British Foreign Secretary: Clinton threatened to cut-off intell BY Glenn Greenwald

31 July, 2009

I‘ve written several times before about the amazing quest of Binyam Mohamed — a British resident released from Guantanamo in February, 2009 after seven years in captivity — to compel public disclosure of information in the possession of the British Government proving he was tortured while in U.S. custody.  At the center of Mohamed’s efforts lie the claims of high British government officials that the Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to cut off intelligence-sharing programs with the U.K. if the British High Court discloses information which British intelligence officials learned from the CIA about how Mohamed was tortured.  New statements from the British Foreign Secretary yesterday — claiming that Hillary Clinton personally re-iterated those threats in a May meeting — highlight how extreme is this joint American/British effort to cover-up proof of Mohamed’s torture.

In August 2008, the British High Court ruled in Mohamed’s favor, concluding in a 75-page ruling (.pdf) that there was credible evidence in Britain’s possession that Mohamed was brutally tortured and was therefore entitled to disclosure of that evidence under long-standing principles of British common law, international law (as established by the Nuremberg Trials and the war crimes trials of Yugoslav leaders, among others), and Britain’s treaty obligations (under the Convention Against Torture).  But as part of that ruling, the Court redacted from its public decision seven paragraphs which detailed the facts of Mohamed’s torture — facts which British intelligence agents learned from the CIA — based on the British Government’s representations that both the Bush and Obama administrations had threatened to cut off intelligence-sharing with Britain if those facts were disclosed, even as part of a court proceeding.

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Joe Bageant: The Bastards Never Die

31 July, 2009 — Joe Bageant

A short history of why we eat oil, can’t smoke pot, and why assault weapons are so expensive in our hour of need

(With running commentary by THE SCREAMING MAN)

Well, for starters, the above title is a damned lie, since this little screed is not a history. It’s just rumination on the tilting point at which Americans started the slide into the deepest sort of cultivated consumer consciousness — which is to say our corporate managed engorgement and swinedom at the service of the rich.

Very rich families and corporatists, to whom, as in earlier articles, we shall refer to as ‘the bastards,’ have always been with us. Even Tom Jefferson thought periodic revolution against wealth and authority was desirable to keep these bastards in check. Which implies that he figured they would inevitably get us by the throat down on the floor from time to time.

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Lies and Israel’s war crimes Ben White

28 July, 2009 — The Electronic Intifada

gaza-un-school

A Palestinian UN worker inspects debris after an Israeli air strike on a UN school in Gaza where civilians were seeking refuge, 17 January 2009. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

This month marked six months since the “official” conclusion to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, “Operation Cast Lead.” From 27 December to 18 January, the might of the one of the world’s strongest militaries laid waste to a densely-packed territory of 1.4 million Palestinians without an escape route.

The parallel propaganda battle fought by Israel’s official and unofficial apologists continued after the ceasefire, in a desperate struggle to combat the repeated reports by human rights groups of breaches of international law. This article will look at some of the strategies of this campaign of disinformation, confusion, and lies — and the reality of Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Very early on in Operation Cast Lead, the scale of Israel’s attack became apparent. In just the first six days the Israeli Air Force carried out more than 500 sorties against targets in the Gaza Strip. That amounted to an attack from the air roughly every 18 minutes — not counting hundreds of helicopter attacks, tank and navy shelling, and infantry raids. All of this on a territory similar in size to the US city of Seattle.

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The Real News Network – Ball over the Wall

Israel and the US call the Wall snaking through the West Bank a “barrier”. What if the barrier becomes the playing field for an unlikely soccer match? Pepe Escobar kicks in.

Bio
Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of Globalistan and also Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge both published by Nimble Books in 2007


The Real News Network – The beer summit and race in America

Glen Ford: Upward mobility for the black elite has not translated into a better life for ordinary blacks

http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/Groupvideo.3085548

Bio
Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.


Viva Palestina goes international – D-day 5 December

Success in the US

The Viva Palestina US convoy achieved a remarkable success, but in the teeth of significant obstacles.

Two hundred people, almost all US citizens, passed through the Rafah crossing into Gaza on 15 July carrying with them a quarter of a million dollars worth of medical aid and supplies. The delegation reflected the great diversity of US society. There were Muslim-, Arab-, African-, Jewish-, Latino-, and Native-Americans as well as Christian ministers.

It was the largest such mission in terms of people and aid ever to leave the US for Palestine. We were delighted that it could be joined by Cynthia McKinney, the former US Congresswoman and Presidential candidate, who arrived hot-foot after her detention on the high seas by Israeli forces and was able to enter Gaza for the first time, having joined George Galloway and the Viva Palestina convoy. Along with New York Councilman Charles Barron, her participation signalled a reforging of the alliance between Black American figures and Palestine that were a hallmark of the solidarity movement 30 years ago.

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Video: Liberty – Protecting Civil Liberties Promoting Human Rights: Where do they go?

29 July,  2009

Over the last few years the Government has mislaid a staggering amount of our personal information. In this clever short film, Liberty asks whether they can be trusted with even more data. Narrated by Liberty supporter Simon Callow and made voluntarily for Liberty by professional film-maker Will MacNeil, with post-production by Unit, the film underlines the danger of creating such a massive database.

