Obama drafting executive order for prolonged, indefinite detention; A ridiculously tragic Gitmo story from Andy Worthington; Spain greatly curbs “universal jurisdiction” law to protect U.S torturers; Gareth Porter on the B.S. report from the U.S. military “investigation into the Farah Massacre it carried out May 4; Torture in Israel; Sheldon Richman on healthcare, democracy, and American politics; and more…
The Obama Administration is drafting an executive order to allow indefinite detention. (WaPo)
Democrats’ top guy, Agim Ceku, who”commanded ‘ethnic cleansing’ operations in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, then headed an organization labeled ‘terrorist'” was reportedly ordered released on Thursday. See Jeremy Scahill’s article on this “Parliamentary thug” here.
Gitmo scholar, Andy Worthington, wrote about the most ridiculous Gitmo case of a man recently released, Abdul Rahim al-Ginco. The man was tortured by al-Qa’ida and the Taliban, then kidnapped to Gitmo for his ties to both. (AntiWar.com)
Amnesty International calls for the U.S. to prosecute torture abuses, as well as two of its collaborators, Saudi Arabia and Poland. Saudi Arabia has stepped up abuses to “fight terror” and Poland has allowed for secret C.I.A. prisons, knows as “black sites”.
The Spanish Parliament voted 341-2 to approve changing its “universal jurisdiction” law to only apply to Spaniards, perpetrators within Spain’s borders, or crimes link to Spain. Amnesty International wrote: “A clear message has been sent out, that Spain is more concerned with not offending certain powerful governments than with ending the impunity enjoyed by criminals.” (BBC)
“US-AFGHANISTAN: Airstrike Report Belies ‘Blame Taliban’ Line” (IPS). Gareth Porter’s analysis of the U.S. report on its airstrike attack on the Farah province May 4 that killed as many as 147 civilians. Dr. Porter reports the report was “carefully edited to save the U.S. command in Afghanistan the embarrassment of having to admit that earlier claims blaming the massive civilian deaths on the ‘Taliban’ were fraudulent”.
After a strike that killed at least 80 people at a funeral, Pakistan calls for the U.S. to stop using drones to attack Pakistan regions, calling them “counter-productive”. (AntiWar.com)
“Khobar Towers Investigated: How a Saudi Deception Protected Osama bin Laden” is a five-part series by Dr. Gareth Porter, of which three have been published at IPS:
Part I: “Al Qaeda Excluded from the Suspects List” – 22 Jun 09
Part II: “Saudi Account of Khobar Bore Telltale Signs of Fraud” – 23 Jun 09
Part III: “U.S. Officials Leaked a False Story Blaming Iran” – 24 Jun 09
Part IV: “FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of bin Laden Role” – 25 Jun 09
Part V: “Freeh Became ‘Defence Lawyer’ for Saudis on Khobar” – 26 Jun 09
“Prisoners Shackled, and Hidden Away” by Mel Frykberg (IPS): “The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has accused the Israeli security forces of deliberately shackling Palestinian prisoners in a painful and dangerous manner, amounting to a form of torture…. The U.N. report also condemned Israel’s refusal to allow access to a secret detention centre known only as ‘Facility 1391’.”
The Nixon Administration tried to put pressure on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1969-70, records reveal. (Ha’aretz) At present day, Israel has 75-400 nuclear weapons. Israel has yet to sign the treaty nor allow for inspections of its facilities.
The Quartet of Middle East mediators (Russia, E.U., U.S, and U.N.) is urging a total settlement freeze. Israel scoffed at the call. The Quartet’s representative Fmr. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that the election of Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu “could be in a strong position to deliver” a Palestinian state because it’s perceived that his party is the hurdle to jump. The reasoning is similar to that of Zbignew Brzezinski). Hamas rejects Mr. Netanyahu’s offer for a state where Palestinians don’t control the body that makes a state, a “state”: the monopoly of force. A “demilitarized Palestinian state”, as Mr. Netanyahu wants would not be a Palestinian state, but a state of the body holding that monopoly, which Israel wants to be itself. Therefore, the offer is bullshit, not Hamas rejectionism.
Glenn Greenwald comments on the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in response to over 11,500 Palestinians kidnapped by Israel.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami says opposition leaders are “worthy of execution”. (Telegraph)
Iran gov’t-backed Press TV is refuting the “anonymous” caller to CNN’s statement that Wednesday was a “massacre”. (Press TV) Mir Housein Mousavi blasted the State media and the State for kidnapping 70 social scientists to unknown locations.
