Monday, December 20, 2010

Italy Court Ups Sentences For 23 CIA Agents

By Nicole Winfield, AP

An Italian appeals court on Wednesday increased the sentences against 23 Americans convicted in the kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect who was part of the CIA's extraordinary renditions program.

In upholding the convictions, the court added one year to the eight-year term handed down to former Milan CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady and two years to the five-year terms given to 22 other Americans convicted along with him, defense lawyers said.

They were never in Italian custody and were tried and convicted in absentia but risk arrest if they travel to Europe.

The Americans and two Italians were convicted last year of involvement in the kidnapping of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003 — the first convictions anywhere in the world against people involved in the CIA's practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries where torture was permitted.

The cleric was transferred to U.S. military bases in Italy and Germany before being moved to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. He has since been released.

Amnesty International praised Wednesday's decision as a step toward demanding greater accountability in Europe for the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

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"Which Party is Actually 'Evil' ... Becomes a Question of Perspective"

Perspective

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
—C. G. Jung

In a hierarchical society free will is generally proportional to your position within the hierarchy, which allows you power and freedom to take more from those below and also create systems to allow this process to be self perpetuating. This positive feedback cycle generally leads to an expansion of the hierarchy until those at the bottom cannot sustain those at the top and a point of collapse is reached. It is at this point where we find ourselves today and it is at this point where a decision is made to collapse with conscious intention for positive creation or if collapse is simply an unconscious process into a controlled dystopia.

The most obvious example of this is the financial system where debt money funnels energy to the elite with absolute certainty, creating scarcity for the general population until it is replaced. Another example is the whole concept of 'evil' people who are really just people born with less free will and the process of judgment is a system which further reduces their free will and amplifies the very 'evil' which is being judged. Over time most of the consciousness of humanity ends up in 'hell' with little free will being judged by tiny egos in heaven, preventing the species individuating and easily controlled by higher intelligence. Which party is actually 'evil' in this case becomes a question of perspective. Light and dark are relative polarities with one simply being defined by the other with one persons good being another persons evil and the whole system able to rise or fall depending on the collective consciousness. With the understanding that we are all connected the decision to punish as opposed to heal can be recognized as a form of insanity.

There are many polarizations in the world today such as consciousness, knowledge, money, energy, love and technology and as each of these is balanced and spread evenly around the planet a golden age can be created. The free will taken by those at the top in a service to self capacity can be returned and evenly distributed to the larger body and the whole system can evolve to a higher expression providing the opportunity to move from a system of separate individuals to a collective conscious planetary body.

The financial elite have planed for many decades to institute a global new world order based on scarcity and control. This group has nearly unlimited resources and responsibility to understand the processes of global creation in terms of increasing free will for the planet and her people and yet choose to minimize free will and limit creation with consequences lasting millennia. On one level they are simply corrupt and seeking temporal benefit for their brief existence at the expense of a planetary body and their own children, on another level they are unconscious and on another they are mind control victims, pawns of higher intelligence, so its just a question of perspective.

A parent controls a child, the government control the population, the elite control the government, the global managers control the elite, whilst et's control the entire planetary system. These are all just fractals of the teacher-student ordering of the universe. We could assume that the alien race is organized in a similar manner to the elites dystopia, where children are raised in state sponsored care centers where their creativity is stifled, both parents burdened with debt working meaningless jobs, where thought and action are closely monitored and controlled to maximize fear, the species DNA segregated by conflict and polluted with chemicals to prevent unifying as a planetary body leading to a process of devolution. They are most likely a synthetic race lacking DNA so naturally try to create a planet of clones in their own image where free will is minimized rather than one mirroring our DNA holographic fractal matrix where each persons individuality, creativity and free will is maximized for the benefit of the whole. A technological transfer program would allow the human population to be more easily controlled, with decisions being made by super computers programmed to see humans as 'useless eaters' rather than co-creators. Potentially 'consciousness' could eventually be gently encouraged onto a technological platform where the fear of death would gradually see humanity self replicate into the same synthetic race. So from one perspective we find ourselves in a system of control which attempts to prevent the free will of the planetary body extending beyond a certain level and from another its a preset planetary initiation created to help evolve the consciousness of humanity.

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Europe's Last Dictator? 'Rigged Vote' Brings Thousands to Streets of Belarus Capital Minsk


Police have cracked down on thousands of opposition supporters in the Belarusian capital Minsk, as they tried to storm government buildings in protest over the presidential election. Incumbent leader Aleksandr Lukashenko has won a fourth term in office, but his opponents say the poll was rigged. Katerina Azarova reports from Minsk.

South Korea Concludes Artillery Drill, Scrambles Jet Fighters

By Steve Herman, VOA

South Koreans are anxiously waiting to see if North Korea will make good on its threat to take military action in response to an artillery drill on Yeonpyeong island. The exercise came just hours after an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council failed to ease tensions, and after an American politician said North Korea is willing to accept nuclear inspections.