Thursday, Bloody Thursday in Honduras By Al Giordano

30 July, 2009 — Narconews – The Field

Honduras 30 July, 2009JULY 30, 2009, CUESTA DE LA VIRGEN, COMAYAGUA, HONDURAS: The first signs came in the form of tractor trailers, miles and miles of them, easily thousands, laden with melons and pineapples and bananas and sports apparel manufactured in the factories to the north, frozen in place, engines turned off, on the side of the road, about 80 kilometers out of the capital city of Tegucigalpa.

It was one p.m. today and there were no cars or trucks coming from the other direction. The oncoming lane was empty and that’s the one your correspondent took.

The blockade had been in place since early morning. By 1:20 p.m., driving down from the mountain in the wrong lane, your vehicle still had not come to the blockage point. Finally, even the oncoming lane had become an endless traffic jam of more cars and trucks seeking the same southbound route, stopped cold.

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Iran's "Leftist" Don Quixotes By Bizhan Pouya

30 July, 2009 — MRZine – Monthly Review

In the 1970s, when Iran’s Fedayeen and Mojahedin1 groups were engaged in an urban guerrilla struggle against the former Shah’s dictatorial regime, a faction of the Iranian Student Association (ISA) in the United States called Ehyaa2 had managed to convince some in the US Left, in particular America’s Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), that a nonexistent group called the “Union of Iranian Communists”3 was intensely engaged in organizing workers, students, and intellectuals in Iran.

Thirty odd years later, I was reading a letter of the “Revolutionary Marxists of Iran” on the online magazine Venezuelaanalysis.com criticizing Hugo Chavez for his support of the Islamic Republic regime.  While praising Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, the letter implied that Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad undermined the efforts of Iran’s supporters of the working class.  Somehow, the carefully crafted letter, full of half truths and distortions, took me back to the days of the mythical “Union of Iranian Communists” and reminded me of the degree of efforts that Iran’s (upper) middle classes make in their attempts to win the support of the international community for their own class interests.

Our “revolutionary” Don Quixote here, for example, condemns President Hugo Chavez from the comfort of his flat in London, speaking for the unspecified “revolutionary Marxists in Iran,” and is too simple-minded to see that Venezuela’s relations with Iran go way beyond Chavez’ support for Ahmadinejad and include hundreds of actual projects that undermine the influence of US imperialism, none of which seems to matter anyway to our Iranian champion of “freedom and democracy.”

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30th July Video Free Gaza News: Is Israel guilty of piracy?

Watch the video and decide for yourself how many international and maritime laws Israel has broken. The Israeli navy hijacked the Spirit of Humanity in international waters. The Israeli government hijacks Palestinian fishing boats, in Palestinian territorial waters, kidnaps the fishermen, and sends its military out to shoot to wound and kill them as they struggle to make a living. After watching this video, you will be convinced that Israel has committed acts of piracy against Palestinians and against internationals. No other country would be allowed to do what Israel does on a daily basis.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers were accompanying fishermen to document attacks on them by the Israeli Navy, and to provide a deterrence to these attacks. (www.palsolidarity.org) For more information and current reports about Gaza fishermen: fishinunderfire.blogspot.com

Video: South Africans protest for higher wages

Protests and strikes have broken out in recent weeks across South Africa where workers are demanding higher wages and the unemployed pushing for better living conditions. Analysts say the current unrest could put a strain on Africa’s biggest economy as the government seems unable to find any solution. Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa reports.

US Torture Under Scrutiny In British Courts By Andy Worthington

29 July, 2009 — Dandelion Saladwww.andyworthington.co.uk

Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, reports on three important court cases in the UK this week, focusing on “extraordinary rendition” and torture in the “War on Terror.” These cases have implications not only for the complicity of the British government in the Bush administration’s flight from the law, but also for the Obama administration, which, on a number of fronts, appears to be doing all in its power to either maintain Bush-era policies or to shield the previous administration from accountability for its actions.

Binyam Mohamed and Jeppesen, “The CIA’s Travel Agent”

Last weekend, lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, the British resident and former Guantánamo prisoner who was subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and tortured in Morocco and in the “Dark Prison,” a CIA prison in Afghanistan, secured what may be a significant victory in their campaign to hold to account those who took part in the rendition program, when the Sussex-based Jeppesen UK, a division of Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. (which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing), “dropped its opposition to a case against it being heard in court,” as the Guardian explained.

In the United States, as I explained in an article in May, “Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture,” the Obama administration’s Justice Department has resisted attempts by the ACLU to hold Jeppesen accountable for its role as “The CIA’s Travel Agent” (as Jane Mayer described the company in an article for the New Yorker) in the cases of five prisoners: Binyam Mohamed, Ahmed Agiza, Abou Elkassim Britel, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah and Bisher al-Rawi (profiled here). This was in spite of the fact that Sean Belcher, a former Jeppesen employee, stated that Bob Overby, the director of Jeppesen International Trip Planning Services, told him, “We do all the extraordinary rendition flights,” which he also referred to as “the torture flights” or “spook flights.” Belcher also stated that “there were some employees who were not comfortable with that aspect of Jeppesen’s business” because they knew “some of these flights end up” with the passengers being tortured, but added that Overby explained, “that’s just the way it is, we’re doing them” because “the rendition flights paid very well.”

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