Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

WikiLeaks founder recently hinted at ‘anarchistic’ leaking of documents relating to a deadly 2009 U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan and the future leaking of wide-reaching detailed spying ‘affecting many people and organizations.

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The Sri Lankan defense minister has threatened to hang a parliament member, recently resigned from the S.L.A.F., if he exposes the country’s war crimes against the Tamils. The suppression of the war crimes during the country’s quarter-century civil war and the government’s forging alliances have dangerous potential.

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Danny Schechter, former CNN and ABC producer, discusses how the State of Israel controls the narrative—by kidnapping all of the witness, while monopolizing the space in the media for quoted ‘officials’ (9:20):

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The Israel Navy prepares to stop a flotilla from heading to Gaza with thousands of tons of aid. Activists and politicians intend on breaking the unlawful blockade of the Strip. Mohamed Vall reports at Al Jazeera (3:11):

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Police in Istanbul, Turkey fired tear gas and broke out the hose on anti-globalization protesters of the annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) meetings.

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The BBC interviewed 27 former detainees of the U.S. that were held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, almost all described being tortured. (more…)

Since the Spaniards conquered the Bolivian region in the early 16th century, the indigenous have been subject to tyranny of the minority. Three years after electing its first indigenous president, Bolivia approves a constitution in accordance with the indegenous majority. (more…)

Analysis of the humanitarian crisis, Israel’s responsibility, the US role in the attacks, aftermath, and peace process. (more…)

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Daily Kos

The New York Times’ (NYT) New Years Eve editorial of 2008 commented on Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) call for criminal justice reform. On top of the typical NYT ignorant statement that “billions of dollars now being spent on prisons each year could be used in far more socially productive ways,” instead of the logical statement that billions of dollars that don’t exist that can’t be repaid are being borrowed at interest to waste within our prison system, contributing to the hidden, most regressive tax in US monetary policy — inflation — the editorial doesn’t make the most logical (yet, simplest)  proposal to reform the US criminal justice system: cut crime.

What’s the easiest, cheapest, most efficient way to have less crime? Less laws. Something can’t be criminal if there’s no law prohibiting it.

The NYT’s own International Herald Tribune (IHT) published an article further exposing US prison population statistics that would make anyone raise their eyebrows:

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)

San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner.

The United States comes in first, too, on a more meaningful list from the prison studies center, the one ranked in order of the incarceration rates. It has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. (If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.)

The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate.

… The United States, in fact, has relatively low rates of nonviolent crime. It has lower burglary and robbery rates than Australia, Canada and England.

People who commit nonviolent crimes in the rest of the world are less likely to receive prison time and certainly less likely to receive long sentences. The United States is, for instance, the only advanced country that incarcerates people for minor property crimes like passing bad checks, [James Whitman, a specialist in comparative law at Yale] wrote.

Efforts to combat illegal drugs play a major role in explaining long prison sentences in the United States as well. In 1980, there were about 40,000 people in American jails and prisons for drug crimes. These days, there are almost 500,000.

Change.org ranks the legalization of marijuana and ending the drug war higher in vote tally than other government policies that defy common sense and liberty like ending corporate personhood, repealing the Patriot [sic] Act, and reversing Pres. Bush’s decider-in-chief Executive Orders.

The September 2008 Zogby/Inter-American Dialogue Survey found that:

  • 76% of American voters believed that War on Drugs was failing, including 89% of those who intended to vote for Barack Obama in the coming months.
  • 27% of likely voters favored legalization of, at least, “some drugs” as the best approach.
  • 13% believed “that the best way to fight the war on drugs is to prevent production of narcotics in the country of origin.”

Bear in mind that this is highly indoctrinated public that isn’t, in any way, well informed when 76% view the War on Drugs’ progress in such a negative fashion and only 27% favor some legalization. Imagine if the people were better informed of the US’s embarrassing prison population and the tens of billions wasted every year to maintain it. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated “that legalizing drugs could save federal, state and local governments in the United States about $44 billion per year.” (This doesn’t include the billions to fund the war internationally.)

The biggest US funded drug war failure, outside of the atrocities committed to prop up dictators playing the drug war game and violently removing them from power when the CIA was done with them, is Mexico. The Mexican government continues to play our [sic] game, in theory and rhetoric, but government officials at every level of the hierarchy are overtly playing both sides of the coin and the drug cartels have infiltrated the Mexican attorney general’s office.

Mexicans polled by the BBC showed:

  • Thirty-seven per cent of those surveyed said the influence of the drugs cartels had made them think of leaving Mexico.
  • Drug trafficking was considered the second most important concern in their lives after corruption.
  • Drugs came above worries about the economy, general crime, education and social inequality.

According to the survey results, an apparently contradictory picture emerges of whether Mexicans agree with the government’s policy on fighting the drugs war.

  • More than half of those surveyed (53%) thought the government was doing better than last year
  • A strong majority (68%) agreed with the policy of involving the military in the fight against drug trafficking
  • More than half (58%) thought the war on drugs could be won.