South Korea defied diplomatic pressure and went ahead Monday with firing artillery into the Yellow Sea for 94 minutes, escalating its confrontation with the communist North.

Defense officials stress the shelling was to the southwest, away from North Korea. But North Korea claims that area is its territory and, in the days since the drill was announced, has warned it could lead to war.

In Seoul, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun termed the live-fire exercise routine and legitimate.

Kim says the artillery drill is for self-defense and part of the country's sovereign right.

A few hours before the exercise, the United Nations Security Council failed to reach a consensus on lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Diplomats say China, among other nations, would not back a statement condemning North Korea for recent aggressive behavior, including the shelling of Yeonpyeong island last month.

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Ralph Nader: Julian Assange Prosecution a 'Distraction' from Executive Branch Secrecy

ABC News' Devin Dwyer reports: Ralph Nader, a leading consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, delivered a spirited public defense of WikiLeaks Thursday and called the prosecution of Julian Assange a “distraction” from a more disconcerting issue: the Obama and Bush administrations’ fixation with secrecy.

“If you take all of the present and probably future disclosures under the WikiLeaks initiative, the vast majority should never have been classified,” Nader told a House Judiciary Committee hearing on legal and constitutional issues surrounding WikiLeaks’ publication of secret government documents.

“The vast majority are reprehensible use of people employing taxpayer dollars, the vast majority should have been disclosed, if not never stated, for the benefit of the American people to hold their government accountable,” he said.


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Wikileaks: India 'Systematically Torturing Civilians in Kashmir'

By Jason Burke, One World South Asia

Recently released cables from Wikileaks reveal shocking incidents of torture including electric shocks inflicted on hundreds of civilians detained in Kashmir by Indian security forces.

Delhi: US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red Cross staff about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables released tonight.

The dispatches, obtained by website WikiLeaks, reveal that US diplomats in Delhi were briefed in 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees.

Other cables show that as recently as 2007 American diplomats were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions.

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Global Warming Linked to Harsh Winters

By Frank McDonald, Irish Times


The cold spell Ireland and the rest of northern Europe has been experiencing may, paradoxically, be the result of global warming, rather than evidence it is not happening, according to the most recent scientific research.

The Journal of Geophysical Research suggested a link between diminishing levels of sea ice in the Arctic and an increased probability of harsh winters across Europe, saying these “do not conflict the global warming picture, but rather supplement it”.

As HSBC Global Research noted in its latest report, If the World is Warming, Why is it so Cold?, “climate change involves profound disruptions in global average temperatures. But as individuals we only experience local weather.” And “coming on the back of the unusual cold winters of 2009-2010, this cold spell has caused some commentary that global warming is over”. The explanation they offer is that the “warming trend is not uniform, and northern Europe has shown considerable cooling this winter”.

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Bangladesh Grinds Axe on War Criminals, SQ Chowdhury Arrested

By Manas Paul, TNN

As Bangladesh celebrates her 39th year of Liberation from the Pakistan regime on Thursday, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, one of the most powerful opposition leaders from Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP), was arrested by Dhaka police for his murderous role at the behest of Pakistan in 1971.

Chowdhury has always been viewed as a Pakistani 'agent' in Bangladesh. He is also known to be a strong anti-Indian lobbyist at international arena.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) chief Mokhlesur Rahman confirmed his arrest, said sources to TOI from Dhaka over telephone. Chowdhury was sent to police remand by Dhaka Metropolitan court. He was picked up by a strong contingent of RAB and Bangladesh detective personnel from his house at Banani early morning.

SQ Chowdhury, a shipping magnet and former MP who topped the list of the war collaborators ('razaakars' in local parlance) of 1971 along with several other Jamaat leaders, had been accused of massacre of several people in Chittagong, his home district. He was also accused of playing a key role behind BDR mutiny last year in Bangladesh as well as botched up Chittagong arms supply attempt for ULFA.

On April 13, 1971 Chowdhury allegedly led a Pakistani killer squad to massacre at least 107 Hindus at Kundeshwari, Jagatmallaparha and Unasatturparha in Chittagong. After Bangladesh's liberation, several surviving members of the massacred families filed cases against him. Satya Ranjan Singha, for example, filed a case on Jan 29, 1972 accusing Salahuddin and his father Fazlul Q Chowdhury of killing Singha's father.

