan have made extensive use of white phosphorus bombs in densely-populated areas.

    A review of the Afghan military documents revealed more than 1,100 instances of US-led forces -- including Danish troops -- having used white phosphorus (WP) grenades, rockets and bombs, the Danish daily Information reported.

    According to one document, US-led forces fired 20 to 50 WP rockets at a single target. Many of the WP munitions have often been used in residential areas, the Press TV quoted the report as saying.

    White phosphorus is a substance that burns upon coming into contact with human flesh; it sticks to the skin and continues to burn as long as there is oxygen. The result is severe and possibly lethal chemical burns.

    According to international conventions the use of white phosphorus is to be restricted exclusively to areas that are not densely populated.

    However, the leaked documents from Afghanistan indicate that the WP has been used as an attack weapon in populated areas, including zones where the Danish troops are deployed.

    The widespread use of white phosphorus by US-led forces has prompted concern among rights groups.

    White phosphorus must not be used against civilians or in areas inhabited by civilians, said Peter Vedel Kessing, a senior researcher at Denmark's Department of Human Rights.

    Amnesty International has also called for an investigation into the use of the substance in Afghanistan.

    If talking about inhuman weapons makes any sense at all, white phosphorus certainly must belong to this category, since it leaves its victims in unimaginable pain, Amnesty International spokesperson in Denmark Ole Hoff Lund said.

    Therefore, it is important that the Danish military launches an inquiry into how and why US-led forces have been using white phosphorus munitions, Lund added.

    Military lawyer Rolf Verge at the Danish Army's Operational High Command (HOK) has confirmed that the Danish forces have been using white phosphorus, but he stressed that the WP is used only in a lawful manner.


    http://www.nation.com.pk/internation...han-war-Report

    Comments:

    They break their own international Geneva Convention laws and accuse others of it. This so called “war on terror” is nothing more than a War of Terror.





  5. #45
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    Inventing Terrorists: US orchestrated most domestic 'terror-plots'?


  6. #46
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    Lawyers for terrorism suspect say government embellishes claims of national security

    By Jason Meisner Tribune reporter | May 5, 2014

    The federal government has a history of embellishing claims of national security in order to keep information about its weapons and surveillance programs secret, lawyers for a Hillside man accused of plotting to blow up a Loop bar have argued in an appellate filing.

    Federal prosecutors are appealing a district judge's recent order that they disclose to attorneys for Adel Daoud applications for surveillance and wiretaps in the terrorism case that the defense is typically barred from viewing. In a filing last month, prosecutors argued defense attorneys were entitled to the information collected on Daoud but did not "need to know" the classified information contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications.

    On Friday, Daoud's attorneys filed a 95-page brief defending U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's ruling and blasting prosecutors for overplaying the "national security" card.

    "In case after case over the years, the government has made national security claims that have proven exaggerated," the filing said. " … The government argued in 1971 that disclosure of the Pentagon Papers would cause grave damage to national security … The New York Times published the Papers, and there is no evidence that national security suffered."

    The filing also cites a 1979 case in which the government attempted to suppress an article detailing secrets of the hydrogen bomb, claiming that publication would cause immediate and irreparable harm to national security. A magazine published the article "and—again—there is no evidence of any harm to national security," Daoud's lawyers argued.

    Prosecutors have until the end of the month to respond.

    The decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit of Appeals will be closely watched as the U.S. continues to deal with fallout from the controversial government spying programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    Daoud, now 20, came under FBI scrutiny after posting messages online about killing Americans, authorities have said. He was arrested in September 2012 after allegedly trying to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside a bar in the Loop. FBI analysts posing as terrorists exchanged messages with him and ultimately helped him plan an attack.

    Earlier this year, in a move that was believed to be unprecedented, Coleman ordered prosecutors to turn over government search warrant applications that had been presented to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to justify surveillance on Daoud. The applications could reveal whether the investigation was sparked by the massive collection of cell phone and Internet data exposed by Snowden.

    Coleman held off on the release after prosecutors notified the court of their appeal.

    Daoud's lead attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, has said the defense team needs access to the materials to decide whether to challenge the search warrants on the grounds they violated Daoud's constitutional protection against unlawful searches and seizures.


    In her ruling, the judge acknowledged that her decision to disclose the materials to the defense was unprecedented, but she said she felt it was necessary in this case to safeguard the right to effective counsel. Coleman also said the government's argument that national security could be compromised by the documents didn't hold up as Durkin has top-secret clearance through his work as a civilian defense counsel in the case against 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.


    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1314106.story

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    No-fly list appeals process unconstitutional, federal judge in Portland rules


    Helen Jung - June 24, 2014

    People who are placed on the government's no-fly list are denied their constitutional right to due process, because the government's procedures to challenge inclusion on the secretive roster are "wholly ineffective," a federal judge ruled.

    In a 65-page opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown ordered the government to come up with a new way for the 13 plaintiffs to contest their inclusion on the list that prohibits them from flying in or through U.S. airspace. The government must provide notice to the plaintiffs that they are on the roster and give the reasons for their inclusion, Brown wrote. She also ordered that the government allow the plaintiffs to submit evidence to refute the government's suspicions.

    The decision marks a big win for the plaintiffs, all U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the case on their behalf. The plaintiffs have all been denied boarding due to their placement on the list, they argue, despite never having been charged with a terrorism-related offense.

    The plaintiffs include Sheikh Mohamed Kariye, the religious leader of Portland's largest mosque, Masjed As-Saber. Kariye was refused boarding in 2010 and has been unable to travel overseas to visit his daughter or accompany his mother on a religious pilgrimage since.

    In an email, the ACLU hailed the decision.

    "For years, in the name of national security the government has argued for blanket secrecy and judicial deference to its profoundly unfair No Fly List procedures, and those arguments have now been resoundingly rejected by the court," said ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi, one of the attorneys who argued the case.

    "Our clients will finally get the due process to which they are entitled under the Constitution. This excellent decision also benefits other people wrongly stuck on the No Fly List, with the promise of a way out from a Kafkaesque bureaucracy causing them no end of grief and hardships. We hope this serves as a wake-up call for the government to fix its broken watchlist system, which has swept up so many innocent people."

    This posting will be updated with additional details.


    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...rocess_un.html


    No-fly list decision on secrecy could have broad implications


    By Helen Jung - June 24, 2014

    Thirteen people believed to be on the federal no-fly list have a constitutional right to hear why the government believes they are a threat to air travel, a judge ruled Tuesday.

    In a 65-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown of Portland wrote that the current no-fly appeals procedure is "wholly ineffective" and violates their right to due process.

    She ordered the government to come up with a new way for the 12 men and one woman to contest the ban. The government should give them basic information, including confirming whether they are on the list and why, she ordered.

    The plaintiffs -- all U.S. citizens or permanent residents -- also must be allowed to submit evidence to contest the government's suspicions for banning them from flying in or through U.S. airspace, the judge said.

    While the decision directly affects only the 13 people who filed the lawsuit, Brown's opinion could have far-reaching impacts, said Hina Shamsi, one of their lawyers.

    It should serve as a "wake-up call" for government to revise its no-fly listing policies that have ensnared too many law-abiding citizens, she said.

    "This decision identifies how the system is broken," said Shamsi, National Security Project director for the ACLU, which argued the case. "It's now up to the administration or Congress to fix it."