Ali Gharib wrote a great piece at IPS stating foreign intervention in Iran would just turn Iran’s claims that the protests are covert operations from abroad into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The U.S. appointed Farah Pandith as the first Special Representative to Muslim Communities — a diplomat/envoy to the Muslim World. (BBC)
“The Misrepresentation of Healthcare Reform” by Sheldon Richman is not only a scathing criticism of current healthcare reform efforts, but also democracy and the American political “process” of representation: “Why should the people get something through government–that is, at the point of a gun–simply because they want it? We make that assumption reflexively, but why? Fifty-seven percent may be willing to pay higher taxes for universal health insurance, but let’s not overlook what else they are willing to do: tax the 37 percent who aren’t… [I]n our system the majority rules. Standing alone, this principle sounds rather ominous, so the speaker usually hastens to add, ‘but the rights of the minority are protected.’ But really now, which is it? Do the majority rule or are the rights of the minority protected? I really don’t see how you can have it both ways.” (FEE)
Healthcare industry spending $1.4m a day on lobbyists. (Raw Story)
“The Tragedy of Chavez” by Brian Nelson (CSM) is about Venezuela’s power shift from the “capitalist elite” to the political elite “with little regard for Venezuelans”.
Blood diamonds are on the rise again in Africa. (The Independent)
U.S. is sending arms to the Somalia puppet gov’t. Marina Litvinsky and Jim Lobe analysis at IPS.
India to have a national I.D. card in three years. On the same day it’s announced that 50 billionaires (out of a population of 1.1bn) own 20% of India’s wealth, its gov’t announces its plan to launch a national I.D. card to (of course) to improve “the delivery of social services, subsidies and other government programs”. (NYT). Oh yeah, it’s also “being done primarily to provide better security in the country, especially in the wake of recent militant attacks”. (BBC). The benevolent packaging of it all makes one easily forget that the person brought into the gov’t to head this project is “one of India’s most successful technology entrepreneurs”. The State cronyism that created the wealth gap is supposed to solve it? And months after a brutal terrorist attack, you want a tech-head to launch your national I.D. card? I have three years to seriously consider doing away with my Indian citizenship. Mike Gogulski might have it right. (Little Alex)
Becky Avers on the effort for a national I.D. in the U.S. It failed when it was called, “REAL ID”. Now it’s under the name, “PASS ID”. (LRC)
The SCOTUS ruled 8-1 that an Arizona school crossed the line strip-searching a 13 -year old girl... 8-1?!!! Bloomberg reports: “Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter from that part of the court’s decision. He said the court was making a “deep intrusion” into the administration of public schools and their efforts to fight the scourge of drug abuse.” The rent-a-cop’s were looking for prescription-strength ibuprofen. What a sick fuckin’ tool.
The end of free speech starts with a Nazi. Ass-clown Neo-Nazi radio host, Hal Turner, was arrested by the federal stormtroopers for writing on his blog that judges who don’t defend the Constitution “deserve to be killed” and paraphrased Thomas Jefferson for his rationale. Mr. Turner, the ass-clown he is, is well within his right to protest this non-violently in a blogpost. He wasn’t conspiring with anyone or hiring anyone, as far as I know to kill anyone. He was expressing that judges who protect the State is preventing someone’s natural right to defend one’s self deserves to be killed. Given their abuse of authority and enabling such a gross violation of a human right, I agree with Mr. Turner and would extend that to Justice Thomas. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be unjust. It would be stupid and counter-productive because it grants an excuse for the State to thought-police us even more and people are too stupid to see through the doublethink to defend their rights in such a circumstance. I wouldn’t do it or condone anyone killing a judge. I’m just saying that in such cases where they enable the stormtroopers to kill, kidnap, assault, and steal from people, it wouldn’t be unjust. (Little Alex)
“Gun Control: What Is the Agenda?” by Paul Craig Roberts (LRC): “As the first successful gun control advocates were criminals, I have often wondered what agenda lies behind the well-organized and propagandistic gun control organizations and their donors and sponsors in the US today. The propaganda issued by these organizations consists of transparent lies.”
In French Guiana, 15-year-old Roger Bosse died on a cross during an exorcism in 2005. Four of the boy’s church members were arrested yesterday, facing up to 12 years in jail. But the 16% of Americans who are “non-religious” are threats to mankind. Not the people who believe in the talking snake, magic underwear, sacred rocks, cannibalism (only on Sundays), the talking bush on fire, the ramblings of a former taxman in solitary confinement, and the delusions of an exiled old yahoo. (Little Alex)
Farrah Fawcett’s only son wasn’t at her bedside when she passed away. Her death was expected and her partner and best friend were ther, but her son wasn’t because he’s locked up for drugs. (h/t: David Kramer)
Sinopec, China’s second largest oil company, has acquired reserves in Iraq and Africa in a $7.2bn merger with Swiss-based Addax Petroleum. Sinopec is a subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corporation, Asia’s largest oil refiner. (AJE)
A.I.G. subsidiaries with partner with the New York Federal [sic] Reserve by swapping $25bn in debt. (FT)
U.S. economy contracted by 5.5% in the first quarter of 2009. (FT)
Guess who wrote this today: “Inflation is a special concern over the next decade given the pending avalanche of government debt about to be unloaded on world financial markets. The need to finance very large fiscal deficits during the coming years could lead to political pressure on central banks to print money to buy much of the newly issued debt.”… Alan Greenspan for the FT.
Japan exports are falling 41% year-on-year. WOWOWOWOWOW! (FT)