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

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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US-Israel Relations: New Horizons or Same Matrix of Control? By Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria

30 July, 2009 — Palestine Chronicle

The current standoff between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of ‘settlements’ has raised the prospect of defining a new chapter in US/Israel relations.

Media reports suggest that since Obama’s administration took office a new sense of optimism prevails regarding a “peace deal” between the Zionist state and the Occupied Palestinians.

Yet, many skeptics have justifiably raised the question about whether America’s first black president is the harbinger of real relief for Palestinian quest for freedom or merely an excuse for a new false dawn.

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Iran's Reform Movement Predicated on People BY KOUROSH ZIABARI

29 Jul 2009 — Middle East Online

Iranian experts believe that the development of political reform and the emerging wave of social awareness which is encompassing the different classes and layers of Iranian society is not a direct result of efforts made by the politicians, notes Kourosh Ziabari.

The gradual and steady evolution of reform movement in Iran does not essentially hinge on the struggle of reformist “leaders” and is inherently capable of growing progressively without being invigorated or revitalized by the role-playing of pragmatist politicians who have already served as the state officials under the administrations of former Presidents Khatami and Hashemi Rafsanjani.

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Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order Global Power and Global Government: Part 2 By Andrew Gavin Marshall

Russia, Oil and Revolution

By the 1870s, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Empire had a virtual monopoly over the United States, and even many foreign countries. In 1890, the King of Holland gave his blessing for the creation of an international oil company called Royal Dutch Oil Company, which was mainly founded to refine and sell kerosene from Indonesia, a Dutch colony. Also in 1890, a British company was founded with the intended purpose of shipping oil, the Shell Transport and Trading Company, and it “began transporting Royal Dutch oil from Sumatra to destinations everywhere,” and eventually, “the two companies merged to become Royal Dutch Shell.”[1]

Russia entered into the Industrial Revolution later than any other large country and empire of its time. By the 1870s, “Russia’s oil fields, including those in Baku, were challenging Standard Oil’s supremacy in Europe. Russia’s ascendancy in natural resources disrupted the strategic balance of power in Europe and troubled Britain.” Britain thus attempted to begin oil explorations in the Middle East, specifically in Persia (Iran), first through Baron Julius de Reuter, the founder of Reuters News Service, who gained exploration rights from the Shah of Iran.[2] Reuter’s attempt at uncovering vast quantities of oil failed, and a man named William Knox D’Arcy took the lead in Persia.

By the middle of the 19th century, “the Rothschilds were the richest family in the world, perhaps in all of history. Their five international banking houses comprised one of the first multinational corporations.” Alfonse de Rothschild was “heavily invested in Russian oil at least forty years before William Knox D’Arcy began tying up Persian oil concessions for the British. Russian oil, which in the 1860s was already emerging as the European rival to the American monopoly Standard Oil, was the Baron [Rothschild]’s pet project.” In the early 1880s, “almost two hundred Rothschild refineries were at work in Baku,” Russia’s oil rich region.[3]

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Wikileaks: THE SPY WHO BILLED ME TWICE – From Guantanamo to your doorstep: the intelligence industry’s revolving cash door

29 July, 2009 — Wikileaks

From Guantanamo to your doorstep: the intelligence industry’s revolving cash door

While there has been extensive political debate in the United States on whether Guantanamo Bay’s detainees are safe to move to US soil, what about their interrogators?

A confidential 1525 page file of correspondence released to the public by WikiLeaks provides insights into the privatization of intelligence and policing operations in the United States.

In the file, one intelligence officer, Kia Grapham, hawked by her contractor to state police criminal intelligence, boasts of assisting in over 100 interrogations of “high value human intelligence targets” at Guantanamo Bay. She goes on, saying how she is trained and certified to employ Restricted Interrogation Technique: Separation as specified by FM 2-22.3 Appendix M.

Separation? That’s a euphemism for isolation. FM 2-22.3? That’s Human Intelligence Collector Operations, a “fit for public consumption” manual introduced in September, 2006 and current US military policy. Appendix M, “separation”, contains instructions on how to isolate and interrogate detainees for upto 20 hours each day. Four hours a day sleep is permitted. “Suggested Approach Combinations” it says, are, “Futility. Incentive. Fear Up.”

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