    The ruling marks a big win in the 4-year-old case for the ACLU and the plaintiffs, who have all been banned from boarding planes and have appealed through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program.

    The plaintiffs live throughout the U.S. and include Sheikh Mohamed Kariye, the religious leader of Portland's largest mosque, Masjed As-Saber. Kariye was refused boarding in 2010 and has since been unable to travel overseas to visit his daughter or accompany his mother on a religious pilgrimage.

    Although some of them have been told by airline officials or government agents informally that they are on the no-fly list, the government has never confirmed their status. Instead, they can find out if they are allowed to fly only by buying a ticket and trying to board, according to filings.

    In her ruling, Brown wrote that the risk of mistakenly putting someone on the no-fly list is high, noting that the government requires only "reasonable suspicion" – more than a hunch but less than probable cause – to ban someone from air travel. That low threshold, coupled with an appeals process that provides little information, could doom a traveler indefinitely, she said.

    "A traveler who has not been given any indication of the information that may be in the record does not have any way to correct that information," she wrote, in concluding that the no-fly appeals process also violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

    Brown ordered the government and plaintiffs to file a report by July 14 with proposals for next steps.

    She noted that the government has a compelling interest in protecting national security and keeping classified information secret. But the government can prepare unclassified summaries of the reasons for the plaintiffs' inclusion on the no-fly list, or share the classified information with their attorneys who have security clearance for such sensitive data, she said.

    The U.S. Department of Justice in an email said it is reviewing the decision.

    The judge turned back arguments from the government that it regularly reviews and corrects erroneous information in its Terrorist Screening Database, which is maintained by an arm of the FBI. The no-fly list is a subset of that database and is forwarded to the Transportation Security Administration for use in blocking travelers.

    Errors still happen, Brown wrote, and go unnoticed for years. She cited a recent decision in a Northern California case in which Rahinah Ibrahim was wrongly added to the no-fly list. Ibrahim was taken off the roster shortly after, but her name remained in the larger terrorist database for nine years before the error was discovered, Brown wrote.

    She also traced other recent terrorism-related court findings of due process violations in cases where the government had provided more information than that offered in no-fly administrative appeals.

    The inability to fly is not just an inconvenience, Brown wrote.

    "Due to the major burden imposed by inclusion on the No-Fly List, Plaintiffs have suffered significantly including long-term separation from spouses and children; the inability to access desired medical and prenatal care; the inability to pursue an education of their choosing; the inability to participate in important religious rites; loss of employment opportunities; loss of government entitlements; the inability to visit family; and the inability to attend important personal and family events such as graduations, weddings, and funerals" she wrote. "Indeed, for many international travel is a necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society."

    The decision is significant both for the plaintiffs who have challenged the no-fly list for four years as well as for the broader signal it sends, said Jeffrey Kahn, an associate law professor at Southern Methodist University. Kahn is also the author of Mrs. Shipley's Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists.

    "The momentum is building," he said, noting the recent decision in the Ibrahim case cited by Brown and other court cases that challenge the validity of the no-fly list. Kahn served as an expert witness in the Ibrahim case for the plaintiff.

    He compared the no-fly list of today with the U.S. State Department of about 65 years ago, when government officials feared a communist overthrow. "The same arguments, the same urgency, the same assertions of national security, and secrecy and 'trust us' were made then," he said. A single person, Ruth Shipley, held immense power to distribute, revoke and restrict passports -- and international travel -- while relying on arbitrary and secretive reasons for her decisions, he said.

    But court decisions eventually forced the State Department to back off its practices, he said.

    "At the end of the day, I think we're going to see the same unraveling," he said.

    Tung Yin, a professor at Lewis and Clark Law School who has followed the case, said Brown determined the government should and could do more to avoid mistakenly taking away someone's right to travel by air.

    Telling someone they are on the list and giving them the reasons, he said, "are things that the government could do quite easily that would not heavily burden the government and would have a significant impact on the accuracy."


    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...cision_co.html

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    Seven Years Later, Blackwater Guards Found Guilty of Massacre in Iraq


    Critics say verdict is 'step towards accountability' but does not hold top-ranking Blackwater executives and U.S. government leaders responsible for war crimes





    October 22, 2014


    More than seven years after guards with the private mercenary company Blackwater opened fire on Iraqi civilians in downtown Baghdad, killing 17 people and wounding 20, a federal jury on Wednesday found four of the men involved with the massacre guilty in the case.


    Former guard Nicholas Slatten was handed a guilty verdict for first-degree murder, the Associated Press reports. The other men—Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard—were all found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.


    The men were employed by the U.S. State Department at the time of the massacre at Baghdad’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007. Their victimes include 9-year-old Ali Kinani—killed by a gun shot to the head. Reported as the largest known massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. private contractors, the incident became a flashpoint of outrage over the atrocities that U.S. forces—particularly mercenaries—inflict on occupied civilian populations in Iraq.


    The guilty verdicts follow years of legal battles, in which plaintiffs were left unsure of whether the defendants would ever face trial. Seventy-two witnesses were summoned for the trial, including Iraqis victimized by the attack. Though seventeen people were killed, the trial related to the slaughter of 14 Iraqis and wounding of 17.


    During his closing argument against the Blackwater guards, federal prosecutor Anthony Asuncionsaid: “These men took something that did not belong to them: the lives of 14 human beings. They were turned into bloody bullet-riddled corpses at the hands of these men.”


    Advocates for the victims welcomed the ruling.


    "While today’s verdict cannot bring back the innocent Iraqis killed at Nisoor Square, it is a step towards full accountability for Blackwater’s actions," said Baher Azmy, Legal Director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented Iraqi victims of the killings in a human rights suit against Blackwater that settled in January 2010.


    "However," Azmy added, "holding individuals responsible is not enough. If corporations like Blackwater, now known as Academi, are granted the rights accorded to 'people' they must also bear the responsibilities."


    Dan Roberts, who has covered the trial closely for the Guardian newspaper, reports from Washington that all the men now "face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident."


    Scahill, who has written extensively about both Blackwater and the Nisour Square massacre,responded to the verdict at The Intercept by writing, "Just as with the systematic torture at Abu Ghraib, it is only the low level foot-soldiers of Blackwater that are being held accountable." Scahill points out that Blackwater founder and former-CEO Erik Prince and other high-ranking Blackwater executives remain free and that no U.S. officials from the Bush administration were ever held responsible for "creating the conditions for the Nisour Square shootings."


    According to Azmy, "Private military contractors played a major role in the pressure to go to war in Iraq and have engaged in a variety of war crimes and atrocities during the invasion and occupation, while reaping billions of dollars in profits from the war. To this day, the U.S. government continues to award Blackwater and its successor entities millions of dollars each year in contracts, essentially rewarding war crimes."


    As noted by the Guardian's Roberts, the 14 victims killed by the Blackwater guards on trial were listed as Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, Mahassin Mohssen Kadhum Al-Khazali, Osama Fadhil Abbas, Ali Mohammed Hafedh Abdul Razzaq, Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Qasim Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Sa’adi Ali Abbas Alkarkh, Mushtaq Karim Abd Al-Razzaq, Ghaniyah Hassan Ali, Ibrahim Abid Ayash, Hamoud Sa’eed Abttan, Uday Ismail Ibrahiem, Mahdi Sahib Nasir and Ali Khalil Abdul Hussein.

