New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad. According to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. The declarations added Iraqi minors got involve in sexual acts with Blackwater members in exchange for one dollar and Erik Prince, the firm's owner, "failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men."
Two judges said that seven paragraphs in a US intelligence document linked to the case which have remained unpublished as a result of pressure from the Government's lawyers must now be put into the public domain. In their ruling, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said there was “overwhelming” public interest in disclosing the seven paragraphs of material “redacted” from their original judgment on the Binyam Mohamed case last year. Enduring America: Britain, the US, and Torture: David Miliband is Still a Liar.
The UN human rights council has endorsed the Goldstone report on Israel's war on Gaza, which accused both Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas of war crimes, but was overall more critical of Israel than Hamas. The council's resolution "adopting" the report was passed in Geneva by 25 votes to six with 11 countries abstaining. The Goldstone report calls on Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, to monitor whether Israel and Hamas conduct credible investigations into the conflict which took place last winter. Should the two sides fail to do so, it calls on the UN Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has kicked off a two-day meeting to debate a report on Israel's war crimes during the Gaza conflict. On Thursday, most member states expressed their concerns about the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip, and chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the UN-ordered fact-finding mission into the December-January war in Gaza. Jewish South African judge Richard Goldstone's report was more critical of Israel than Hamas in committing war crimes in Gaza.
Israel's prime minister warned the United Nations that backing war crimes accusations against the Jewish state and the Palestinians could destroy Middle East peace efforts.
Le Canard Enchaîné, a French weekly newspaper famous for its humorous tone and penchant for uncovering leaks, is reporting on indications that the Israeli military is planning to launch ground strikes into Iranian territory some time after December. The report cites a meeting between Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi and French Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin in which Ashkenazi reportedly said the military had abandonded plans to bomb Iran, but was considering deploying its elite forces to the nation to launch ground attacks instead. Faster Times: John Bolton Suggests Nuclear Attack on Iran.
The Nuremberg Principles are a set of guidelines established after World War II to try Nazi members who also committed genocide against the Jewish and travelling community in Europe. They were established to decide what constitutes a war crime. The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three protocols that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war.
The wiping out of 7.2 million jobs in the US since the onset of the financial crisis is the principal cause of homes falling into foreclosure. This crisis of unemployment is only deepening, with the national unemployment rate set to top 10 percent this month. [Real Unemployment is almost 20%.] A total of 937,840 homes received foreclosure letters, including default notices as well as bank repossessions, according to RealtyTrac, a private firm that tracks foreclosure activity and markets foreclosed homes online. Of these, 238,000 homes were actually repossessed by lenders, a 21 percent increase over the previous quarter. Since the beginning of this year, 623,852 homes have been repossessed. In the worst-hit states, foreclosures have risen to epidemic proportions, with one in 23 housing units receiving notices in Nevada, and one in 53 in Arizona. Fully a quarter of a million homes faced foreclosure in California during the past quarter. The New York Times called the Dow’s rise to 10,000 “a milestone of the stock market’s recovery from the depths of the financial crisis.”
Obama to control your television; brainwashing will be “organically” woven into plots and storylines all next week. Under the auspices of a program run by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), network TV shows will be used to promote “service and volunteerism” on behalf of the public as part of a “week-long of television programming on all four leading broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and all affiliated broadcast and cable properties as well, and other networks, beginning October 19.”
25,000 Full Time "Insurgents" Fighting in Afghanistan. The intelligence community now believes that the Taliban has 25,000 full time fighters on its side, an increase of 5,000 over the estimate from the previous year and quite a hike considering the the large numbers of Taliban the US claims to have killed on a fairly regular basis.
Pakistan was reeling last night after the Taliban intensified its bloody campaign of violence, launching five separate attacks in a single day, including the first ever with female assailants. WSWS: Pakistan descends deeper into civil war.
The bill also insists on controlling the way the money is channeled, expressing distrust of the Pakistani military and intelligence agency ISI. "Pakistani military or its intelligence agency ceases support to "terrorist groups" that have conducted attacks against the US or its coalition forces in Afghanistan or the people in neighboring countries," reads one clause in the bill. The bill sets several conditions for the aid to Pakistan. Pakistani army has said it was uneasy about "clauses impacting on national security". Critics in Islamabad including the military say the aid package could undermine Pakistan's sovereignty. IBN Live: Obama tags anti-terror terms to Pak "aid" package.
UK media: McChrystal will get his troop surge. Despite a vehement denial from the White House, another British news source is claiming the Obama administration has decided in favor of a significant troop increase for Afghanistan. AntiWar: Report: Obama Poised to Announce 45,000 Troop Escalation in Afghanistan. + Backdoor Escalation: Obama is smooth-talking his way into the Afghan quagmire.
America the land of the free and the home of the brave. Really? Brave, I don't think so. How can we consider ourselves brave when we let the Wall Street elite steal our money and then blackmail us to bail them out and we sit back and twiddle our thumbs like a bunch of wimps?
Spain's parliament approved a law narrowing the scope of a cross-border justice doctrine that had allowed judges to indict people such as Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden,
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