Accusations from Obama administration officials and the media that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his sources have “blood on their hands” for revealing information on US military operations and informants in Afghanistan are contemptible slanders. Responsibility for blood spilled in Afghanistan lies with the US government, which launched the war.
Meeting at the African Union Summit in Kampala, African leaders have agreed to send more troops to Somalia to support the Transitional Federal Government against the Islamist militia al-Shabaab. US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson welcomed the decision. “We believe that it is necessary to have more troops on the ground,” he said, “and we in Washington have committed ourselves to support additional troops on the ground in the same fashion that we have supported the existing Burundi and Ugandan troops.”
With less than three weeks to go before the August 21 federal election, Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government has been shaken by a series of serious leaks from within the senior ranks of the Labor Party. Media opinion polls now suggest that the Labor government is back exactly where it was before Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd—facing defeat in its first term of office, the first such debacle since the 1930s.
The decision by the social democratic PASOK government to use the military to break a nationwide strike by truck drivers is a stark indication of the polarisation of class relations in Greece and throughout Europe. The 33,000 truck drivers stopped work on Monday in protest at government plans to revoke the current system of licensing trucks. The change threatens many owner-operators with bankruptcy.
Conditions in Haiti are still appalling six months after the quake, reports Ashley Smith. SIX MONTHS after Haiti's catastrophic earthquake, the promises of the world's most powerful governments to provide billions in aid to one of the world's poorest and weakest governments have been betrayed.
Large numbers of American troops will remain in Afghanistan after a "limited" drawdown beginning in July 2011, the US defence secretary has said. Speaking in a television interview on Sunday, Robert Gates said that the deadline did not mark the date that the US would leave Afghanistan.
Outgoing British ambassador to Israel, Tom Phillips, has been quoted as saying that the British public is drifting away from Israel due to negative impression about Israeli criminal policies against Palestinians. Speaking during an interview with the right-wing newspaper, the Jerusalem post, Philips acknowledge that as far the British public was concerned, things for Israel were not what they used to be.
We have arrived at critical juncture in the ongoing financial crisis. Have the government actions of the last year successfully spurred the animal spirits of Americans, resulting in a self-sustaining recovery? The Obama administration and most of the mainstream media would answer yes. GDP has been positive for the last four quarters. Consumer spending has increased in five consecutive months. Corporate profits have been relatively strong. The country has stopped losing jobs. The missing piece has been a housing recovery.
The Pentagon is rapidly improving its ability to fight wars with robots. This capability is "bringing about the most profound transformation of warfare since the advent of the atom bomb," says Scientific American, and raises "a host of ethical and legal issues."
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan believes that the US should "follow the law" and let the Bush tax cuts lapse. He disagreed Sunday with Republicans who say that tax cuts pay for themselves. "I am very much in favor of tax cuts but not with borrowed money," Greenspan said during an appearance on NBC. "The problem that we've gotten into in recent years is that spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day that proves disastrous and my view is I don't think we can play subtle policy here," said Greenspan.
A bill that would give law enforcement more leeway during interrogations of people deemed a public security risk would "gut" the rights afforded to people who have been arrested, critics say. The bill, put forward at the end of last week by US House Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), appears to have the unofficial backing of the Obama administration, at least in principle.
Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said Sunday the United States has a plan in place to attack Iran, if it is necessary. "Military actions have been on the table and remain on the table" for curbing Iran's nuclear ambition," Mullen, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer, told NBC's "Meet the Press". When asked if the military has a plan in place to attack Iran if it is needed, he replied: "we do."
More than 300,000 immigrants languish in detention centers around the country. Why are they there - and who is profiting from their imprisonment? Pedro Guzman Perez speaks to his wife, Emily Guzman, by phone every evening. They speak around 8 PM, a talk filled with stories about their days, shared projects and love. Sometimes their three-year-old son, Logan, wants to get on the phone too, but usually Logan will be watching a show in another room. They have a great relationship, Emily says, and the conversations are often the highlight of her day.
“Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel.”