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What We Learned From WikiLeaks

By Jonathan Schell, The Nation

The Army intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning, 22, now in a military detention center charged with having leaked classified documents related to the Iraq War, once explained why he was contemplating his deed. (He is additionally suspected of having leaked the 390,000 documents made public by the whistleblowing solicitor WikiLeaks, but he has not been charged with this.) Manning was not yet in prison or in the media spotlight. He was artlessly and recklessly chatting online to a blogger, Adrian Lamo, who eventually turned him in. Lamo wanted to know why Manning didn't cash in by giving the documents to a foreign power, such as China or Russia. Because "it belongs in the public domain," Manning replied. "Information should be free...because another state would just take advantage of the information...try and get some edge.... It should be a public good."

Manning's breaking point had come when he witnessed the arrest by the Iraqi police of fifteen people for printing "anti-Iraqi literature." He looked the documents over and found them to consist merely of "a scholarly critique" of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. He reported the finding to his American superior, who dismissed it and told him to busy himself looking for more people to detain.

As an intelligence officer with access to secret reports, Manning knew well what happened to detainees in Iraqi custody. They were commonly tortured. A typical example of a report by an American soldier reads:

{AT 191400C OCT___IN___(ZONE___) IVO___NPTT___THAT-___BDE SPTT-___BDE SPTT CONDUCTED A ROUTINE INSPECTION OF THE -___ [WOLF] BDE DETENTION FACILITY AND IDENTIFIED ONE PROBABLE CASE OF DETAINEE ABUSE. THE ALLEGED BEATING TOOK PLACE UNDER INTERROGATION AT THE--___HQ ON THE EVENING OF ___OCT___. THE DETAINEE WAS BLINDFOLDED AND IS UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE OFFENDERS. THE DETAINEE CLAIMED HE WAS BEATEN ABOUT THE FEET AND LEGS WITH A BLUNT OBJECT, AND PUNCHED IN THE FACE AND___. HE CLAIMED THAT ELECTRICITY WAS USED ON HIS FEET AND GENITALS, AND HE WAS ALSO [SODOMIZED] WITH A WATER BOTTLE. --___PERSONNEL CLAIMED IT WAS CAUSED BY THE DETAINEE FALLING FROM HIS MOTORCYCLE WHILE HE WAS BEING CHASED BY THE___. THE DETAINEE DISPLAYED GREAT DIFFICULTY WALKING WITH BRUISING AND SWELLING ON THE SOLES OF BOTH FEET. THE DETAINEE HAD LOCALIZED CUTS AND BRUISING ON BOTH LEGS (PRIMARILY THE LEFT), THE LEFT ARM, AND THE LEFT CHIN. THERE WERE NO INJURIES VISIBLE ON THE DETAINEE E___HANDS, UPPER ARMS, TORSO, UPPER LEGS, OR BUTTOCKS. HIS CLOTHING WAS NOT RIPPED OR DAMAGED, BUT DID DISPLAY BLOOD STAINS.

No intervention was attempted by the United States in such cases. The military's Fragmentary Order 242, known as FRAGO 242, dictated that if coalition forces were not involved, no further action was to be taken: "only an initial report will be made.... No further investigation will be required unless directed by HQ." FRAGO 242 is repeatedly cited by military reporters as the reason for doing nothing.

Sometimes, indeed, American or other coalition soldiers threatened Iraqi prisoners with the torture or execution that would befall them if they were turned over to their Iraqi compatriots. One unit created in these years was the Iraqi Wolf Brigade, an elite outfit set up to terrorize insurgents, perhaps in imitation of the death squads that had operated with US connivance in El Salvador in the 1980s. One report describes a threat by an American to turn an Iraqi prisoner over to the battalion:

DURING THE INTERROGATION PROCESS THE ___ THREATENED THE SUBJECT DETAINEE THAT HE WOULD NEVER SEE HIS FAMILY AGAIN AND WOULD BE SENT TO THE WOLF BATTALION WHERE HE WOULD BE SUBJECT TO ALL THE PAIN AND AGONY THAT THE WOLF BATTALION IS KNOWN TO EXACT UPON ITS DETAINEES [December 14, 2005].

At this time in Iraq, executed victims were being found in the streets with electric-drill holes in their bodies.

American forces were thus routinely handing over Iraqi suspects to Iraqi forces who routinely tortured them, and then nothing further was done. This proceeding did not constitute abuse of some other, better system that provided the rule; it was the system—a torture system. Elsewhere in the "war on terror," "extraordinary rendition"—the practice of sending prisoners to foreign countries to be tortured—required long flights on CIA Gulfstream jets. In Iraq it was a matter of walking across the street. In the days leading up to the war, of course, the United States frequently cited the Saddam Hussein regime's practice of torture as a reason for invading. Now America's own client regime was engaging in widespread torture.

Faced with this particular and general knowledge, Manning felt "helpless," he told Lamo. "That was a point where I was...actively involved in something that I was completely against." In sum, Manning found himself in the classic, excruciating dilemma of the decent person enmeshed in an abhorrent system, not as a victim but as a perpetrator. By following the rules, he would be an accomplice of torture. Only by breaking them could he extricate himself.

