16 June, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media


An essential role of corporate journalism is to shore up public confidence in an unjust, crisis-riven financial and economic system. Although plenty of gloom and doom is permitted, especially in the face of obvious crisis, the legitimacy of the system is rarely questioned.

For example, a recent Sunday Times article cited approvingly the views of Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs. In a note to clients, titled ‘Why the World is Better Than You Think’, O’Neill tried to allay fears that the collapse of financial markets had made the world seem a “scary place”. It is not so bad; indeed, “global recovery” was underway.

The Sunday Times piece then quoted a hedge fund manager proclaiming “massively good profits in the US”, and beaming that “emerging markets [in Brazil, India and elsewhere] are still booming.” The article conceded “it could be a very nervous summer”. But for whom? The journalists certainly weren’t focusing on the pressing concerns of the general population – jobs, pensions, student loans. Instead, the principal “worry” was financial uncertainty “spooking the markets”. But despite the modicum of caution, the article’s message boiled down to “positive fundamentals for the global economy.” (David Smith, Kate Walsh and Michael Woodhead, ‘Merkel’s stab in the dark’, Sunday Times, May 23, 2010;

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As "Temporary" Camps Linger, Tensions Rise with Haitian Landowners By Ansel Herz

9 June, 2010 — IPS

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jun 9, 2010 (IPS) – Thousands of victims of the January earthquake in Haiti are at risk of being displaced for a second time as private landowners throughout the nation’s capital city grow impatient with makeshift tent camps on their properties.

At a camp in the dirt parking lot of central Port-au- Prince’s Palais de L’Art events centre, fear and frustration are mounting as weeks have stretched into months with no word from authorities on when sustainable housing will be available.

The centre’s owner locked a metal gate shut Monday, forcing at least 150 camp-dwellers to climb over a partially- collapsed five-foot-high wall to access their shelters and belongings.

“If we had another place to go, we wouldn’t stay here suffering like this,” said Reynold Louis-Jean, who heads the camp organising committee. “We have elders, handicapped people, people who lost limbs. Now we have to carry them for them to get in and out.”

“He’s trying to force us out now. We can’t accept this,” he said as families carried buckets of water over the wall. The Red Cross stopped delivering water to the camp.

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Co-Author of Universal Declaration of Human Rights endorses BDS

15 June, 2010 — The Huffington Post

Gaza Flotilla: Global Citizens Must Respond Where Governments Have Failed

Israel’s illegal and immoral attack on the Freedom Flotilla humanitarian aid convoy, which left at least nine dead and dozens injured, has rightfully stunned the world. The all-civilian convoy of 6 ships carried over 10,000 tons of critically-needed humanitarian aid and nearly 700 citizens from 40 countries. The Flotilla was an ambitious attempt to break the siege imposed by Israel on the 1.5 million Palestinians of the occupied Gaza strip, since 2007. Carrying distinguished parliamentarians, religious leaders, authors, journalists, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and a Holocaust survivor, the relief convoy aimed not only to provide relief supplies to Gaza; it sought to direct the international spotlight towards the humanitarian crisis imposed on Gaza’s residents and the imperative to end it. There is no denying that the latter objective has succeeded, albeit with tragic consequences.

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16 June, 2010 —


The BDS movement and the campaign against settlement produce are gaining momentum. Direct actions against Ahava and Carmel Agrexco are now regular occurrences; supermarkets that sell settlement produce are being subjected to sit-ins and consumer appropriations. Co-op supermarket in Italy recently announced a complete halt on the sale of settlement produce and the publication of DEFRA guidance in December 2009 was a small victory in the UK for those campaigning against the sale of produce that originate in the territories.

This workshop is an opportunity for activists, NGO workers, academics, students or anyone interested or engaged in these campaigns to discuss the legal questions provoked by the trade in settlement goods. Is it legal to sell settlement goods in the UK? To what extent does the sale of settlement goods breach consumer and customs law? Does a breach of the EU-Israel Agreement have any sanction? What complaints procedures are available to consumers and can public bodies be challenged if they refuse to take action?

Simon Natas is a criminal practitioner who has represented many of the activists charged with public order offences after undertaking direct action against companies that sell settlement produce. Sarah McSherry is a civil practitioner who specialises in actions against the state and has advised on public law challenges in the context of the sale of settlement produce.

This is a unique chance for activists to discuss the most pertinent legal issues with the practitioners currently working on these cases. The meeting will be an interactive workshop to give activists a forum to develop their understanding and to consult on any issues that need clarification.