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/201...-massacre-iraq






    One man's collateral damage is another man's family



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    Noam Chomsky calls US 'world's leading terrorist state'

    November 04, 2014

    The United States is the “world's leading terrorist state,” based on its deadly, CIA-run operations in the likes of Nicaragua and Cuba, according to new op-ed by historian and social philosopher Noam Chomsky.

    In a new piece posted at Truthout.org, Chomsky pointed to the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified review of its own efforts to arm insurgencies across the globe in its 67-year history. As RT previously reported, the CIA conducted the effectiveness analyses while the Obama administration contemplated arming rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria.

    The New York Times was the first to uncover the story and Chomsky opened by suggesting the Times’ own headline for it should have been titled, "It's official: The U.S. is the world's leading terrorist state, and proud of it,” rather than "CIA Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels."


    The longtime MIT professor went on to detail some of the instances assessed in the CIA’s review and why they amount to an American regime - “the world champion in generating terror” - bent on antagonizing its opposition around the world.

    “The first paragraph of the Times article cites three major examples of ‘covert aid’: Angola, Nicaragua and Cuba. In fact, each case was a major terrorist operation conducted by the US,” Chomsky wrote.

    He added that it was the US, in the 1980s, that supported Apartheid-era South Africa as it invaded Angola to protect itself “from one of the world's ‘more notorious terrorist groups,” according to Washington: “Nelson Mandela's African National Congress.”

    “Washington joined South Africa in providing crucial support for Jonas Savimbi's terrorist Unita army in Angola,” wrote Chomsky.

    “The consequences were horrendous. A 1989 U.N. inquiry estimated that South African depredations led to 1.5 million deaths in neighboring countries, let alone what was happening within South Africa itself.”


    Chomsky also mentioned the decades-long “murderous and destructive campaign” the US aimed at Cuba, including the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and a harsh embargo that continues to this day.


    “The toll of the long terrorist war was amplified by a crushing embargo, which continues even today in defiance of the world. On Oct. 28, the UN, for the 23rd time, endorsed ‘the necessity of ending the economic, commercial, financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba,’” he wrote.


    Chomsky mentioned the dirty wars the US brought to opposition in Central America in the 1980s and current airstrikes in Syria and Iraq aimed at Islamic State, a jihadist group, like others, compiled and strengthened through American interventions in the Middle East, namely the recent Iraq war, he wrote

    He ended with a note on President Barack Obama’s unmanned drone regime patrolling the skies in the likes of Pakistan and Yemen.

    “To this we may add the world's greatest terrorist campaign: Obama's global project of assassination of ‘terrorists.’ The ‘resentment-generating impact’ of those drone and special-forces strikes should be too well known to require further comment,” he wrote. “This is a record to be contemplated with some awe.”


    http://rt.com/usa/202223-noam-chomsky-global-terror/

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    Lawyers: Man Jailed for Nine Years Is Innocent, Railroaded in Bush’s War on Terror

    May 8, 2014

    Last week, a group of human rights lawyers filed a motion to vacate the sentence of Hamid Hayat, a young American citizen of Pakistani descent who was convicted of planning terrorist attacks on the United States.

    In 2007, when Hayat was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison, US Attorney McGregor Scott said, “The threat to our nation demonstrated by the acts of the 9/11 terrorists was brought home with the revelations of Hamid Hayat’s actions two years ago… The many men and women who investigated and prosecuted Hamid Hayat are to be commended for their perseverance and great skill.”

    But lawyers now say that Hayat was railroaded by overzealous prosecutors, that the US government suppressed evidence of his innocence and that his case was damaged by an inexperienced defense attorney.

    Some background: Just four months after the 9/11 attacks, and five weeks after the FBI released a list of America’s most wanted terrorists, one of the bureau’s paid informants made an unlikely claim: He told his handlers that he’d seen the number two man on that list, Ayman al-Zawahiri — second-in-command of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s personal physician — at a mosque in the small farming community of Lodi, California.

    Four years later, headlines across the country would blare that an al Qaeda “sleeper cell” had been unearthed in Lodi. Five men were arrested in connection to the investigation. Three Pakistani citizens — including an imam of the local mosque who had been “working to mend [strained] relations” between members of his faith and the larger community — were detained on immigration charges and later deported.

    The other two arrests were Hamid Hayat, an aimless young man who had visited Pakistan as a 19-year-old, and his father, Umer. Hamid was the only member of the supposed “cell” to face actual terrorism charges — his father was charged with lying to the FBI about his son’s activities, pled guilty and was released after being sentenced to time served.
    Hamid Hayat has been languishing behind bars since his arrest nine years ago.
    BillMoyers.com spoke about the case with Layli Shirani, one of his San Francisco-based attorneys. Below is a lightly-edited transcript of our discussion.

    Joshua Holland: Before we dig into Hayat’s case, I wonder if you could put it into the larger context of how the US was approaching these kinds of prosecutions in the years after 9/11?

    Layli Shirani: I think the Hayat prosecution is a perfect example of how politics, fear and ignorance can yield tragic results. After 9/11 there was widespread panic about the possibility of further attacks, and this fear gave rise to an Islamophobia that I think persists to this day. The law enforcement and intelligence communities were under enormous pressure to identify possible terrorists, and they relied very heavily on paid informants to infiltrate mosques and other gathering places for Muslims. As far as I can tell this strategy hasn’t been successful in stopping real threats.

    I don’t know if you remember the Detroit sleeper cell case or not. Six days after 9/11, the FBI went looking for a suspected terrorist at his last known address. Instead, they found three Middle Eastern men who didn’t know the previous tenant. But on the basis of a day planner that had some doodles, and a video of tourist destinations — Las Vegas, Disneyland — and the word of a cooperating defendant who was in the country illegally, two of the three men were convicted of providing material support to terrorists.

    That case blew up when it came to light that the informant had lied to the government, and subsequent investigations revealed that there had been grave doubt expressed at different levels of the Justice Department and law enforcement regarding what the sketches/doodles and the video depicted.

    I think that case ushered in a new, unspoken ethos: It was acceptable to prosecute and imprison individuals who had not done anything but speak critically or even tastelessly of the United States. That was the view of the jury foreman on the Hayat case, as expressed to Amy Waldman of The Atlantic. And it was enough to build cases only on questionable evidence, or the word of a paid informant. I think Hayat’s case — and many others like it — was constructed that way.

    Holland: Can you briefly summarize the government’s version of events surrounding Hayat’s 2003 trip to Pakistan?

    Shirani: In 2003 Hamid Hayat traveled to Pakistan with his family. He returned in 2005. The government’s version is that sometime between those dates, I believe 2004 and early 2005 — they give a one-year period — they alleged that in that period of time, he attended a terrorist training camp.

    And then, on the way back to the United States in 2005, they redirected the plane to Japan and he was taken off the plane and questioned, and the FBI agent there determined that he wasn’t a danger and they let the flight continue to the United States.

    But when he was back home, he got a visit from the FBI — within I think a day or two of his return — and that was that. He was detained and the charges against him ended up being that he had trained in Pakistan, and returned to the United States with the intent of waging violent jihad against American institutions.

    Holland: He got onto their radar after an informant named Naseem Khan fingered him. Tell me about that.

    Shirani: Khan was a fast-food worker who was approached by FBI agents looking for a different Naseem Khan. He is arguably the only winner in all of this, if you count his earnings of about $230,000 over four years.

