Monday, March 3, 2008

Haditha, Congressional and other War Crimes

Haditha war crimes case has hearing on Tuesday

A motions hearing will be held Tuesday at Camp Pendleton for a lieutenant charged with hampering the investigation of alleged war crimes in Haditha, Iraq.

First Lt. Andrew Grayson is charged with making false official statements and obstructing justice in connection with a squad of Camp Pendleton Marines who killed 24 Iraqi civilians on Nov. 19, 2005, in Haditha.

The squad members committed those killings after a roadside bomb struck their convoy, killing one Marine and wounding two others.

Prosecutors accuse Grayson, an intelligence officer, of ordering a Marine to destroy photos showing the dead Iraqis. They also contend that he tried to fraudulently separate from the Marine Corps.

In other Haditha news, the trial for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich could be postponed indefinitely while prosecutors appeal a judge's ruling that they can't obtain outtakes from an interview Wuterich gave to the CBS program “60 Minutes.” Wuterich led the squad that killed the Iraqi civilians.

A Camp Pendleton spokesman said he couldn't confirm that Wuterich's court-martial won't start March 10.

Lessons learned from the war
The Geneva Conventions define the following actions as war crimes — “murder, ill treatment of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages.”

In Article 35 the document expands to say, “In any armed conflict, the right of parties to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited. It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment.”

We know of the United States' use of indiscriminant cluster bombs, environmentally disastrous radioactive depleted uranium munitions, torture and sexual humiliation in detention centers in Iraq. Thus we are implored by the signers of the Geneva Conventions and the framers of the Nuremburg Principles, if not bound by international law, to intervene in order to end this crime against humanity.

The Nuremberg Principles proclaim, “individuals have international duties which transcend national obligations of obedience.” What do these duties look like in regards to the war in Iraq? How do we respond to crimes of war being committed today?

Carol Davidek-Waller: Congressional Responsibility for War Crimes
The Congressional Democrats' stubborn insistence that Bush and Cheney leave the White House through the front door, like honorable men who served their nation with distinction, is baffling.

[ ... ]

 My second hunch is that it's all about the war crimes. It's a long and winding road, but there are some serious implications for Congress if an investigation is launched. The illegality of the Iraq invasion is going to be front and center.

The head of the UN declared the invasion of Iraq illegal. Waging illegal war is the most serious war crime there is. It's a capital crime. This isn't just international law, it's domestic law as well.

The way the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been conducted is rife with additional war crimes; the use of illegal weapons, human rights violations, torture, destruction of civilian infrastructure, seizing resources, collective punishment (Fallujah), and failure to protect civilian life are all war crimes. Even the failure to count "enemy" dead is a war crime.

But it isn't just the perpetrators who take the fall in the case of war crimes. Failure to prevent a war crime when you have knowledge of them is in itself a war crime. The German Minister of Information was hung for just such crimes. He didn't send anyone to concentration camps or invade any nation. His activities made those things possible. He was fully aware of what was going on.

Every member of Congress that has voted for the war (there is no preemptive war that isn't a war crime) and to continue the military occupation of Iraq is implicated. They are the ones making the war crimes possible by funding them and they are fully aware of their illegality.

The Geneva Conventions are not "quaint"; they are U.S. law. It appears that not only have the president and vice president violated domestic statutes, but also so has Congress. An investigation is certain to highlight these uncomfortable truths. Isn't it just possible that members of Congress, many of whom are lawyers, are very aware that they bear responsibility for Iraq.

The conflict of interest in asking a Congress who overwhelmingly voted to launch this war and have continued to support it in the face of incontrovertible evidence of its illegality is a staggering conflict of interest.

War Crime Trials
The Japanese war criminals were divided into three categories; A, B and C. Class A covered the major war criminals, the select leaders who had planned and conspired to violate international law. These were tried by the International Military Tribunal at Tokyo. Class B comprised some 20 high-ranking military officers charged with command responsibility for troops who had committed atrocities. Class C war criminals were composed of the lower ranking officers and men charged with mistreatment of prisoners of war or relatively minor atrocities. Of this third category some were tried overseas, in the territories were the crimes had been committed, by American, British, Australian, Chinese and other Allied military authorities, but most of the them were tired at Yokohoma by military commissions of the U.S. Eighth Army. Of about 4,200 in this category about 400 were acquitted, some 700 were sentenced to death, and the remainder received varying terms of imprisonment. It seems that all B and C classed have been released from prison.

French war crimes dossier to be submitted to The Hague Court
The secretary general of the national coordination of martyr's sons disclosed that a legal action against war crimes of the French occupation committed in Algeria is to be brought to the International Court of Justice before July 5th 2008, saying a detailed file is being elaborated by the revolutionary family in that frame.
During the regional conference held Thursday in Jijel province, Mr. Khaled Bounedjma said the Lawyer Ben Brahem has been charged of the dossier, while being backed up by several lawyers from France and Spain.
He further said that the dossier is being currently supported by evidences like documents and records unveiling crimes committed in Algeria by the French occupation in the mid 20th century, pointing out that a legal action is to be brought to the UN International Court of Justice, ICJ based in The Hague, Netherlands.

War crimes for trial stressed
Speakers at an international conference in Dhaka on Saturday called for proper documentation of war crimes committed during the independence war in 1971 so that trial of war criminals could be ensured.

They put out the call at the opening ceremony of a two-day conference on 'genocide, truth and justice' organised by the Liberation War Museum at the BRAC Centre Inn.

Former chief adviser to the caretaker government Muhammad Habibur Rahman, also former chief justice, inaugurated the event.