Security forces fear wave of terror as austerity programme provokes strikes, protests, violence – and assassination. Greek security forces have warned of a wave of violence reminiscent of the terror that stalked Italy in the seventies after urban guerillas threatened last week to turn the country into a "war zone". "Greece has entered a new phase of political violence by anarchist-oriented organisations that are more murderous, dangerous, capable and nihilistic than ever before," said Athanasios Drougos, a defence and counter-terrorism analyst in Athens.
A semi-secret government contractor that calls itself Project Vigilant surfaced at the Defcon security conference Sunday with a series of revelations: that it monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers, hands much of that information to federal agencies, and encouraged one of its "volunteers," researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April.
For the definitive confirmation that the Fed is and has always been very open to, at least philosophically, pushing the market higher no matter what the cost (if not in practice - they would never do that, oh no, Liberty 33 would never stoop so low), is this quote from former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan who was on Meet The Press earlier, where he said the following stunner: "if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the economy than any other measure we have discussed here." In other words, the Fed's dual mandate of maximizing employment and promoting a stable inflation rate have been brushed aside,
Oxford professor Julian Savulescu says fluoridation demonstrates how populations of the future could be mass-medicated through pharmacological ‘cognitive enhancements’ added to the water supply.
Rep. Charles Rangel may be in trouble because he is your standard corrupt district of criminals opportunist, but that has not killed his mandatory slavery bill. On July 15, Rangel introduced H.R. 5741, the Universal National Service Act, and it was referred to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel on July 23. Even though the bill does not have co-sponsors, it is currently under debate.
The hope of the brave soldier who sent 92,000 secret U.S. documents to Wikileaks was that their disclosure would prompt public revulsion and increasing political pressure on Obama to seek with all speed a diplomatic conclusion to this war. The documents he sent Wikileaks included overwhelming documentary evidence – accepted by all as genuine, of: * the methodical use of a death squad made up of US Special Forces, known as Task Force 373, * willful, casual slaughter of civilians by Coalition personnel, with ensuing cover-ups,
U.S. troops now account for about two-thirds of the NATO force in Afghanistan, and Americans make up nearly two-thirds of July's Western military fatalities.
The sanctions imposed recently against Iran by the United Nations, and later separately by the US Congress, have one thing in common. Both were driven by the US at the instigation of Israel. But they are also, I believe, generally misunderstood. Sanctions are normally intended to alter the behavior of the country being sanctioned — to punish it for what it is doing, to keep it from continuing practices or policies others find objectionable, or both. And overtly, that is the function of these sanctions. But that is not their actual purpose.
When Alain Reyes’s hair suddenly fell out in a freakish band circling his head, he was not the only one worried about his health. His co-workers at a shipping company avoided him, and his boss sent him home, fearing he had a contagious disease.
The oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and plankton its red blood cells. Those vital "red blood cells" have declined more than 40 percent since 1950 and the rate of decline is increasing due to climate change, scientists reported this week. "Phytoplankton are a critical part of our planetary life support system. They produce half of the oxygen we breathe, draw down surface CO2, and ultimately support all of our fisheries," said Boris Worm of Canada's Dalhousie University and one of the world's leading experts on the global oceans. "An ocean with less phytoplankton will function differently," said Worm, the co-author of a new study on plankton published this week in Nature.
President Obama’s four-hour visit to Detroit Friday brought him to the center of the economic catastrophe created by the profit system. The “Motor City” was once a byword for decent-paying jobs in the world’s biggest industry. But Detroit is now synonymous with poverty, urban decay, mass unemployment and the virtual breakdown of a functioning society.
The same week that European officials announced the results of bank stress tests designed to give bankers a green light to continue their speculative ways, European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet published a column in the Financial Times (July 22) arguing for an end to economic stimulus programs and the rigorous imposition of austerity measures across Europe.
As US military fatalities in Afghanistan hit a new high in July, the US Army issued a report exposing record suicides, drug use and other signs of deep demoralization among its ranks after a decade of colonial-style wars. Another six US troops were killed in a series of four separate attacks across southern Afghanistan on Thursday and Friday, bringing the total death toll for the month to at least 66. This follows the previous high set last month of 60. Both were at least double the average number of fatalities for the first five months of this year.