However, an overwhelming majority (80%) thought the government should consider seeking other alternatives to end the problem. The respondents were also divided on whether the legalisation of drugs should be considered – 44% said yes, and 46% said no.

El Universal, a daily Mexican publication, estimates 8,463 deaths in the Mexican Drug War since the beginning of 2007.

With over $10 trillion in debt, another $10 trillion to fly off the printing press through recent bailouts, nearly $1 trillion to be printed in an Obama stimulus package, and Americans barely being able to heat their homes, let alone stay in them, and these are American tax dollars and debts at work.

One must wonder — with all of this loss and no gain in the drug war and overpopulated prisons in the US — why?

Enter a world of slavery that eclipses the theoretical postulations of wage-slavery: prison labor:

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. “This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors.”

According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people. [read the full article]

Laws that criminalize acts that don’t infringe on the natural rights of others serve no purpose other than to empower the State. The State is a monopoly of morality where you can dissent, in many cases, but to defy means running the risk of being confined. The State makes the laws and those that don’t consent to follow certain laws and don’t violate any individuals are violently coerced into submitting to tyrannical majoritarianism — under the Newspeak guise of the word ‘democracy’.

You’ve just seen for yourself how the State steals from us our natural sovereignty to make decisions for ourselves with the end result of slavery right here in 2009. You’ve read why Mexicans flood to leave their country and become another class of slave labor in the US. These are relatively small percentages of the habitats within the US borders, but in theory, US law applies to all and if a law’s nature is to exploit one person’s individual sovereignty, under tyrannical majoritarianism, that law exploits all who tacitly consent because the existence of a law serves as its legimitacy. Therefore, the oppressive law can used as precedent to justify a law that exploits anyone.

If that nature is slavery, we’re all enslaved because we’re robbed of our voice, our choice, our consent.

What makes you so special?:



Daily Kos

After exaggerated sabre-rattling from India’s responses to the Mumbai Attacks (26/11), Pak began massive troop mobilization from the Afghan-Pak to the Indo-Pak border and concerns itself with Indian response:

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi reported today that neighboring India “has activated their forward air bases,” and urged dialogue between the two nations to solve their long-standing disputes over Kashmir. Minister Qureshi suggested that if India returned its military to “peacetime positions” it would send a positive signal. The address echoed calls from Pakistani General Parvez Kayani to avoid a military confrontation with India.

Yet Qureshi’s Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, denied that India had made any moves to mobilize its forces along the Pakistani border. “We have not created any tension,” Mukherjee insisted, adding that “there is no question of mobilization or escalation of tension” between the two sides.

Yet Senator John McCain was also quoted yesterday as saying “the Indians are on the verge of some kind of attack on Pakistan,” and warning that “we’re going to be in for a very difficult time there.” The Indian government has repeatedly insisted that any concerns about war are being deliberately fomented by the Pakistani government for its own gain, but as troops remain on alert on both sides of the border it seems a situation worth continuing to watch.

Sen. McCain (R-AZ) and Pak’s concerns are not invalid. Early last week, Pak went on ‘red alert’ after India mobilized troops and the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘rushed’ to Pak.

Neither country can afford a war and Pak’s military head, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said “there is a ‘need to de-escalate and avoid conflict'” and the “focus should be on ‘peace and security in the region.'” This week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) is in New Delhi and Islamabad to aid in the mediation of the two nuclear rivals, along with the Chinese and the Saudis:

Iran is turning out to be the first country of the region that has decided to play a mediatory role at the head of the state level between Pakistan and India.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is dashing to New Delhi early this week for talks with the Indian leaders with regard to the alarming situation prevailing in the neighbourhood. He may visit Islamabad immediately after concluding his discussions in the Indian capital. The Iranian president, who is deeply concerned about the rising tension between the two neighbouring nuclear states on its southeast, has been maintaining interaction with both the countries termed friends by Tehran.

The Iranian president will convert his endeavour into shuttle diplomacy if he gets encouraging signals from both the capitals. Pakistan will welcome such an effort. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehar Mottaki has already spoken to his Pakistani and Indian counterparts about the situation separately.

The US reaction would be watched with fair amount of interest in the world capitals since it might not come out in public to offer its reaction on the move, they remarked. It is pertinent to mention that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi has already said that Iran is ready to defuse tension between Pakistan and India over the recent Mumbai attacks. “The ongoing tension between the two neighbouring countries would only benefit terrorists,” said Qureshi adding that he had talked to his Iranian counterpart who has expressed his deep concern over the Indo-Pak tension.

“Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told me in a telephone conversation that he had spoken to Indian Foreign Minister Paranab Mukherjee and asked India to show restraint,” Qureshi said. He added that Iran believes that any instability in South Asia affects the whole region and even beyond.