Deputy commander-in-chief in the independence war AK Khandker, Indian researcher on war crimes Ashish Nandy, Cambodian researcher on war crime documentation Farina So and Liberation War Museum trustees Sarwar Ali and Mofidul Hoque spoke on the occasion.

Habibur Rahman in said, 'Fifty-three kinds of crimes, including 13 against human rights and four offences of genocide were committed in the independence war of Bangladesh. Some 5000 killing spots have so far been identified.'

The basic job of a state is to detect crimes and punish criminals and no state can dillydally on issues of trying war criminals, said Habibur Rahman.

'We have failed and we are not even sorry for that… We are a small and poor nation and divided in many groups. This is why we could not even try the war criminals,' he said.

AK Khandker said about 37,400 local war criminals were identified as per the Collaborators Act 1972. 'The government of the time under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman began the process for the trial of the criminals. After his killing on August 15, 1975, the entire process was stopped and is yet to resume.'

The proper documentation of war crimes and the trial of the criminals are most important to establish truth and justice for looking forward and stopping such killings in the future, he said. Scholars and researchers from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Japan are participating in the conference.

Liberia: Women Press for War Crimes Court
A conglomeration of women groups under the banner of the Grand Kru County Women has stressed the need for the establishment of a war crime court to prosecute perpetrators of the Liberian armed conflict on ground that fighters forced them into prostitution and sexual slavery.

In a testimony presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), at the weekend in Barclayville City, Grand Kru County through their spokesperson, Annie Wreh said the court should be similar to the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Clinton's (and Blair's) Kosovo War Crime
Our Kosovo bombing war was a Clinton/Blair/NATO *war crime*. As Henry Kissinger stated in his May 31, 1999 NEWSWEEK article, the Rambouillet Treaty was an ultimatum, not a peace treaty.

FRONTLINE is the first mainline American media organization that I know of to report on Appendix B of Rambouillet. This demanded that NATO troops be allowed to occupy all of Yugoslavia including Serbia and was an unconditional surrender ultimatum Clinton nd Blair knew Milosevich couldn't accept. Nor could even those many, patriotic Serbs who detest Milosevich accept it. According to the FRONTLINE narrator, App. B was *intended* to be unacceptable. In other words, Rambouillet was a treaty made to be refused.

Judging from Bosnia-Herzogovina, without Appendix B the Serbs would have caved in to a fair partitioning of Kosovo after just the threat of nationwide bombing, or maybe a week of it at the most. Indeed, Milosevich's parliament was already on record as welcoming UN intervention.

Enraged by Appendix B and the bombing -- while being assured that we wouldn't intervene on the ground -- the Serbs were free to commit the expected atrocities Clinton, Blair, etc. could then use to justify the war after the fact.

And so 10,000 Albanian and Serb people died, 200,000 mostly innocent Serbian Kosovoans have been ethnically cleansed, and hundreds of thousands have suffered needlessly in Clinton's/NATO's unnecessary war and its aftermath. And by Nuremberg, starting and waging a wrongful war *is* a war crime.

What is more, Albanian Kosovoans are now turning on their NATO "rescuers" (quite like the IRA turned on the British Army after it intervened in Northern Ireland to protect Catholics). In light of Appendix B, Milosevich and his thugs qualify as merely our accomplices to the Kosovoan peoples' grief and tragedy.

Bosnia war crimes court convicts former prison officials
Two former prison officials were convicted of crimes against humanity Thursday by the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the systematic abuse of non-Serb detainees at the Fo?a Correctional Facility during the Bosnian war [JURIST news archive]. The court sentenced Mitar Raševi? and Savo Todovic [indictment, PDF; ICTY case fact sheet, PDF] to eight and twelve years respectively. Both men were first indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 2006, but were transferred to Sarajevo later that year. This was the first time that the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina War Crimes Chamber has found suspects guilty of running a joint criminal enterprise.

'Marked and sorted-out for termination'

...It is important to our overlords that they identify who all of these free-thinking rebellious ants are, in order that they might be marked and sorted-out for termination.

The masters of our universe always follow this pattern in stamping-out resistance to their immoral plans. The American government has carefully planned for the elimination of all those who resist their master plan to dominate all things on this earth. Through covert operations with code names like Phoenix, Condor and Gladio, they have methodically used torture, terrorism and murder to identify and eliminate all potential left/liberal resistance to its ultra right-wing plans for allied nations.

According to researcher John Dinges, at the center of each of these CIA terror campaigns was a data collection system, used to collect the lists for the death squads to target. http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2008/02/cia-paramilitarism-narcotrafficking.html#links The idea was always to use covert agents to artificially stimulate the production of an organized left, in order to identify all those who might one day be compelled to rise in opposition. While the liberal resistance rose-up, the hard-core right (which was a reflection of the US government's belief system) was massively built-up, waiting for the inevitable day of conflict.

In America today, we see the same game plan being playing-out. When the liberal resistance explodes in reaction to the sight of the slaughterhouse, coming into view, then the herd will be culled, removing all the free-thinking trouble-makers who resist the stampede. To that end, lists have been drawn-up of war-resisters, in preparation for the round-up. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316 The Internet was given to the American people for just that purpose.