Simon Natas, Irvine Thanvi Natas, Sarah McSherry, Christian Khan

Location: War on Want, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LT Rsvp: Website:

Marshall Eddie Conway talks about COINTELPRO and the Black Panthers By Michael Richardson

15 June, 2010 — SF Examiner


COINTELPRO target Marshall Eddie Conway has been in a Maryland prison 40 years for a crime he denies AFSC photo

Red Emma’s independent bookstore in Baltimore, Maryland recently had a book release event but without a book signing. Fifty people crowded into Red Emma’s to listen to the author they could not see talk about a secret government program, Operation COINTELPRO.

Marshall Eddie Conway, former Minister of Defense for the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panthers, is one of the longest imprisoned targets of Operation COINTELPRO. Jailed forty years for the 1970 murder of a Baltimore policeman. Conway called Red Emma’s bookstore in Baltimore from his cellblock to talk about his new book, The Greatest Threat.

Conway has been confined four decades since his arrest while at work at the Post Office. Conway was charged with the shooting death of a policeman on the basis of a photo identification by another policeman who allegedly saw Conway in the distance at the crime scene the night before his arrest.

No physical evidence linked Conway to the shooting and his primary accuser ended up being an informer cellmate who bought his own freedom by claiming Conway confessed to the crime. Conway has consistently maintained his innocence and objected to his cellmate fearing subsequent perjured testimony

The Greatest Threat details the heady days of revolutionary spirit and the rise of the Black Panthers that led to the subversion of justice by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, led a personal secret war against American political activists and targeted the Black Panthers as the most dangerous group in America. Hoover prodded field agents to ‘disrupt’ the Panthers and break the organization by attacking its leadership.

Hoover’s COINTELPRO campaign was national in scope and eventually became a major priority of the police agency–all in secret.

Conway’s controversial trial resembled a farce with Conway denied his own attorney and often not present in the courtroom. The court-appointed attorney, not of Conway’s choosing, only met with Conway for two brief meetings as part of trial preparation. Conway kept a defiant posture when he was in the courtroom and his fate was sealed with a life sentence.

Conway was able to speak with the Red Emma’s audience for the better part of an hour reflecting on his time in prison and answering questions. Several times the call-in lecture was interrupted and Conway had to call back in from the medium-security cellblock where he is imprisoned.

Proceeds from the sale of the book go to Conway’s legal defense fund.

To listen to Marshall Eddie Conway’s call-in click on link:

Permission granted to reprint

There Is a Method to Israel’s Madness By Pepe Escobar

9 June, 2010 — Asia Times

A new Middle East is being born – and there seems to be only one place for Israel: isolation. With that comes an inevitable, somewhat crazed approach to diplomacy.

Why would Israel, in a deliberate and methodical operation planned over a week in advance – according to statements by senior Israeli military commanders made in Hebrew-language media days before the attack – target an unarmed ship on a humanitarian mission flying the flag of Comoros? (Unlike Turkey, Comoros is a party of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over war crimes committed on vessels of member states.)

Why would Israeli commandos shoot nine unarmed activists dead with nine millimeter bullets at close range, between the eyes, in the top of the head, in the back of the head, in the chest, in the back, and in the legs – including an American citizen? (The final death toll may be 15, as six activists are still missing; Israeli army radio reported 16 dead early last Monday when the attack took place on the Mavi Marmara, a part of the Free Gaza flotilla.)

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GazaFriends: Who Will Speak for the Palestinian Prisoners? Who will speak for the Children?

15 June, 2010 — Free GazaWitness Gaza

As survivors of Israel’s brutal attack in international waters begin their testimonies of murder and mayhem on the sea, every one of them reminds us that, although they were imprisoned and brutalized for three days, Palestinian prisoners have no voice, no public forum to tell their stories.

And Israel also arrests and tortures Palestinian children, throwing them into the adult prison population, more than 350 of them at any one time, some as young as 12.

Israel imprisons Palestinian activists who have no voice, holding them in administrative detention for months or charging them with resistance to occupation.

When you listen to the stories from the six ships that were hijacked and the passengers who were kidnapped, remember that Palestinians don’t get to stand in front of a microphone and talk about the brutality of Israeli prisons.

We must continue to break the siege of Gaza and raise our voices against the occupation in the West Bank. Donate to the Free Gaza movement, join the BDS movement, support our voyages by calling your representatives and insisting that Israel abide by international law.

Gaza Flotilla Testimonies, images by Ady Cousins, at Public Meeting London, 9 June, 2010, organized by Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Interview with Dr.Hanan Cehata, Press Officer, MEMO, images by PRESS TV

Greta Berlin, Co-Founder

Project for Pitiless Centuries By Felicity Arbuthnot

15 June, 2010 — URUK Net

‘I listen to the blackbird. A song for those who died.
Now it is still all left to do. So as not to lose sight of the goal, which is to lift the brutal blockade of Gaza. That will happen.
Beyond that goal, others are waiting. Demolishing a system of apartheid takes time. But not an eternity.’

