Glenn Greenwald continues to slam NPR for banning the word “torture” and ducking his interview offers; Philip Giraldi on America’s obsession with creating enemies; 120,000 troops to remain in Iraq at the end of the year; Israel used Palestinian children as human shields in the Gaza Massacre; Afghan and Pakistani civilians grow colder toward the U.S. are it keeps killing people all around them; The Washington Post selling lobbyists access to Obama Administration and Congress; and more…
National Public Radio (NPR) barred usage of the word “torture”, opting for “enhanced interrogation” as the Newspeak term for the script. Their ombudsman wrote a column justifying the policy, but refuses an interview with Glenn Greenwald to discuss the issue. Mr. Greenwald commented on the policy and NPR’s refusal to comment further here, days ago, and here, today.
“If you’ve been in shackles for seven years every day, you will go to Chad, you will go anywhere,” said Mohamed el-Gharani, recently freed from Gitmo to Chad, doesn’t speak the local language, has problems getting an ID, is stuck ‘in limbo’. Mr. Gharani was detained by the U.S. in Pakistan in 2001 at the age of 14. (BBC)
The U.K. banned a ‘tell-all’ book about the gov’t anti-terror techniques, written by the former head of the Metropolitan police’s terror squad that due to release today. (PTV)
“Enemies All Around Us” by Philip Giraldi takes a look at how propaganda manufactures enemies everywhere, focusing on Hizbollah. (AntiWar.com)
120,000 U.S. troops to remain in Iraq by Jan. 2010 of the 131,000 currently stationed, according to Iraq commander Gen. Ray Odierno. Pres. Obama campaigned on the pledge to have all 168,000 troops there in Sept. 2007 out of Iraq before Jan. 2010, then by May 2010. (AntiWar.com) Iraq’s civilian death toll “nearly tripled” in last month, as Mr. Obama praised Iraq’s “dramatic improvements. A public referendum could force U.S. troops out early.
The FBI released transcripts of its interviews with Saddam Hussein with some redactions, including the a complete redaction of the last interview. (Raw Story)
Amnesty International’s reports Israel used Palestinian children as human shields in its Operation Cast Lead, which initiated a massacre on 1,400 Gazans in 22 days earlier this year. The report stated: “[M]uch of the destruction was wanton and resulted from direct attacks on civilian objects as well as indiscriminate attacks that failed to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilian objects.” (AntiWar.com)
Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire spoke with Amy Goodman at DN! from her jail cell in Israel after being kidnapped by the Israeli Navy delivering aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. See the interview here.
Israel tanks killed a 17-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza. (PTV)
“The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan,” reports Carlotta Gall (NYT): “Villagers in some districts have taken up arms against foreign troops to protect their homes or in anger after losing relatives in airstrikes…. Villagers interviewed in late June said that they preferred to be left alone under Taliban rule and complained about artillery and airstrikes by foreign forces…. In many places, people have never seen or felt the presence of the Afghan government, or foreign forces, except through violence.” Most publications ran propaganda pieces showing the operation 4,000 Marines storming today as a noble effort — like the LAT, CSM and FT, as well as a separate piece in the NYT daily edition. I’m quoting the much less-read afternoon update. Nancy Youssef reports this surge into Helmand province’s intent is “showing Afghan civilians that coalition forces can protect them from Islamist militants”. Talk about self-defeating.
“Pakistanis Reject U.S. ‘Aid’ Flights, As Lawsuit is Filed Against U.S. Drone Attacks” by Jeremy Scahill: “Top US officials (and the [NYT]) make no apologies for the fact that the aid is intended primarily as a counter-insurgency program…. [A] Pakistani human rights lawyer filed a petition at the country’s Supreme Court asking it to order the Pakistani government to undertake a “comprehensive report” on U.S. drone attacks against the country…. Obama has been bombing Pakistan since the third day of his presidency.” (RebelReports)
A reportedly drunk soldier was kidnapped and sold to a local clan in Afghanistan. (AntiWar.com)
A false claim that Iran is aiding the Taliban continues to be repeated by The Pentagon and State Dept., reports Gareth Porter. (IPS)
The U.K. has paid or is assessing payments in 104 Afghan civilian claims. One woman’s death resulted in a $210 payout, two children dead resulted in a $10k payout. The highest was a $39,752 payout for a “‘multiple fatality’ incident”. A $100k claim of reparations for the deaths of five adults and 15 children was rejected. (BBC)
WaPo publisher Katharine Weymouth cancelled an event at her home to give “lobbyists off-the-record access to ‘those powerful few’ — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors”, reports Mike Allen (POLITICO). For $25k-$250k, you could covertly lobby the government with the help of WaPo hosting the “Salon”. Of course, the question is: How does WaPo have this luxury to sell access to the most powerful people in Washington? (h/t: Jeremy Scahill)
Iranian opposition leaders continue to call for more protests. Mir Housein Mousavi claims to have evidence he won the disputed Iran election almost a month ago and has declared the current government as illegitimate. (AntiWar.com)
Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari has been kidnapped by Iran since June 21 without access to legal representation. Mr. Bahari is being held for his part in the “Western media effort to promote irresponsible reporting in Iran”. (Raw Story)
“North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles in an attempt to persuade the U.S. to enter direct talks, says Pavel Leshakov, director of the International Center for Korean Studies at Moscow State University.” (RT)
In Novemeber, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei will be succeeded by Yukiya Amano from Japan. (AJE)
“The new Honduran government… passed an emergency decree that limits public gatherings following the military-led coup that removed President Manuel Zelaya from office,” in reaction to protests, allowing for the gov’t to have people “detained for 24 hours and continues a nighttime curfew”. The interim dictator, Roberto Micheletti, has issued a warrant for the ousted president. The Organization of American States issued a 72 hour deadline for Pres. Zelaya to be re-instated, if Honduras wants to keep its membership in the alliance. (WaPo)
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe could be re-elected using the same Constitution change pursued by Honduran President Zelaya, Liliana Segura points out. The same Mr. Uribe who was Pres. Bush’s favorite South American despot whom the American Neo-Con’s love and the same Mr. Zelaya who the same Neo-Con’s are condemning — saying, “In spite of what you hear, it’s a Great day in Honduras!” in response to the military coup ousting Mr. Zelaya because the “final straw came when [Zelaya] decided to change the constitution,” which Mr. Zelaya did not do, nor was he demanding by decree. Activists are protesting the new gov’t as illegitimate and claiming human rights violations.
The U.N.-backed Congolese military is engaging in more atrocities against civilians — namely, rape — than rebel forces, reports Human Rights Watch (BBC) The report states: “Soldiers have deliberately attacked civilians whom they accused of collaborating with the FDLR [Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda], raped women and girls, looted, unlawfully forced civilians to act as porters, and torched homes in villages that they claim harbored FDLR supporters.”
New People’s Bank of China policy will allow select companies to invoice and settle trade transactions in renminbi, in a step toward moving away from using the doomed U.S. dollar. (FT)
The Delhi High Court in India ruled that “Section 377, which criminalizes ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature,’ will no longer apply to consensual sexual activity among adults”. There are calls for the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) to respect the ruling and remove Section 377 from the penal code. (HRW)