The American resisters are self-identifying themselves by their Internet searches and activities, in effect, signing their names to subversive lists every time they surf conspiracy or antiwar sites, or dare to express themselves on any forum. This is the sinister motive behind the seemingly benign creation of the Internet. Every technological innovation in communications is co-opted into servicing the malignant government plans through the insertion of "backdoors" and the secret installation of government software. http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9909/03/windows.nsa.02/

The Patriot Act provided the long-awaited opportunity to launch a nationwide dragnet to find the new radicals. Mass surveillance of all the American people was authorized. All phone calls and emails will soon be monitored to compile lists of growing personal networks. http://help.riseup.net/security/about/ This will help the government to identify potential radicals who are not yet politically active, or those who do not use the Internet. All the plans for replacing democracy with the police (martial law, FEMA camps, FISA bill) are steps that have been taken in preparation for the day when the people will justify the use of these fascist measures against them, in reaction to the bombing of Iran, another "false flag" terror attack, a general uprising, or some other undefined "emergencies."

The Internet itself is the "backdoor" into the most private secrets of every web surfer. Not only is the Internet the backdoor, but it serves as an instrument for subversive agitation, for agents provocateurs to cultivate "extremist beliefs systems," and the spreading of radicalization, just as the government claims in its public witch hunt, known as the "Homegrown Terrorism Act." But the real hidden issue, that the grand inquisitors of the homegrown radical hunt will not examine is – how much of the radicalization and the extremist beliefs are the natural products of moral outrage and acts of self-defense, and much of it is the product of secret government agencies' handiwork, meant to inflame a radical leftist movement?

How much of the division today within the antiwar and anti-fascist movements has been caused by covert disinformation agents, sowing half-true government propaganda? How many of the divisions in the 911 Truth Movement were manufactured by these agents of division? The movement cannot unite around a central issue because every issue has been splintered. This is evidence that the government's secret plans are succeeding. If we cannot unite around a common understanding of events, including the identification of the real masters of America, before they give that dreaded final order (for us), then there will be no immovable mass of united Americans standing squarely in the path of their incoming irresistible force...

~ from Death List ~

A Republic in search of Democracy

From We the People versus the Might of the US Government

...A foundation of our Republic is the rule of Law. That Law specifies that Might does not make Right. That the Government is Mightier than any Individual should not matter; the Individual should not be crushed under the onslaught of Her or His Government. The Law treats Government the same as an Individual, in a court of Justice with Trial by Jury. Last time I checked the United States Constitution was officially still the Supreme Law of my country.

"The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury." - Article III, Section 2, Clause 3.

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all." – Pledge of Allegiance, 1892

Former SAS Trooper Ben Griffin refused to continue fighting for the United Kingdom in Iraq in 2006 after observing arrests, interrogations, imprisonment, and "most probably" torture by US Armed Forces against Iraqi civilians. He stated "I did not join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy."1 Last week, he issued a statement charging the joint US/UK task force he served with has "broken International Law, contravened The Geneva Conventions and disregarded the UN Convention Against Torture." He refers to acts of rendering individuals detained by British forces to locations such as Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, Bagram Theatre Internment Facility, Balad Special Forces Base, Camp Nama BIAP and Abu Ghraib Prison where they would knowingly be tortured with partial drowning or electric cattle prods.2 Following his February 29th speech at the London World Against War rally, he was served with an injunction from the UK government limiting his ability to publicly speak about or publish material gained while he was employed as a Trooper. 3

The Iraq War is unconstitutional since Congress never Declared War. The torture Mr. Griffin alleges our Armed Forces committed are not acts of war, they are criminal acts. It is the responsibility of the Legislative Branch to: "To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations; To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." – Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 10-11

In Canton, Ohio, police were summoned to protect Mrs. Hope Steffey from domestic violence. She mistakenly gave the wrong ID, and the police apparently proceeded as if she were the criminal, not the Sovereign US Citizen who summoned her local police force to her aid. She was taken to a prison cell, forcibly stripped of all her clothes and forcibly cavity-searched against her will by male and female deputies.4 Hope Steffey's recent story and disturbing video as aired by WKYC Channel 3.5 If validated, this is in clear violation of the Constitution of the United States as per the below:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." – 4th Amendment

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence." – Article 4, Section 4

(An aside here notes Ohio is soon-to-be site of presidential primaries, and as I write no mention of this alleged travesty was found in MainStreamMedia. Loss of liberty does not appear to be newsworthy.)...

Poll finds Web more appealing to Americans as news source

Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet to get their news, according to a new survey.

While most people think journalism is important to the quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby Interactive online poll showed.

~ more... ~

2 sentenced in '97 Chiapas massacre

A Mexican judge has sentenced two brothers to 26 years in prison for their participation in the 1997 massacre of 45 men, women and children in southern Chiapas state.

Brothers Antonio and Mariano Pucuj were also ordered to pay more than $70,000 in compensation to the victims' families, the human rights group Fray Bartolome de las Casas said Wednesday.

Karla Banos, a spokeswoman for state prosecutors, said the Pucuj brothers are appealing the judge's decision.

Pro-government villagers armed with guns and machetes killed the 45 on Dec. 22, 1997 in an incident known as the Acteal massacre for the town where it occurred.

~ more... ~

27,000 children die every day

"Another child will die in the time it takes to read this sentence. And the death of that child, a child who had a name and a personality, a family and a future, is a rebuke to all humanity. It is no longer necessary. It is therefore no longer acceptable."
State of the World's Children -- UNICEF

According to the video documentary, "A World Without Water," (you can watch it at the bottom of this post) "every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies." Most of these children, under 5 years old, are dehydrated to death -- slowly, excruciatingly.

According to UNICEF, "9.7 million children under five die (every year) four million in the first month of life. Most of these deaths are from preventable and treatable diseases. These children don't die from birth defects or incurable diseases—they die from infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, measles, and other causes that are almost unheard of in our own country. Undernutrition is a key factor in up to half of all child deaths." That's about 27,000 children dying a day from easily preventable or treatable causes. Their parents drown in their own tears.