    He first told agents that he had seen Ayman al-Zawahiri in a Lodi mosque. This led to another big announcement from the DOJ: the discovery of an al-Qaeda sleeper cell in Lodi. The government now admits that there was never a sleeper cell in Lodi. All that came of that was the prosecution of Hamid Hayat.

    Khan was hired by the government and they moved him to Lodi and they set him up, and his primary objective was to find out if the imams at that Lodi mosque were in fact agents of al-Qaeda, or, at any rate, up to no good. And when he didn’t turn up anything, he instead latched onto this young man and became friends with him and his family and began recording their conversations, which basically consisted of political conversation that was somewhat critical of the United States. There was a lot of bluster in that conversation, but none of that, as far as I know, is a crime.

    Holland: Khan was an older man, and he was taking this young Hayat under his wing and encouraging him?

    Shirani: Yes. I know that Hamid looked up to him.

    Holland: Tell me about Hayat’s interrogation.

    Shirani: It was surreal. Obviously, he was jetlagged. Throughout the interrogation, he’s yawning and dozing off. And I should say, with no disrespect to my client, that he is not a very intellectually acute person.

    By all accounts, and according to affidavits that we recently obtained from family members and friends, Hayat was a guy who is characterized by friends and family members as being very timid and fearful of being alone, of doing anything by himself. He’d had a bad case of bacterial meningitis while in Pakistan that left him especially vulnerable.

    So, they put him in an interrogation room with the FBI, and he ends up basically saying, “Oh, I want to help you. What can I do? Tell me.” The interrogation was very leading, to say the least. He was being asked questions about what he saw there, or how many people were there, and it’s clear that here’s a guy who’s trying to guess what the right answer would be. So when he guesses that there were 20 people at the training camp, they say, “Are you sure there weren’t more?” So then he starts saying, “Seventy? Eighty?” You should hear him talking about the guns they used, or what kind of training they received — it’s almost comical.

    Holland: He was represented by a lawyer who had never tried a criminal case, much less a complex international terror prosecution. She’d graduated from law school just 18 months before the trial. Did she give him an adequate defense?

    Shirani: Sadly, she did not. I mean she really believed in his innocence, and I know that she put a lot of time and a lot of hard work into his case. But unfortunately, she was in no position to give him any kind of adequate defense.

    There was a complete failure to investigate. Most of the witnesses who could’ve provided evidence on his behalf were in Pakistan, and his trial attorney didn’t seem to know that she could get their testimony, that she could apply for funding to travel there, or that she could hire an investigator who could get their affidavits, or take their depositions — none of that happened.

    The government also came forward sometime early in the case and said that they thought the defense council should fulfill the requirements of the Classified Information Procedures Act. That would allow the trial lawyers — Hamid’s and his father’s lawyers — to see whatever classified information the government had after getting the required security clearances. And in this case, they opted not to do that. They waived their right to see the classified evidence the government had, and we believe that some of that evidence would have been exculpatory.

    Holland: And you contend that the camp he was supposed to have visited didn’t even exist at the time.

    Shirani: Yes, it certainly appears that way. We’ve talked to several people, including a prominent Pakistani journalist who was covering these movements and had contacts in these camps and had visited these areas. It was widely believed that these camps had stopped functioning by the time Hayat gets to Pakistan. The country was receiving billions of dollars in aid from the United States and they were under great pressure to close down these training camps — even though the training camps in that Balakot region, which is the region where he’s alleged to have attended a camp — those were mainly pro-Kashmiri camps. They had a lot more to do with the conflict in Kashmir than anything else.

    In fact, the prosecutors were never able to pinpoint the exact camp that he allegedly went to. The only evidence of a camp that the government presented was in the form of satellite images. A Department of Defense expert on satellite imagery looked at four different images, two taken in 2001 and the others in 2004, I believe, and based on those he said, “Yes, based on my training and experience, these look like camps.”

    When he was asked how much conviction he had that these images depicted a terrorist training camp, or a jihadi training camp, he said, “Well, I have a confidence level of 60-70 percent.” And then he basically said that without the confessions he couldn’t say with any certainty what the images showed.

    We’re talking about a region that is not very remote — hardly — and it’s not believable that they couldn’t present more evidence of the existence of the camp, if in fact they had it. It also defies logic to think that if they knew of a camp that was training anti-US jihadis, that they wouldn’t have destroyed it and bragged about doing so.

    Holland: So it was mostly based on this confession that was taken from an exhausted kid?

    Shirani: Well, the government’s case, in addition to the testimony of their informant, was all circumstantial.

    There was a scrapbook of articles that Hamid had collected from the Pakistani press. What probably ended up being the most damning for the jury was what the government referred to as a prayer supplication that they found in his wallet. It was written in Arabic, on a folded piece of paper that they found in Hamid’s wallet, and it said something to the effect of “O Allah” — and this is a somewhat disputed translation, but their expert said that it read, “We place you at their throats and seek protection in you from their evils.”

    So the government hired this Islamic law professor, somebody who was an erstwhile imam and was also a professor at San Diego State University, who came in and testified that this is a jihadi supplication, that it has no other use. That ended up being very damning for our client.

    But right after the trial, real experts on Islamic law and theology — people who also knew about these extremist groups — weighed in. One of them was Professor Bernard Haykel, who was then at NYU and is now at Princeton. And Haykel was able to say that this was just a commonly uttered prayer, and others were able to say that this is part of a very common Pakistani practice called ta’wiz. It’s the practice of carrying some kind of prayer or some kind of writing — sometimes it’s actual words, sometimes it’s symbols — and it’s really just about seeking protection in times of travel.

    Holland: You and your colleagues have collected evidence that suggests that Hayat is innocent. Can you run down what you discovered?

    Shirani: I think the most compelling evidence of his innocence is that we now have 18 affidavits from friends and family members attesting to his activities and whereabouts during the relevant time period — and by that, I mean the entirety of his time in Pakistan, not just the 12-month time period in which the government alleges he attended a camp.

    All of their testimonies are consistent that here was a young man who was not terribly ambitious. He was living in this small village called Behboodi, which was a couple of hours’ drive from Islamabad. It’s a small village where his family comes from originally. And in all of these affidavits, the common thread is that they used to see Hamid very regularly — all the people who lived in the village. Some saw him every day. And those in another village called Rawalpindi said they saw him at least every couple of weeks when he brought his mother there for medical treatment. And in fact, even when he brought his mother to Rawalpindi for medical treatment, his brother was always along, because Hamid didn’t drive.

    And another thing that they all say is that he was too afraid to hold a toy gun, much less anything more powerful, and was known by all of them to be fearful of traveling alone. It’s simply impossible that he spent long periods away from these witnesses training in some camp.

    http://billmoyers.com/2014/05/08/lawyers-man-jailed-for-nine-years-is-innocent-railroaded-in-bushs-war-on-terror/

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    Why stop at Isis when we could bomb the whole Muslim world?

    George Monbiot

    Humanitarian arguments, if consistently applied, could be used to flatten the entire Middle East

    Let’s bomb the Muslim world – all of it – to save the lives of its people. Surely this is the only consistent moral course? Why stop at Islamic State (Isis), when the Syrian government has murdered and tortured so many? This, after all, was last year’s moral imperative. What’s changed?

    How about blasting the Shia militias in Iraq? One of them selected 40 people from the streets of Baghdad in June and murdered them for being Sunnis. Another massacred 68 people at a mosque in August. They now talk openly of “cleansing” and “erasure” once Isis has been defeated. As a senior Shia politician warns, “we are in the process of creating Shia al-Qaida radical groups equal in their radicalisation to the Sunni Qaida”.