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Hopi and Tibetan Buddhist Prophecies - The Connection

"found this footage and thought it relevant in terms of a Hopi prophecy.
"The end of all Hopi ceremonialism will come when a "Kachina" removes his mask during a dance in the plaza before uninitiated children [the general public]".

Traditionally this dance is ALWAYS done with masks on. The mask may be the cosmic mask that covers deeper archetypal "deities" that reside in the collective.


These masks are metaphors for 'deities' deep within the subconscious, much like being "nude" in the Garden of Eden in Judeo/Christian mythology. We became "covered" after the expulsion from Eden
This was the final Hopi warning before the end of this world or age.

This is a dance performed by young monks at Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, a monastery located north of the city of Zhongdian (Shangri-La) in Yunnan province on the south-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The dance begins with one monk emerging from the main temple. He performs a routine that initially faces the temple, then faces all the directions of the wind, and then spirals around a central point where there is a dark quilt and wooden square (these symbolise a demon). His dance eventually accelerates and incorporates jumping movements, and in its finale dozens of other monks join in to perform the circular dance around the quilt, until in the end they are all crowded around its centre. The dance concludes with couples of monks taking leaps towards the temple, praying towards its entrance, praying away from its entrance, and then jumping inside. Altogether this takes about three hours. The dance is performed annually, during a ritual where the monks dress in elaborate costumes and masks and dance around a large effigy of the demon (rather than a quilt). The purpose of the dance is to contain the angry spirit of the demon, possibly to recreate the Tibetan myth of the subjugation of an angry Himalayan goddess by an Indian monk, which popularized the monk and allowed for the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet. This video is an amalgamation of clips recorded during the initial monk's rehearsal for the ritual."

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1,200 Year Old Tibetan Prophecy Shared With Hopi People

War Chief Requests Prayers For Preservation of Hopi Traditional Ways
By Kathy Helms
Dine Bureau
Gallup Independent

CHINO VALLEY, Ariz. – About 1,200 years ago a great Tibetan master called Guru Rinpoche made a prophecy. He wrote an inscription and hid it in the rocks. It was found just recently. The prophecy said, “Later, when the iron bird flies, then the red-robed ones will go to the red rocks and meet with the tradition there and unite again.”

Surrounded by prayer flags which send out blessings for all beings every time the wind blows, this prophecy was shared with Hopi Snake Priest and War Chief Radford Quamahongnewa at Garchen Buddhist Institute following a meeting with His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, founder and spiritual director.

Some say Hopi and Tibet are connected, and that if you stick a pin through a globe where Hopi is located, on the other side you will find Tibet. Because of their connection, Quamahongnewa traveled to the monastery on behalf of the Village of Shungopovi Kikmongwi Lee Wayne Lomayestewa to request prayers and support for the Hopi people from Rinpoche and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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Police Arrest 131 Antiwar Protesters In Front Of White House

Hoping to spark the country's silent majority into action, 131 antiwar protesters got themselves arrested Thursday, in one of the larger acts of civil disobedience in front of the White House in some time.

Carrying signs that frequently included question marks -- "Peace on earth?" and "How is the war economy working for you?" -- protesters organized by a Missouri-based veterans group marched up to the White House gates and refused to disperse, holding their ground for several hours on a snowy and blustery day.

Among those arrested was Daniel Ellsberg, the Vietnam-era whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers as an act of protest in 1971. Thursday's arrest was his 80th.

All the arrests were appropriately peaceful although some protesters went limp, forcing police to carry them to the loaned Metrobuses waiting to take them to a booking facility. Only one protester actually attached himself to the gate with a bicycle lock.

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Larry Flynt: Why I Am Donating $50,000 to WikiLeaks' Defense Fund

Let's get something straight: Julian Assange is a journalist. You can argue that he is not practicing journalism the way you think it should be practiced -- releasing classified U.S. State Department documents -- but he's a journalist nonetheless. And for many of us he's a hero.


I'm sick and tired of the politicians and political pundits treating this man as if he were a criminal. If WikiLeaks had existed in 2003 when George W. Bush was ginning up the war in Iraq, America might not be in the horrendous situation it is today, with our troops fighting in three countries (counting Pakistan) and the consequent cost in blood and dollars.

Here's what I know about censorship: The free flow of information is ultimately less harmful than the impeded flow of information. A democracy cannot exist without total access to the facts.

What's wrong is that a concerned outsider -- an Australian publisher, not our own vaunted mainstream press -- exposed the secret documents. For that, Assange has been hit with dubious criminal charges because his condom failed during a sexual encounter. Give me a break.

Julian Assange should not face a prison sentence. We should have a ticker-tape parade for this brave man.

~ Source ~

Riots In EU 2010

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