~ from Multiple 9/11s every day of the year: Why is there no war on this terror? ~


A Muslim expounded on Evolution 800 years before Darwin?

From Letters to the Editor, Dawn.com:

JAWED Naqvi's tribute, 'The question spirit' (Feb 14) on the approaching 200th birth anniversary of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), a British scientist, who laid the foundation of modern evolutionary theory with his concept of the development of all forms of life through the slow-working process of natural selection, is well-timed and admiring.

Although the 'theory of natural selection' is so far to be proved, yet it was Ibn Miskawaya, (932-1030), a renowned Muslim philosopher and historian, who in his famous treatise Al Fawz al asghar has propounded the evolution theory.

Ibn Miskawaya, whose actual name was Abu Ali Ahmed b. Muhammad b. Yakub, was both philosopher and historian and is known to have practised the two disciplines with competence and with resolve.

With the ascendance of Buyid dynasty (961-1039), Iraq and Persia witnessed renewed intellectual activities which produced a generation of scholars such as Ibn Miskawaya (J. L. Kraemer, Humanism in the renaissance of Islam). The cultural revival during the Buyid age has admitted that intellectual activities of the Buyid period in many of its aspects contributed immensely to the humanism and Renaissance in the West.

Interestingly, Akhwan al-Safa (a book referred by Ibn Miskawaya) and Al Fawz al asghar, written by Ibn Miskawaya, where theory of evolution was discussed in detail were never confronted by anyone when these were published. Even during the subsequent period of more than 800 years both these books have remained unchallenged as claimed by Dr Muhammad Hameedullah (1908-2002), a great Islamic scholar of our times, in one of his 12 famous lectures he delivered in Bahawalpur University during 1980. These lectures contain immense knowledge on Islam and at present are available in a book form titled Khutbat-i-Bahawalpur.

According to Dr Hameedullah, Charles Darwin after completing his medical studies was inclined towards religion. He, therefore, got admission in Cambridge where 'Comparative Religion' was taught as a subject. To understand Islam, Darwin also learned the Arabic language. In his letters, which are now printed in a volume, Darwin has mentioned names of his Arabic teachers in great reverence. The above two books were on the catalogue of Cambridge University.

MANZOOR H. KURESHI
Karachi

Occupation 101



http://www.occupation101.com/

U.S. Vets Break Silence on War Crimes

U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are planning to descend on Washington from Mar. 13-16 to testify about war crimes they committed or personally witnessed in those countries.

"The war in Iraq is not covered to its potential because of how dangerous it is for reporters to cover it," said Liam Madden, a former Marine and member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. "That's left a lot of misconceptions in the minds of the American public about what the true nature of military occupation looks like."

Iraq Veterans Against the War argues that well-publicised incidents of U.S. brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not the isolated incidents perpetrated by "a few bad apples", as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern, the group says, of "an increasingly bloody occupation".

[ ... ]

Iraq Veterans Against the War is calling the gathering "Winter Soldier," after a quote from the U.S. revolutionary Thomas Paine, who wrote in 1776: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Organisers say video and photographic evidence will also be presented, and the testimony and panels will be broadcast live on Satellite TV and streaming video on ivaw.org.

Winter Soldier is modeled on a similar event held by Vietnam Veterans 37 years ago.

In 1971, over 100 members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with fellow citizens. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions.

~ more... ~


Mercola on Vaccines, Depression and Neurodegeneration After Age 50

In addition, several additives to vaccines, such as mercury and aluminum, are powerful brain toxins that are known to accumulate in the brain over years and can trigger brain inflammatory/excitotoxic mechanisms. Vaccine contaminants, such as bacteria, mycoplasma and viral fragments can also produce prolonged brain inflammation and neurodegeneration.

Because the elderly already have high levels of inflammatory cytokines, they are at a special risk. The very young (babies and small children) are at a high risk because their brains are undergoing the most rapid development at the very time they receive the greatest number of vaccinations -- the first two years of life. In fact, they receive 22 vaccines during the first year of life, one of which contains a full pediatric dose of mercury.

Like adults, they receive many inoculations (up to 9 inoculations) in one office visit. This is insane and in my estimation, criminal.

Nasal flu vaccines are even worse, because they introduce a live virus into the nasal passages, which can then travel along the olfactory nerves, which leads to the very part of the brain first and most severely affected by Alzheimer's disease. A number of studies have shown that viruses and bacteria can pass along this route to the brain.

In fact, in one study scientists sprayed a bacterium into the nose of mice and observed a rapid development of Alzheimer's type plaques in the mouse's brain.

~ more... ~

Could a new Ice Age be on the way?

During the Little Ice Age, global temperatures dropped sharply. New York Harbor froze hard enough to allow people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island, and in Britain, people reported sighting eskimos paddling canoes off the coast. Glaciers in Norway grew up to 100 meters a year, destroying farms and villages.

But will it happen again?

In 2005, Russian astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov predicted the sun would soon peak, triggering a rapid decline in world temperatures. Only last month, the view was echoed by Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. who advised the world to "stock up on fur coats." Sorokhtin, who calls man's contribution to climate change "a drop in the bucket," predicts the solar minimum to occur by the year 2040, with icy weather lasting till 2100 or beyond.

Observational data seems to support the claims -- or doesn't contradict it, at least. According to data from Britain's Met Office, the earth has cooled very slightly since 1998. The Met Office says global warming "will pick up again shortly." Others aren't so sure.