    What humanitarian principle instructs you to stop there? In Gaza this year, 2,100 Palestinians were massacred: including people taking shelter in schools and hospitals. Surely these atrocities demand an air war against Israel? And what’s the moral basis for refusing to liquidate Iran? Mohsen Amir-Aslani was hanged there last week for making “innovations in the religion” (suggesting that the story of Jonah in the Qur’an was symbolic rather than literal). Surely that should inspire humanitarian action from above? Pakistan is crying out for friendly bombs: an elderly British man, Mohammed Asghar, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, is, like other blasphemers, awaiting execution there after claiming to be a holy prophet. One of his prison guards has already shot him in the back.

    Is there not an urgent duty to blow up Saudi Arabia? It has beheaded 59 people so far this year, for offences that include adultery, sorcery and witchcraft. It has long presented a far greater threat to the west than Isis now poses. In 2009 Hillary Clinton warned in a secret memo that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban … and other terrorist groups”. In July, the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, revealed that Prince Bandar bin Sultan, until recently the head of Saudi intelligence, told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.” Saudi support for extreme Sunni militias in Syria during Bandar’s tenure is widely blamed for the rapid rise of Isis. Why take out the subsidiary and spare the headquarters?

    The humanitarian arguments aired in parliament last week, if consistently applied, could be used to flatten the entire Middle East and west Asia. By this means you could end all human suffering, liberating the people of these regions from the vale of tears in which they live.

    Perhaps this is the plan: Barack Obama has now bombed seven largely Muslim countries, in each case citing a moral imperative. The result, as you can see in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Syria, has been the eradication of jihadi groups, of conflict, chaos, murder, oppression and torture. Evil has been driven from the face of the Earth by the destroying angels of the west.

    Now we have a new target, and a new reason to dispense mercy from the sky, with similar prospects of success. Yes, the agenda and practices of Isis are disgusting. It murders and tortures, terrorises and threatens. As Obama says, it is a “network of death”. But it’s one of many networks of death. Worse still, a western crusade appears to be exactly what Isis wants.

    Already Obama’s bombings have brought Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, a rival militia affiliated to al-Qaida, together. More than 6,000 fighters have joined Isis since the bombardment began. They dangled the heads of their victims in front of the cameras as bait for war planes. And our governments were stupid enough to take it.

    And if the bombing succeeds? If – and it’s a big if – it manages to tilt the balance against Isis, what then? Then we’ll start hearing once more about Shia death squads and the moral imperative to destroy them too – and any civilians who happen to get in the way. The targets change; the policy doesn’t. Never mind the question, the answer is bombs. In the name of peace and the preservation of life, our governments wage perpetual war.

    While the bombs fall, our states befriend and defend other networks of death. The US government still refuses – despite Obama’s promise – to release the 28 redacted pages from the joint congressional inquiry into 9/11, which document Saudi Arabian complicity in the US attack. In the UK, in 2004 the Serious Fraud Office began investigating allegations of massive bribes paid by the British weapons company BAE to Saudi ministers and middlemen. Just as crucial evidence was about to be released, Tony Blair intervened to stop the investigation. The biggest alleged beneficiary was Prince Bandar. The SFO was investigating a claim that, with the approval of the British government, he received £1bn in secret payments from BAE.

    And still it is said to go on. Last week’s Private Eye, drawing on a dossier of recordings and emails, alleges that a British company has paid £300m in bribes to facilitate weapons sales to the Saudi national guard. When a whistleblower in the company reported these payments to the British Ministry of Defence, instead of taking action it alerted his bosses. He had to flee the country to avoid being thrown into a Saudi jail.

    There are no good solutions that military intervention by the UK or the US can engineer. There are political solutions in which our governments could play a minor role: supporting the development of effective states that don’t rely on murder and militias, building civic institutions that don’t depend on terror, helping to create safe passage and aid for people at risk. Oh, and ceasing to protect, sponsor and arm selected networks of death. Whenever our armed forces have bombed or invaded Muslim nations, they have made life worse for those who live there. The regions in which our governments have intervened most are those that suffer most from terrorism and war. That is neither coincidental nor surprising.

    Yet our politicians affect to learn nothing. Insisting that more killing will magically resolve deep-rooted conflicts, they scatter bombs like fairy dust.


    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...s-saudi-arabia

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    War Criminal Tony Blair admits: I would have invaded Iraq anyway

    12.12.09


    Tony Blair has said he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of weapons of mass destruction and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public.

    The former prime minister made the confession during an interview with Fern Britton, to be broadcast on Sunday on BBC1, in which he said he would still have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

    "If you had known then that there were no WMDs, would you still have gone on?" Blair was asked. He replied: "I would still have thought it right to remove him (Saddam Hussein)".

    Significantly, Blair added: "I mean obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat." He continued: "I can't really think we'd be better with him and his two sons in charge, but it's incredibly difficult. That's why I sympathise with the people who were against it [the war] for perfectly good reasons and are against it now, but for me, in the end I had to take the decision." [The real reason was he was going away from petrodollars to different currency, like Gaddafi]

    He explained it was "the notion of him as a threat to the region" because Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people. [yet these hypocrites used chemical weapons in Iraq, especial Fallujah!]

    Though Blair has always argued that Iraq would be better off without Saddam Hussein, to parliament and the public, he always justified military action on the grounds that the Iraqi dictator was in breach of UN-backed demands that he abandon his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme.[The lies of WMD to wage an illegal war against UN decision]

    Blair was "absolutely prepared to say he was willing to contemplate regime change if [UN-backed measures] did not work", Sir David Manning, Blair's former foreign policy adviser, told the inquiry. If it proved impossible to pursue the UN route, then Blair would be "willing to use force", Manning emphasised.

    The Chilcot inquiry has seen a number of previously leaked Whitehall documents which suggest Blair was in favour of regime change although he was warned by Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, in July 2002, eight months before the invasion, that "the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action".

    Now Blair appears to be openly admitting that evidence of WMD – the purpose behind the now discredited weapons dossier he ordered to be published with the help of MI6 and Whitehall's joint intelligence committee – was not needed to invade Iraq, and he could have found other arguments to justify it.

    Blair told the former This Morning presenter how his religious beliefs helped him in the invasion's immediate aftermath.

    Sir John Sawers, Blair's former chief foreign policy adviser and now head of MI6, told the Chilcot inquiry on Thursday that Iraq was one of several countries where Britain would have liked regime change. Discussions took place on "political" actions to undermine Saddam, including indicting him for war crimes, Sawers said. There was no talk in 2001 in Whitehall of military action, he added.

    "There are a lot of countries ... where we would like to see a change of regime. That doesn't mean one pursues active policies in that direction."


    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/d...hilcot-inquiry

    Comments:

    Isn't it time someone invaded their lands and had their regime changed? Their own public will support it, like those non-Muslim people under Islamic empire who fought side by side with Muslims to keep the crusaders out.


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    Iraqi women: 'Things were so much better before'

    The tragic decline in Iraqi women's status is the result of 30 years of war and occupation.

    by Hadani Ditmars - 08 Mar 2015

    In light of International Women's Day as well as the recent appointment of Baghdad's first female mayor, civil engineer Zekra Alwach, it's an opportune moment to remember the many "firsts" enjoyed by Iraqi women.