Manouchehr Mottaki, in his conversation with Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed that Tehran will remain engaged with both Pakistan and India to defuse tensions between the two neighbour countries. Mottaki noted that he has also discussed the issue with his Indian counterpart Paranab Mukherjee and urged India to show restraint. Iran’s foreign minister warned that the tensions in south Asia would affect the region and even beyond. During the telephone conversation, Qureshi said that Pakistan had also been a victim of terrorism and was engaged in the fight against this menace.

Mr. Qureshi (right) adds:

“Dialogue is in the interest of both the countries – we should sit across the table and also use diplomatic channels.”

He said Pakistan was making “two specific proposals” – that India de-activate its forward air bases and relocate its ground forces to “peacetime positions”….

“This will send a positive signal and reduce tensions in the region.”

He said that Pakistan was ready to co-operate with India in tracking down the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks….

“Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement that evidence will be shared with us once they have concluded their own investigation vindicates our earlier stand that we haven’t yet been provided with any evidence,”

He described Mr Mukherjee’s statement as a “positive development” and said recent telephone contacts between the two countries would “help defuse the situation”….

“If India de-activates its forward airbases which it recently activated, we will consider this a positive signal,” he said.

“Second, Indian ground forces that moved forward (following the Mumbai attacks) should be relocated to peace positions.

“Pressure and coercion between neighbours tend to complicate matters – rather than resolve them – and should be avoided.

“Mr Mukherjee said India had done nothing to escalate tension.

“[This] is not an India-Pakistan issue. This is an attack perpetrated by elements emanating from the land of Pakistan and the Pakistan government should take action against it.”

Lashkar-e-Ta’iba (LeT)/Ja’amat-ud-Dawa(JuD) chiefs have been in Pak’s custody and are alleged to have masterminded 26/11, but has held off on extradition. Top LeT commander, Zahar Shah, captured in a Kashmir raid earlier this month has confessed to the Mumbai attacks:

Pakistani security officials said Shah made the confession while under interrogation.

Shah told interrogators that he was one of the main planners of the assault and that he had spoken to the attackers during the rampage to give them advice and keep them focused.

The admission, the officials said, was backed up by intercepts of a phone call between Shah and one of the attackers at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, the site of a 60-hour confrontation with Indian security forces.

The report came as the US was mounting pressure on Islamabad to extradite the alleged mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks, Zaki Al Rahman Lakhvi, to India.

“The Americans are believed to have given Pakistan a taped conversation Lakhvi allegedly had with the gunmen involved in the attacks,” the Dawn newspaper said, quoting diplomatic sources.

Lakhvi and Shah were picked up during a crackdown, which followed a UN ban on the Jamat-ud Daawa – a front group for the LeT – in the aftermath of attacks on Indian financial hub.

The confession adds further pressure for Pak to extradite and not feed India more ammunition for its Newspeak — most notably the BJP’s allegations of Pak being a TerrorState.

Urdu Daily has made the, thusfar, unsubstantiated claim that Mossad, CIA, and the BJP were behind 26/11. The AP has reported of rogue police agents within India. Pak Alert Press has followed the conspiracy claim, as has PrisonPlanet.com. Sayyid and I don’t subscribe to these claims, but will follow them as they make their claims, as India’s central intel agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), is fixated against ISI.

We are firm in the involvement of Pak’s rogue Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 26/11, but emphasize that ISI is a rogue agency, acting without the authorization of Pak’s civlian PPP government. I’ve reported my research of ISI here and will continue to battle Newspeak in differentiating ISI from Pak’s civilian government.

We stand firm in our condemnation of ISI as the only government organization that should be held accountable for their role in 26/11via their support of Paki terror groups. We’ll continue our support for dismantling the agency and I’ve made a loose, informal suggestion on how to do so:

And you really can’t ask for too much help from outside of your own house to clean it of it of an intelligence agency because you’re vulnerable to your helpers installing an intelligence agency more loyal to the helpers than the State they’re supposed to serve. This wouldn’t be direct, but say China helped the Pak rid itself of ISI. You can be for damned sure that China would only do so with the agreement of heavily increased intelligence sharing and a silent veto power over the agency’s hierarchy. It’s just the cynical nature of the game.

If the Paki people want to take ISI’s threat to them seriously, as they’ve overwhelmingly shown in their elections of two dovish, populist, socialists as president and PM, they’ll continue to do so in Parliament and lobby strong for social liberties in terms of self-defense, domestic surveillance, and decentralized power under those basic rights. The people aren’t bad, but they’ve become accustomed to a certain way of life under a dictator and it’s difficult to overcome the cultural influences of political organizations in Iran, the Taleban, and the Palestinian factions that veer toward Sharia Law.

That said, Pakistan is a relatively liberal people, who favor socialist economic policies, but at something closer to a consensus than the relatively laissez-faire West. If they can exploit the geopolitics to progress economically, their faith in those desires will strengthen, but the civilians will have to be committed to putting restrictions on their intelligence agencies — not succumbing to fear when ISI allows a domestic attack for the sole reason of strengthening itself as an authoritative institution. It’s the only way I can see dismantling it.