~ from Solar Activity Diminishes; Researchers Predict Another Ice Age ~

Vitamin D: The New Old Natural Wonder Drug

Hector DeLuca on Vitamin D
The New Old Natural Wonder Drug


A Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Lecture

University of Wisconsin, Madison

FBI Calls "Progressive’s" InfraGard Story "Patently False," Author Responds

I've got the FBI on my case.

Three weeks ago The Progressive published my story on InfraGard, a secretive but large group of business executives that works hand in glove with the FBI.

The article was called “The FBI Deputizes Business.” and we posted it February 8 on our website, and then on the cover of The Progressive's March issue.

In the story, I reported on a whistleblower, himself a member of InfraGard, who told me that InfraGard members had been given permission by the FBI and Homeland Security to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.

Well, on February 15, the FBI issued a press release denouncing the article.

The FBI's Cyber Division Assistant Director Shawn Henry said, “The article's claims are patently false.”

First, Henry nitpicked the headline of the article, saying: “The title, however catchy, is a complete fabrication.” Is it really? FBI Director Mueller himself called InfraGard members “partners in our mission to protect America,” adding that they were his “first line of defense.”

As to the most serious claim, Henry said that “InfraGard members have no extraordinary powers and have no greater right to 'shoot to kill' than other civilians.”

“No greater right”? That's odd language, isn't it?

And it reminded me of a quote from my article from Curt Haugen, CEO of S'Curo Group, and a proud InfraGard member. When I asked him about whether the FBI or Homeland Security agents had told InfraGard members they could use lethal force in an emergency, he said: “That much I cannot comment on. But as a private citizen, you have the right to use force if you feel threatened.”

Note that the FBI did not deny that it ever told InfraGard members that they could “shoot to kill.” All that Henry said was that InfraGard members “have no greater right.” That doesn't exactly blow a hole in my story.

The FBI seemed put out that I did not give enough information about the meeting the whistleblower attended. “Unfortunately, the author of the Progressive article refused even to identify when or where the claimed 'small meeting' occurred in which issues of martial law were discussed,” Henry said in the press release. “If we get that information, the FBI certainly will follow up and clarify any possible misunderstandings.”

The reason I didn't identify where or when the meeting took place is obvious: I didn't want to reveal anything that would expose my whistleblower.

The press release fails to mention, however, that I received confirmation about discussions of “lethal force” from another member of InfraGard, whom I did name.

Nor did the press release dispute any other facts in the article, such as that InfraGard members (more than 23,000 of them) “receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials.”

Nor did it deny that FBI Director Mueller said that InfraGard members could contact the FBI about “disgruntled employees.”

Nor did it respond to the ACLU's concern that InfraGard “may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private sector corporations . . . into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI.”

Nor did it dispel another ACLU concern that InfraGard members have special numbers to call and easier access to telecommunications than other citizens in times of an emergency. “There's no 'business class' in law enforcement,” said the ACLU's Jay Stanley in the original story. “This bears a disturbing resemblance to the FBI's handing out 'goodies' to corporations in return for folding them into its domestic surveillance machinery.”

I stick by every single word of my story. And I call on Congress to investigate InfraGard and to inspect the plans that the FBI may have in store not only for InfraGard but for all of us in times of an emergency.

(Note to researchers and other concerned citizens: The official InfraGard website is at www.infragard.net. But also go to www.infragardmembers.org, and click on “Chapters,” and you can find out who is the private sector president of your local chapter, and who the FBI agent assigned to that chapter is.)

~ go to original article ~

Gender justice and men's involvement

The most promising work in this field is happening at the level of the personal: it concentrates on transforming men's sexual behaviour, challenging violence against women and relations of fatherhood. The pioneering work of organisations like the Instituto Promundo in Brazil, which supports young men to question traditional gender norms and promote gender-equitable behaviours and attitudes, has shown that, yes, men can change. Other organisations, like the Sonke Gender Justice Network in South Africa are taking work with men in exciting new directions, reorienting existing projects aimed at individual men and politicising it in order to promote men's broader mobilisation around structural inequities and injustices. Futhermore, organisations working with men are themselves coming together to facilitate sharing and learning, enabling a stronger, more coherent struggle, as with the recently established "Men Engage" global alliance which seeks to involve men and boys in reducing gender inequalities.

~ from Men and gender justice: old debate, new perspective ~

'The road to totalitarian enslavement is paved with patents'

Now, as the U.S. patent office has allowed corporations to patent life forms and human gene sequences, we are entering a new age where human beings no longer control their own genes. Corporations currently own 20 percent of the human genome, and in the near future, couples who wish to reproduce may be forced to pay intellectual property royalties to wealthy corporations in exchange for the "rights" to copy their own genes through sexual reproduction.

This is not some distant dystopian future I'm describing, by the way: This is present-day reality. Corporations are attempting to exert control over every thing of value that can possibly be patented, from natural botanical medicines invented by Mother Nature to the very seeds of life found in human DNA. The goal in all this? Complete ownership over the human race and every thing of value on the planet.

How corporations intend to enslave the human race

In the future being created by these corporations, you will not only have to pay money to reproduce, you'll also have to pay to grow crops, to fertilize those crops, and to harvest those crops. And once that season is gone, you'll have to pay all over again to buy seeds and pesticides for the next season. Forget about saving seeds or self reliance. The wealthy corporations of the world want the entire population to be dependent on them for food, medicine and even human reproduction. There is no human action that cannot be exploited by corporations for intellectual property claims.