    The nation produced the first female judge, ambassador, and government minister in the Arab world. Iraqi women benefited from state subsidized childcare and education; they once formed about half the public sector workforce and 50 percent of the country's doctors.

    Sadly, as the 12th anniversary of a disastrous invasion and occupation looms, there is another rather grim "first" to ponder.

    Iraqi women are arguably the first to see their status go from one of the highest in the region to one of the lowest, in less than two decades. (Now followed closely by their sisters in neighboring Syria.)

    Illiteracy

    While most news reports on the new mayor of Baghdad were quick to point out last year's UN report that documented the illiteracy rate of a quarter of Iraqi women over age 12, and the fact that only 14 percent of women are part of the workforce, they lacked any real context.

    The tragic decline in women's status did not happen in a vacuum. It was the result of 30 years of war and occupation.[war, sanctions and occupation that started since Sr. Bush's time]

    While the verdict is still out on whether former Dawa party member and director of the Ministry of Higher Education Alwach will actually be able to implement any progressive programs to assist women suffering through rampant poverty, corruption and violence in the beleaguered capital, most agree anyone is better than the former mayor, Naim Aboub, an odd-duck incompetent, who refused to leave his post.

    But the woman who oversaw the construction of the new Iraqi national bank in London, certainly has her work cut out for her.

    After the eight-year war with Iran bankrupted the country, Saddam's invasion of Kuwait - ostensibly to force them to cough up "war debts" - resulted in the first Gulf War and 12 subsequent years of draconian UN sanctions. Not only did sanctions wipe out the middle class and cripple what had been one of the region's best public health and education systems, they also forced Iraq's women into impossible situations.

    With a 3,000 percent devaluation of the dinar, mothers, many of whom like today were war widow heads of households, were forced to sell off their living room furniture to pay for basics like food and medicine. Girls were pulled out of school for early marriages or to work to help support their families. And many women, even those with PhDs, were forced into prostitution.

    Basic foundations

    Still, there were some basic foundations left in place. When I first arrived in 1997, I befriended Ahlam, a war widow mother of two who supported her family by working in a hair salon. She was a proud member of both the Iraqi Hairdressers Union and the Iraqi Women's Union - a state run institution that would often intervene in cases of domestic abuse and divorce settlements.

    I would while away hours talking to women in her salon, a refuge from the outside world and the male "minders" from the Ministry of Information. It was a world of female solidarity and unvarnished truths about life in Baathist Iraq; talk of how to survive when state rations ran out and how to pay for children's schoolbooks.

    This was a time when Sister Marie, a tough Iraqi francophone nun who ran a private hospital in Baghdad, would have to negotiate with black marketeers to buy penicillin. But it was also still a time when women could have state subsidized abortions performed at this Catholic hospital.

    After the invasion of 2003, supported by rather disingenuous "feminist cheerleading" from the likes of Laura Bush and Cherie Blair, things went from bad to worse for Iraqi women. The salon Ahlam had managed to buy after 12 years of scrimping, was soon threatened by newly empowered extremists; she had to pull her 13-year-old daughter out of school as a security precaution; and kidnappings and rapes were at an all time high.

    Secular to sectarian

    As the country - and its old civil code - went from secular to sectarian, churches were fire bombed for the first time ever, and life became even more of a struggle for survival.

    But still, Iraqi women carried on. Women like the Christian activist Hanaa Edwar, a powerhouse who once confronted male parliamentarians during the nine-month hiatus of 2010 when politicians horse-traded and squabbled while millions of widows and orphans languished, by screaming at them and demanding they actually attend to affairs of the state.

    Edwar runs Amal, a grassroots NGO that assists women and children, and cuts across the largely male dominated sectarian lines. When I called her to get her thoughts on the new mayor, she sounded exhausted. Added to the ambitious program she administers that encompasses literacy and employment training, domestic abuse prevention and political empowerment for women, is a new program addressing the post-invasion phenomena of extremism and the internally displaced.

    While Ahlam has joined millions of compatriots who are now refugees, her salon goes on. I took tea there a few years ago with the Christian owners and their customers of many faiths; women who all agree that things were so much better "before".

    In a city of car bombs and corruption, with ISIS at the gates, I think of those ladies in the Baghdad beauty parlor/refuge and marvel at their strength. If the new mayor is half as tough as any of them, there is still some hope for the "city of peace".

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...055143624.html


    comments:

    All of this didn't happen on it's own, it was well planned out long time ago. This is how these colonialists destroy countries and their people in our current modern era.






  15. #55
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    Terrorism is “Made in the USA”. The “Global War on Terrorism” is a Fabrication, A Big Lie

    Perdana Global Peace Foundation and Global Research, 11 March 2015

    First published in March 2015

    Prominent academic and author Dr Michel Chossudovsky warned that the so-called war on terrorism is a front to propagate America’s global hegemony and create a New World Order.

    Dr Chossudovsky said terrorism is made in the US and that terrorists are not the product of the Muslim world.

    According to him, the US global war on terrorism was used to enact anti-terrorism laws that demonised Muslims in the Western world and created Islamophobia.

    Elaborating on his argument, Dr Chossudovsky said that NATO was responsible for recruiting members of the Islamic state while Israel is funding “global jihad elements inside Syria”.

    Dr Chossudovsky, who is also the founder of the Centre for Research and Globalisation, further emphasised that the global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.

    Echoing Dr Chossudovsky’s arguments, Malaysia’s prominent political scientist, Islamic reformist and activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar said that the US has always manipulated religion to further its global hegemony on sovereign states.



    The Globalization of War is undoubtedly one of the most important books on the contemporary global situation produced in recent years.

    In his latest masterpiece, Professor Michel Chossudovsky shows how the various conflicts we are witnessing today in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Palestine are in fact inter-linked and inter-locked through a single-minded agenda in pursuit of global hegemony helmed by the United States and buttressed by its allies in the West and in other regions of the world.” Dr Chandra Muzaffar, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)

    The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity


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

    Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the ‘Homegrown Threat’ in the United States




    CHRGJ and its IHRC released “Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the ‘Homegrown Threat’ in the United States” in May 2011. Among other things, the report calls on the U.S. government to stop its discriminatory targeting of Muslim communities in counter-terrorism investigations. It also asserts that the government’s use of intrusive surveillance, untrained paid informants, and manufactured terrorism plots raises serious human rights concerns that must immediately be addressed. This latest report follows several other reports produced by the IHRC on issues related to racial profiling, citizenship, and other discriminatory practices undertaken by the U.S. government in the name of the “War on Terror”.


    The report has been translated into several languages. Please click on the links below to see it in the languages listed here.


    English
    Arabic
    Bangla
    Farsi
    Urdu
    Somali

    http://chrgj.org/documents/targeted-...united-states/
    Last edited by islamirama; Dec-2-2016 at 09:59 PM.

  16. #56
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    How Many Muslim Countries Has the U.S. Bombed Or Occupied Since 1980?


    11.2014

    Barack Obama, in his post-election press conference yesterday, announced that he would seek an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) from the new Congress, one that would authorize Obama’s bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria—the one he began three months ago. If one were being generous, one could say that seeking congressional authorization for a war that commenced months ago is at least better than fighting a war even after Congress explicitly rejected its authorization, as Obama lawlessly did in the now-collapsed country of Libya.