(Swedish Author, Henning Menkel, Mavi Marmara survivor, diary entry, 2nd June 2010.)

In 1990, in arguably some of the most chilling lines written in recent history, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, et al., wrote, regarding embargoes, in an advisory document for the George H.W. Bush Administration: ‘ … we present our short list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ for the architects of a sanctions policy designed to change the politics of the target country … (3) Do pick on the weak and helpless …(5) Do impose the maximum cost on your target …’ (emphasis mine.) (1) On Hiroshima Day 1990, the most comprehensive embargo ever imposed by the UN., was imposed on Iraq.

This silent, comprehensive weapon of mass destruction is increasingly used as a method of warfare, often under a supine United Nations, arm twisted by the US, or on behalf of the friends it has left. The men, women and children who are victims of this unique deprivation, denying, or debilitating all life’s norms, are thus targeted by a United Nations established to :

‘ … reaffirm human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small …
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom … the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples … ‘

As Hufbauer pointed out: one hundred and seventy cases of economic sanctions have been imposed since World War 1. Fifty of these cases were launched in the 1990’s.

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The US-NATO “Arc of War” Stretches From Afghanistan to the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus By Rick Rozoff

9 June, 2010 Global ResearchStop NATO – 2010-06-08

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on June 6, meeting with President Ilham Aliyevon that day and on the following with Defense Minister Colonel General Safar Abiyev.

Gates was the first cabinet-level American official to visit the strategically positioned nation located inthe South Caucasus with Russia to its north, Iran to its south and the Caspian Sea to its east in five years and the first U.S. defense chief to visit since Donald Rumsfeld did in 2005.

When Gates predecessor was last in Azerbaijan his mission centered on the transportation of Caspian oil and the security of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhanoil pipeline as the chief element of U.S. trans-Eurasian oil and natural gas plans which [are] directly connected with Mr Rumsfeld’s department[1] to bring Caspian Sea hydrocarbons into Europe while bypassing Russia and Iran, both of which adjoin Azerbaijan.

Rumsfeld’s visit of five years ago also focused on a related initiative, the Caspian Guard project the Pentagon launched in 2003. Guaranteeing security to the pipeline… will be the prime goal of the Caspian Guard. The Caspian Guard will represent a network of police detachments and special military units in the Caspian region.[2]

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WikiLeaks is asking for urgent help By David Heath

15 June, 2010 — iTWire

Following the arrest of the person suspected of leaking the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, WikiLeaks feels that it is under attack and is seeking urgent support.

iTWire received the following message in the past few minutes, it’s meaning is very clear. We ask readers to assist where they can.

WikiLeaks may be under attack.

You were generous enough to write to us, but we have not had the labor resources to respond.

Your support is important to us. Please read all of this email to understand what is going on. We apologize for not getting back to you before. It is not through any lack of interest on our part, but an enforced lack of resources.

One of our alleged sources, a young US intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, has been detained and shipped to a US military prison in Kuwait, where he is being held without trial. Mr. Manning is alleged to have acted according to his conscious and leaked to us the Collateral Murder video and the video of a massacre that took place in Afghanistan last year at Garani.

The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over 100 people, mostly children.

Mr. Manning allegedly also sent us 260,000 classified US Department cables, reporting on the actions of US Embassy’s engaging in abusive actions all over the world. We have denied the allegation, but the US government is acting as if the allegation is true and we do have a lot of other material that exposes human rights abuses by the United States government.

Mr. Manning was allegedly exposed after talking to an unrelated ‘journalist’ who then worked with the US government to detain him.

Some background on the Manning case:

[note that there are some questions about the Wired reportage, see:]

WikiLeaks [is] a small organization going through enormous growth and operating in an adverserial, high-security environment which can make communication time consuming and the acquisition of new staff and volunteers, also difficult since they require high levels of trust.

To try and deal with our growth and the current difficult situation, we want to get you to work together with our other supporters to set up a ‘Friends of WikiLeaks’ group in your area. We have multiple supporters in most countries and would like to see them be a strong and independent force.

Please write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in helping with Friends of WikiLeaks in your area. You will receive further instructions.

We also have significant unexpected legal costs (for example flying a legal team to Kuwait, video production. Collateral Murder production costs were $50,000 all up).

Any financial contributions will be of IMMEDIATE assistance.

Please donate and tell the world that you have done so. Encourage all your friends to follow the example you set, after all, courage is contagious.

Julian Assange
Editor in Chief