~ from Biopiracy Patents and the Rise of Intellectual Imperialism ~

Trading convenience for human lives

It is true that as people begin to starve they will consume less. When they die they cease to consume altogether. But Stern's unit (a reduction in consumption) incorporates everything from the price of baked beans to the pain of bereavement. He then translates it into a “social cost of carbon”, measured in dollars. He has, in other words, put a price on human life. Worse still, he has ensured that this price is buried among the other prices: when you read that the “social cost of carbon” is $30 a tonne, you don't know - unless you unpick the whole report and its methodology and sources - how much of this is made of human lives.

The poorer people are, the cheaper their lives become. “For example,” Stern observes, “a very poor person may not be 'willing-to-pay' very much money to insure her life, whereas a rich person may be prepared to pay a very large sum. Can it be right to conclude that a poor person's life or health is therefore less valuable?”(7) Up to a point, yes: income, he says, should be one of the measures used to determine the social cost of carbon. Sir Nicholas was by no means the first to use such a formula. What was new was the unthinking enthusiasm with which his approach was greeted.

Stern's methodology has a disastrous consequence, unintended but surely obvious. His report shows that the dollar losses of failing to prevent a high degree of global warming outweigh the dollar savings arising from not taking action. It therefore makes economic sense to try to stop runaway climate change. But what if the result had been different? What if he had discovered that the profits to be made from burning more fossil fuels exceeded the social cost of carbon? We would then find that it makes economic sense to kill people.

[ ... ]

Consider the implications. On one side of the equation human life is being costed. On the other side, the value of delays to passengers is being priced, and it rises according to their wealth. Convenience is weighed against human life. The richer you are, the more lives your time is worth.

~ from An Exchange of Souls by George Monbiot ~

Chomsky: "Which criminals are 'wanted the world over' "

On February 13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hizbollah, was assassinated in Damascus. "The world is a better place without this man in it," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said: "one way or the other he was brought to justice." Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh has been "responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden."

Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as "one of the U.S. and Israel's most wanted men" was brought to justice, the London Financial Times reported. Under the heading, "A militant wanted the world over," an accompanying story reported that he was "superseded on the most-wanted list by Osama bin Laden" after 9/11 and so ranked only second among "the most wanted militants in the world."

The terminology is accurate enough, according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse, which defines "the world" as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that "the world" fully supported George Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan. That may be true of "the world," but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight. In Latin America, which has some experience with U.S. behavior, support ranged from 2% in Mexico to 16% in Panama, and that support was conditional upon the culprits being identified (they still weren't eight months later, the FBI reported), and civilian targets being spared (they were attacked at once). There was an overwhelming preference in the world for diplomatic/judicial measures, rejected out of hand by "the world."...

~ from The Most Wanted List ~

US Companies Linked to Vice-President Cheney Supervised the Transfer of Ukrainian WMD to Iran

On 27-30 November 2006, the Russian news agency Novyi Region published a three-part investigation, signed by Valery Briusov, of the illegal sale of Ukrainian KH-55 cruise missiles to Iran in 2001, which contains new and quite sensational information. 1 According to the news agency, the new information-- which includes copies of the SBU internal correspondence--comes from a “former officer of the SBU” (Ukrainian Security Service), who has accused the Ukrainian leadership in suppressing the report on the investigation prepared by then SBU Chairman Alexander Turchinov in the spring of 2005. In April of that year Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko acknowledged the illegal sale of strategic cruise missiles KH-55 to Iran and China from Ukraine. But Turchinov soon was fired and so far only one member of the criminal group was tried and sentenced to prison, while another suspect, Oleg Orlov, extradicted to Ukraine from the Czech Republic last spring remains “out of his mind.” The news agency quotes its source as rhetorically asking:

Is it believable that two petty middlemen were able to carry out such a grandiose operation, during which several great powers for the first time in history blatantly violated the holy of holies: the international agreements on the non-proliferation of strategic arms? Where are the rest of the people involved? Where are the crews of the heavy transport planes loaded with those missiles, which took off from the airport near Kiev and flew to Iran and China instead of Zhukovskoe, near Moscow? Where are those who allowed these flights? How could these planes cross the borders of several states? Who received them in Iran and China and where did they get afterwards?

Clearly, someone was very interested in hushing up the “affair with KH-55s.” The article then quotes a list of companies which allegedly took part in the conspiracy. The quote comes from a “fragment of the secret letter” by Alexander Turchinov to the Secretary of the National Security Council (NSC), Petr Poroshenko, dated by August 25, 2005 (facsimile of page 4 of the letter is attached):

...under the cover of credit lines for “ZAO Atomstroyexport” (Russia), and [they? - burtsev.ru] guaranteed to the Iranians and the Chinese the transfer of necessary payments through the controlled investment firms CTF Holdings Ltd, AB Holdings Ltd (Gibraltar), ARS Nova Ltd, Volgen Trading Ltd, Alfa Star Ltd, Investworld Ltd, (Cyprus). Isofert Trading INC, Transchem International INC (Panama), EMM Arab Systems Ltd (Cyprus) were used for transactions with the Chinese.

The company Far West Ltd (Switzerland) provided, under the control of Diligence LLC (USA), the general management of this operation and the contacts with the Iranians through its branch office in Tehran.

Тесhnocalty INC and SP-Trade INC, controlled by KBR INC (all from USA) were used for payments to S.H. Heritage Holding Ltd (Cyprus), which acted as financial middleman in contacts with the Iranians, who were represented by SATAK Co Ltd, controlled by the Committee of Foreign Operations of the High Command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Department 140/16 of the Organization of Defense Industry of Iran. 2

This information was obtained from Israeli National Police by the SBU delegation that visited Israel in the summer of 2005. The head of the delegation was General Mikhail Kozhemiakin, one of Turchinov's deputies. The Israelis were happy to share with the Ukrainians what they knew about the KH-55 deal.