    When Obama began bombing targets inside Syria in September, I noted that it was the seventh predominantly Muslim country that had been bombed by the U.S. during his presidency (that did not count Obama’s bombing of the Muslim minority in the Philippines). I also previously noted that this new bombing campaign meant that Obama had become the fourth consecutive U.S. President to order bombs dropped on Iraq. Standing alone, those are both amazingly revealing facts. American violence is so ongoing and continuous that we barely notice it any more. Just this week, a U.S. drone launched a missile that killed 10 people in Yemen, and the dead were promptly labeled “suspected militants” (which actually just means they are “military-age males”); those killings received almost no discussion.


    To get a full scope of American violence in the world, it is worth asking a broader question: how many countries in the Islamic world has the U.S. bombed or occupied since 1980? That answer was provided in a recent Washington Post op-ed by the military historian and former U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich:


    As America’s efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants extent into Syria, Iraq War III has seamlessly morphed into Greater Middle East Battlefield XIV. That is, Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.


    Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.
    Bacevich’s count excludes the bombing and occupation of still other predominantly Muslim countries by key U.S. allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, carried out with crucial American support. It excludes coups against democratically elected governments, torture, and imprisonment of people with no charges. It also, of course, excludes all the other bombing and invading and occupying that the U.S. has carried out during this time period in other parts of the world, including in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as various proxy wars in Africa.



    There is an awful lot to be said about the factions in the west which devote huge amounts of their time and attention to preaching against the supreme primitiveness and violence of Muslims. There are no gay bars in Gaza, the obsessively anti-Islam polemicists proclaim—as though that (rather than levels of violence and aggression unleashed against the world) is the most important metric for judging a society. Reflecting their single-minded obsession with demonizing Muslims (at exactly the same time, coincidentally, their governments wage a never-ending war on Muslim countries and their societies marginalize Muslims), they notably neglect to note thriving gay communities in places like Beirut and Istanbul, or the lack of them in Christian Uganda. Employing the defining tactic of bigotry, they love to highlight the worst behavior of individual Muslims as a means of attributing it to the group as a whole, while ignoring (often expressly) the worst behavior of individual Jews and/or their own groups (they similarly cite the most extreme precepts of Islam while ignoring similarly extreme ones from Judaism). That’s because, as Rula Jebreal told Bill Maher last week, if these oh-so-brave rationality warriors said about Jews what they say about Muslims, they’d be fired.


    But of all the various points to make about this group, this is always the most astounding: those same people, who love to denounce the violence of Islam as some sort of ultimate threat, live in countries whose governments unleash far more violence, bombing, invasions, and occupations than anyone else by far. That is just a fact.


    Those who sit around in the U.S. or the U.K. endlessly inveighing against the evil of Islam, depicting it as the root of violence and evil (the “mother lode of bad ideas“), while spending very little time on their own societies’ addictions to violence and aggression, or their own religious and nationalistic drives, have reached the peak of self-blinding tribalism. They really are akin to having a neighbor down the street who constantly murders, steals and pillages, and then spends his spare time flamboyantly denouncing people who live thousands of miles away for their bad acts. Such a person would be regarded as pathologically self-deluded, a term that also describes those political and intellectual factions which replicate that behavior.


    The sheer casualness with which Obama yesterday called for a new AUMF is reflective of how central, how commonplace, violence and militarism are in the U.S.’s imperial management of the world. That some citizens of that same country devote themselves primarily if not exclusively to denouncing the violence and savagery of others is a testament to how powerful and self-blinding tribalism is as a human drive.

    https://theintercept.com/2014/11/06/...ed-since-1980/

  17. #57
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    The Forgotten Terrorist Attack

    By Malcom Lagauche

    02/16/06 "
    ICH" --- -- On the morning of February 14, 1991, when I turned the TV on to see the latest lies being told to the public about the U.S. bombing of Iraq, I saw a chaotic situation in Baghdad. The Amiryah bomb shelter had just been struck by two 2,000-pound superbombs. Information was sketchy, but it was evident that many people lost their lives.

    The first statement from the U.S. administration was that the U.S. hit an Iraqi command and control post and the dead were military. Then, the cameras showed charred bodies of women and children, to the U.S. story had to be revised. The administration then said that the building was a military target in which Saddam Hussein placed civilians to protect the military personnel.

    Remember that the current vice-president of the U.S., Dick Cheney, was the U.S. Secretary of War in 1991.
    He said, "We blame the Iraqi leadership for putting civilians in harm’s way." That statement was not only a lie, but one of the most absurd allegations one could make because it denigrated the hundreds of humans who lost their lives. Current occurrences show that Cheney can’t tell the difference between a small bird and a person, so nothing is new about his lack of brainpower or eyesight.

    For a couple of hours, the world was told that the Iraqis led civilians to their deaths by putting them into a military target. Then, the truth began to emerge.

    The Amiryah bomb shelter was built as a civilian bomb shelter during the Iran-Iraq War. Even the engineer who designed it came on television and told the world that there was no way it could be a military asset.

    After the lies were put to rest, it became evident that the U.S. had mistaken the target as a military venue, or it had deliberately bombed it knowing it was a bomb shelter. To this day, not one U.S. government spokesperson has ever mentioned the truth. In fact, after February 14, 1991, the subject has been left unspoken: even the lies.

    Those inside the bomb shelter died horrific deaths.
    First, a 2,000-pound bomb crashed through the shelter creating a massive tunnel in which the second 2,000-pound bomb then came. Both blew up leaving a huge hole and killing more than 400 people. Only seven humans survived the attack. Those who died actually saw the first bomb and had a few seconds of life left before the second burrowed its way into the shelter. Such an attack transcends the barbarity of a bombing in which the people die immediately.

    The lines of burnt dead bodies lining the street presented a horrific scene reminiscent of Hiroshima after it was nuked by the U.S.

    This is the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the shelter, yet few words have been written as a reminder of the horrific act
    . Before March 2003, at least Iraq commemorated the event and remembered the dead. The stooges in power today don’t want to remind the world of the lack of caring for human life the U.S. displayed in 1991 in the bombing of Iraq. Most weren’t even in the country then. No matter how much they stick their heads in the sand, nothing will never ease the pain of one of the most barbaric terrorist attacks in history. The silence from the U.S. and the Iraqi quislings is deafening.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle11951.htm

  18. #58
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    The Nature of Torture

    Torture practices include beatings such as jumping on the victim’s stomach; falacca or falanga, which involves beating the soles of the feet with rods; telephono, where the torturer claps flattened palms over the victim’s ears rupturing the tympanic membrane in the process; the use of electricity, including tying victims to a metal bed before applying a current and the use of pointed electrodes placed on the victim’s genitalia; burning; submarino, the submersion of the victim’s head in dirty water until the point of suffocation is almost reached; rape and forced sexual assault; suspension in mid-air with knees bent over a rod and tied tightly to wrists; deprivation of water; fake executions; the forced witnessing of the torture of the victim’s family or children; being held incommunicado; sensory deprivation; the forced injection of psychotropic drugs or ‘faecal matter’.

    Tortured in Syria by Italy

    Mohammed Majid Shakir was tortured by the Syrians under the command of the Italians. He explains the torture methods used upon him by the Syrians.