In his letter to Poroshenko, Turchinov argues that the list of the companies obtained from Israeli intelligence suggests that this large-scale operation was sanctioned by the governments of Russia, the United States, and Iran. He also points out that the conspiracy assigns Ukraine the role of the chief perpetrator of the crime and that Ukraine's reputation may be badly damaged as the result. To avoid this, he proposed that the NSC considered giving the Ukrainian Parliament the documents that reveal the real organizers of the KH-55 sales.

Instead, in September 2005 Turchinov, Kozhemiakin, and Poroshenko were fired, subjected to smear and threatened with criminal prosecution. It seemed that the “affair with KH-55” was forgotten for good.

The article then quotes a memo from August 2006 by the deputy head of the SBU, Nikolai Kurkin, to his boss. Kurkin writes that he received a request by the first deputy of the Secretary of the NSC, Yurii Tereshchenko, who is also the head of the Ukraine's State Service on Export Control (SSEC), for a copy of Turchinov's report on the illegal sales of KH-55 to China and Iran that Turchinov sent to Poroshenko in August 2005. According to Tereshchenko, the report was not discussed by the NSC and its text had disappeared, with only the cover sheet left, a copy of which Kurkin attached to his memo. Kurkin concludes by arguing that since Turchinov's report contains “information that is damaging to Ukrainian state leaders“ and considering frequent leaks of secret information from the NSC it is not advisable to give Tereshchenko a copy of the report.

According to the source, the SBU then was given the oral order to destroy all the documents received by Kozhemiakin's group from the Israelis and to inform the NCS that “Turchinov's report never existed.” The source also explained that the SBU officers made copies of Turchinov's report as precaution and sent them to a number of addressees, including in the United States.

The Organizers

The article points out as organizers of the illegal sales a group of former high-ranking Soviet bureaucrats: Yury Masliukov, Leonard Vid, and Alexander Fain. The story begins in the 1980s, when the Soviet government resumed its military-technical cooperation with Iran.

In 1986 Mikhail Gorbachev signed a secret executive order by the Politburo “On shipments of special equipment to Iran in 1986-87, sending military specialists to Iran, and receiving Iranian specialists for training in the operation, use, and repairs of special equipment.”

In accordance with this decision, Iran received, among other things, the first party of the ballistic missiles “Scud.”

Yurii Masliukov was the one responsible for preparing this decision and carrying it out. At that time he was the chairman of Gosplan and of the Military-Industrial Commission at the Council of Ministers of the USSR. The Commission coordinated the work of the Soviet military-industrial complex, as well as the export-import of arms and dual technologies, both legal and not.

Masliukov's experience and connections in the international arms trade and military-industrial espionage can be appreciated from this description by one of the owners of Far West Ltd, Ruslan Saidov, describing this aspect of Masliukov's activities.

In the past there was an organization called COCOM--Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls. This international organization controlled Western exports to East Bloc countries. CoCom had 17 member states—all Nato members (except Iceland, Japan, and Australia). Five neutral countries and New Zealand closely cooperated with this organization. The leading role in CoCom was played, of course, by the United States. The Soviet Union responded by creating an effective system against the CoCom embargo. It included foreign trade organizations, KGB, GRU, industry, and the Academy of Sciences. Thousands firms were created abroad (some of them continue to operate today), billions of dollars were budgeted for these activities. This work was deemed so important that it was presided over by Yury Dmitrievich Masliukov, first deputy of the prime minister.


Masliukov's first deputy was one Leonard Vid. He also took active part in the preparation of the Politburo decision on Iran. After 1991 they parted. Masliukov became a high functionary in the CPRF (presently he is State Duma deputy) and, from time to time, held important positions in the government under Yeltsin. Leonard Vid went to private banking and became the chairman of the Alpha-Bank (retired in 2002).

Company Far West Ltd was registered in 1998 in Switzerland by a group of former GRU officers and agents (GRU--The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff). Among them was Anton Surikov, who at that time was in charge of Masliukov's secretariat in Evgeny Primakov's government (Masliukov served as Primakov's vice-premier, 1998-99).

According to a number of open sources, Far West Ltd operates in the “gray”and “black” arms markets. It has branches in Iran and Ukraine, among other countries. The article alleges that the company has been used to cash in on some “special connections” that Masliukov and Vid cultivated back in the Soviet period of their careers.

Interestingly, Masliukov's business relations with Vid also continued in quite respectable areas: a significant number of military enterprises in Izhevsk and Votkins (Masliukov represents this region in the State Duma), including the factory producing the ICBMs Topol—the main weapon of Russia's strategic nuclear forces—keep their accounts in the Alpha-Bank.


Another long-time associate of Masliukov, Alexander Fain, is the General Director of the Alfa-Eco Group (biggest shareholder of Alfa-Bank). When Masliukov presided over the Soviet military-industrial complex, Fain was a chief designer at one of the enterprises engaged in a nuclear related military production. It was thanks to the efforts of Fain, supported by Masliukov, that Alfa-Group landed the contract to serve the accounts of Rosatom enterprises, including Atomstroiexport that builds the famous Busher station in Iran and another nuclear station in China (in Tianwan).

The article describes close relations between Alfa Group and the circle of Vice-President Dick Cheney. The highest level management of Alfa Group includes US citizens linked to the Anglo-American intelligence community. The leaders of Alfa Group have close contacts with Dick Cheney and the management of Halliburton.

The best known example of these relations was the $600 million credit that the Tyumen Oil Company (TNK), controlled by the consortium of Alfa Group and Access Industries Inc, received from the American Exim-Bank after the political lobbying by Dick Cheney. The deal was followed by TNC's strategic alliance with Cheney's Halliburton in the reconstruction of the huge Samotlor oil fields and the inclusion of several managers from Diligence LLC in the leadership of Alfa Group.

Diligence LLC is a so-called private military company (PMC) created by former officers of the CIA and British MI-5. In fact, it is a private intelligence service that serves the interests of the financial-industrial groups linked to the Republican party. The head of Diligence LLC, Richard Burt, is also a member of the board of directors of Alfa Capital that serves the accounts of Russia's most sensitive military-industrial companies and Rosatom.

In addition, Diligence LLC is a partner of another PMC--KBR Inc, subdivision of Halliburton.

The Conspiracy. A reconstruction.

The article reconstructs the events of 1999-2001 as follows.

In 1998-99 the neocon wing of the Republican party, led by Cheney and Rumsfeld, designed a strategy for establishing the US control over the Persian Gulf region that envisioned military interventions in Iraq and Iran. A war against Iraq was much easier to justify than against Iran because of the bad reputation of Saddam's regime after its aggression against Kuwait. To obtain a casus belli against Iran was much more problematic. There were no international sanctions against Iran and, their despite the ferocious anti-Israeli rhetoric, the Iranian leadership conducted a very cautious foreign policy, aan the Iranian intelligence services were effective. In short, presenting to UN mythic evidence of WMD in Iran would not work, real were needed. Iran had to be trapped and caught red-handed in violating the regime of non-proliferation. But how to lure Iran into the lethal trap?

According to the source, it was obvious that the WMD were to be "leaked" from the territory of the fSU. But how to convince the Iranians to take the bait? Only a private company with financial resources and unique connections could help Cheney, and this company was Alfa Group.

The Iranian leadership and intelligence knew and trusted Masliukov, Vid, and Fain. After all, they lobbied Soviet arms sales to Iran and also served the credit lines for the Busher project (Vid and Fain). They were well positioned to convince the Iranians to accept the unexpected "present." Alfa Group had a dense network of offshore companies to hide the financial transactions of the deal while Masliukov had the Far West Ltd people, experienced in black market arms deals, to carry out the operation. When the Republicans won the 2000 elections and Cheney became the vice-president, the conspiracy got under way.

The Spoiler

The operation to create a casus belli against Iran lasted over one year and was the result of a unique confluence of business and political interests of several powerful groups in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, and China. It was carried out without a hitch, and by 2002 the Cheney-Rumsfeld group had in its sleeve the joker to be used when the moment comes. Iran indeed had violated the international law on WMD and deserved a good bombing. But then something went wrong.

The Baptist pastor Alexander Turchinov was an outsider to the intelligence community and its con games. His appointment as the head of the SBU was the result of the complex and short-lasting power sharing arrangements between the “orangist” factions in Kiev (Turchinov is Yulia Timoshenko's man).

When Turchinov became acquainted with the SBU dossier on the KH-55 affair, he realized that it was a colossal conspiracy which painted Ukraine as a country capable for any crime if it pays, including arming with WMD the newly appointed enemies of mankind--”Islamic terrorists.” He was pro-American, as all “orangists,” but he could not agree with this role for Ukraine. So, according to the source, Turchinov began his own investigation and sent Kozhemiakin to Israel, because he knew that only the Israelis were interested in the truth. After all, no matter what would be the results of Cheney's game, the Iranian made KH-55s would be falling on Israel. Kozhemiakin and his group received a warm welcome in Israel and were given all the information known by that time. And the Israelis knew a lot.

Prior to Kozhemiakin's trip, Turchinov put some pressure on Ukrspetsexport and GUR (Ukrainian military intelligence). There were people in these establishments who knew the details of the deal. A certain bureaucratic struggle began and it was reflected in the press.

As early as in April 2005 Turchinov apparently found out that the Far West partners, Alexei Likhvintsev and Leonid Kosiakov from GUR and Valery Lysenko from Ukrspetsexport were directly linked to the KH-55 affair. There had been also new details about the role of Alfa Group, which was mentioned in the famous parliamentary inquiry of deputy Hryhoriy Omelchenko in January 2005, there surfaced also the names of two Panamanian offshore companies: Isofert Trading INC and Transchem International INC, belonging to the oligarch Viacheslav Kantor , protege of Mikhail Friedman, owner of Alpha Bank, in the Jewish Congress of Russia.

Then came the most unexpected and revealing reaction to the first publication based on Turchinov's investigation. The head of Far West Ltd, Vladimir Filin, publicly accused Valery Lysenko in receiving a huge bribe of $3 million from his company (FWL) for facilitating the secret deals of Far West Ltd with Syria and Iraq.

After this confession, it became clear that the KH-55 deal was gone public in a very different way than its organizers hoped to use it. The role of KBR Inc and Diligence LLC, who supervised the operation both in Alfa-Group and Far West Ltd, became visible, as well as Cheney's ears behind them. Turchinov requested a meeting of NSC and that was the end of his career in the SBU. The article concludes by observing the ironic outcome of Cheney's conspiracy: the Islamic Republic received the WMD thanks to US neocons and some leaders of Russia's Jewish Congress.

Burtsev.ru

Other publications (in English) on this affair from burtsev.ru

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