    “Their instruments of torture were :-

    a. Blasphemy. They insulted Allah(swt), his messenger(saw), and tore up the Qu’ran

    b. Beating with sticks. They attacked me with a hard stick, and if I tried to defend myself they attacked me harder. Whilst this was happening, I could hear the screams of the other brothers, and they haunt me still to this day.

    c. In the winter, in the cell of torture the brothers were tied to a chair by their hands and feet, and into a cell that was freezing. They put an electric fan on us in our faces from morning to afternoon” (Help the Prisoners, 2010)

    Tortured in Baghram


    Moazzam Beg narrates his experience in Baghram prison, he states, “One particular month in May, I was subjected to some extremely harsh interrogation techniques, which included being – or having my hands tied behind my back to my legs like an animal, as they call in America ‘hogtied’, with a hood placed over my head so I was in a suffocating position, kicked and beaten and sworn at and spat at, left to rot in this position for hours and hours on end and taken again into interrogation, and this lasted over a period of over a month. That wasn’t the worst of it, of course. The worst of it for me was the psychological part, because all of this time I had no communication with my family at all. I didn’t know what happened to my wife or my children. For all I knew they could have done terrible things to them. And that was my biggest fear. (Moazzam Begg, quoted in Democracy Now!, 2006)

    Torture in Abu Ghraib

    In 2004, the world witnessed the shocking institutionally sanctioned torture of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. The vile images of grinning American soldiers standing over shackled, naked and hooded Iraqi men in demeaning, sexually humiliating and contorted positions stunned the liberal conscience of the Western world. Rather than the aberrant behaviour of an isolated few, it became clear that the nine soldiers who were court-martialled for the crimes were indeed responding to orders issued from the highest levels of military government.

    Death at Camp Delta


    On June 9, 2006, three detainees died while in custody at Camp 1 of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Yassar Talal Al Zahrani, Mani Shaman Turki Al Habardi Al Tabi, and Ali Abdullah Ahmed were reported to have been found hanging in their cells at approximately 00:20 on June 10. According to descriptions from the guards, medics, and autopsy reports, all three detainees were cold to the touch, bluish in colour, and in a state of rigor mortis, indicating that each had been dead for more than two hours at the time of discovery. Their eyes were rolled back in their sockets and they had no pulse. Rigor mortis locked their jaws and impeded resuscitation attempts. In the case of one detainee, his jaw had to be pried open with a metal instrument that broke his teeth. At that time, medical personnel discovered that he had a cloth deep in his mouth and down his throat. The same condition was discovered in the other two bodies. The investigations did not explain why the detainees had rags in their throats (Death in Camp Delta, 2009).

    Guantanamo Bay

    Binyamin Mohammed recalls his experience of prison in Guantanamo Bay, “It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways – all orchestrated by the United States government…There are thousands of other prisoners held by the US elsewhere around the world, with no charges, and without access to their families. And I have to say, more in sadness than in anger, that many have been complicit in my own horrors over the past seven years. For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence (BBC News, 23rd February 2009)

    Implications of Torture

    There are a significant amount of detention centres around the world, specifically designed to torture victims. Cruel and callous methods of torture render the victims as helpless and in many cases, ultimately causing their deaths. The victims of torture are owed one thing above all else: justice. The perpetrators of torture must be exposed for who they are, and for what they have done. There is no statute of limitations on inhumanity. Those who designed and implemented the torture and illegal rendition programmes must be punished for their crimes or the laws forbidding these activities will be recognised as meaningless. These inhumane acts were committed against real people. Only the victims can forgive those who violated their human rights and stained the moral consciousness of humanity.

  19. #59
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    BOUND.
    TORTURED.
    KILLED.


    Iraqi photojournalist Ali Arkady was embedded with who he thought were the good guys — an elite unit of Iraqi soldiers battling Daesh in the name of a united Iraq, strong and free once and for all. But as the battle for Mosul intensified, the Iraqis lost the plot, descending into torture and murder of civilians.


    Iraqi forces backed by Western states raping women in
    #Mosul!

    Video: https://www.facebook.com/doamuslims/...6976269683269/



    The images are merciless: Iraqi detainees slung from ceilings by their wrists like rag dolls; a blindfold to hide the next torturous blow, a gag to muffle the screams.


    A glance jolts the sickening memory of Abu Ghraib prison, circa 2003, when the United States army and the CIA let their humanity slip away.

    Yet here they are again, 14 years later — damning images from the ongoing battle of Mosul that incinerate the fog of war, revealing physical abuse, torture and the murder of Sunni Arab Iraqis perpetrated by a unit of American-trained, coalition-equipped Iraqi commandos on the front lines in the war against Daesh.


    Published exclusively by the Toronto Star and ABC News, the photographs and video of Iraqi photographer Ali Arkady are evidence of war crimes committed by soldiers that Canada and its more than 60 coalition partners have designated the good guys in the battle against Daesh, also known as ISIS and ISIL.


    Documented in Arkady’s images: Knives, guns and live electric wires held to detainees’ heads; gloved fingers pressed deep into eye sockets and hard beneath tongues with muscle-crushing force; video clips of suspects, suspended and beaten, screaming their innocence.

    More @ http://projects.thestar.com/iraq-tor...mes/index.html

  20. #60
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    British special forces allegedly murdered Afghan civilians and covered it up: reports

    20 Jul 2017, 1:17am

    British special forces soldiers in Afghanistan allegedly[more likely] murdered civilians and faked evidence to make the killings look justified, according to reports emerging from the United Kingdom.


    The extraordinary allegations are contained in a number of recent media reports about the activities of the British Special Air Service (SAS) in Afghanistan over the past 10 years.


    They also come soon after the ABC revealed a number of killings of Afghans by Australian special forces soldiers are being investigated by a secretive Defence inquiry.


    A former British army officer, Captain Mike Martin, told the Sunday Times newspaper he had expressed severe misgivings about the intelligence used to target supposed Taliban figures, but was then barred from the meetings where the targets were identified as a result.


    "They (the SAS) would go in and kill members of a family based on faulty intelligence. The next morning there would be people going, 'What was going on last night? You just murdered a whole family'," Captain Martin said.


    "The special forces night raids set our campaign back massively because they killed so many of the wrong people.


    "They acted on very poor intelligence even when they knew it was poor. Some of their missions were so tenuous they were targeting guys who poured tea for the Taliban commander 15 years ago."



    Even more extraordinary are the admissions by an anonymous British soldier in the Daily Mail newspaper that he and fellow SAS members killed unarmed Afghans, then planted weapons on their bodies and falsified incident reports to cover up the circumstances.


    An Australian special forces veteran has also told the ABC that Australian troops also openly discussed the use of "drop weapons" to make it look like Afghans had been armed when killed.

    The anonymous British SAS member quoted by the Daily Mail said official battle reports were doctored to make it seem that Afghan Government forces had killed insurgents, but this was done because there was political pressure to make it look like the Afghan security forces were competent.

    "So, yes, they were given undue credit for successful operations. You would then get generals and defence ministers boasting about how well the Afghan forces were doing, which used to make us laugh," he said.

    "We knew how bad they were and we only took them along to 'put an Afghan face' on a mission."

    The Sunday Times recently reported that a massive secret investigation by the Royal Military Police into allegations of war crimes by the British SAS had been scaled back, raising fears that the Ministry of Defence was seeking to cover-up war crimes in Afghanistan.

    In Australia, the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force is carrying out an inquiry into the broader culture of Australian special forces, but more specifically allegations of unlawful killings in Afghanistan.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-2...78?pfmredir=sm


 

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