There are places, like the medical examiners office in Tucson, Arizona, where the human cost of migration to the United States is counted. (Getty Images)Dr Bruce Parks, the chief medical examiner, is a tall, thin, quiet man. He put on rubber gloves and led me over to a zippered plastic bag sitting on a steel gurney
The SEC just hit two Citigroup executives with fines for concealing $40 billion in subprime mortgage debt from investors back in 2007. The biggest fine is going to Citi CFO Gary Crittenden, who will pay $100,000 to settle allegations that he screwed over his own investors. The year of the alleged wrongdoing, Crittenden took home $19.4 million. That’s right. Crittenden will lose one-half of one percent of his income from the year he hid a quagmire of bailout-inducing insanity from his own investors. That’s it. No indictment. No prison time. Crittenden doesn’t even have to formally acknowledge any wrongdoing.
A trio of progressives in Congress invoked the 45th birthday of Medicare's enactment Friday to call for a national single payer health insurance system, predicting it's "inevitable" if Americans want lower costs.
The death of five Israeli servicemen in a helicopter crash in Romania this week raised scarcely a headline. There was a Nato-Israeli exercise in progress. Well, that's OK then. Now imagine the death of five Hamas fighters in a helicopter crash in Romania this week. We'd still be investigating this extraordinary phenomenon. Now mark you, I'm not comparing Israel and Hamas. Israel is the country that justifiably slaughtered more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza 19 months ago – more than 300 of them children – while the vicious, blood-sucking and terrorist Hamas killed 13 Israelis (three of them soldiers who actually shot each other by mistake).
Around 200 people raised the Morning Star flag in Indonesia's Papua province in December 2001, in a symbolic move to mark the Papuan independence campaign that has been pursued since 1962. Filep Karma was arrested at that ceremony and jailed 15 years for flying the outlawed Papua flag.
When Colombian military units receive an increase in U.S. aid, they allegedly kill more civilians and frame the deaths as combat kills, according to a new report. The report, released Thursday by two American human rights organizations, raises serious questions about the implications of U.S. military aid to Colombia. The United States has provided more than $7 billion in mostly military aid to Colombia since 2000 for fighting drugs and counterinsurgency — making it the largest recipient of U.S. military aid after Israel.
In response to the WikiLeaks posting of tens of thousands of secret documents on the Afghanistan war, the Pentagon has launched a manhunt within the military and called in the FBI for possible prosecution of the actual whistleblower who supplied the evidence of US atrocities. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, used a Pentagon press conference Thursday to vilify WikiLeaks and its editor, Julian Assange, while vowing to crack down on anyone involved in making public the documents comprising the so-called Afghan War Diary posted by the organization.
Investors at the CIA and Google are backing a company called "Recorded Future" that monitors tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts in real time in order to find patterns, events and relationships that may predict the future. The news comes amidst Google’s so-called "Wi-Spy" scandal, that refers to revelations that Google’s Street View cars operating in some thirty countries snooped on private Wi-Fi networks over the last three years. [includes rush transcript]
3 days after documents of 8 years of war crimes against the people of Afghanistan were leaked, what does the U.S. government do? Admit or apologize for the crimes? No -- go after the leakers! Pentagon Launches 'Manhunt' for Document Leaker. Cut off the funding for the wars? No, vote another $59 billion! On Friday U.S. Conducts Afghan massacre - On Tuesday Congress Votes to fund more death. The massive release of documents by Wikileaks.org only proves what our movement has been saying for years: the illegitimate occupation is built on regarding all civillians as potential enemies, killing them in strikes from the air, detaining them indefinitely, depriving them of safe havens from either the Taliban, the war lords in Karzai's government, or US troops, and carving up the resources under Afghanistan for foreign use. In the name of a war for empire, everyone here and there is less safe.
Criticism comes in wake of France's decision to expel illegal Roma immigrants and destroy hundreds of their encampments. Amnesty International says the EU has committed a 'serious breach of human rights' towards the Roma. The European Union was today accused of "turning a blind eye" as countries across Europe carried out a wave of expulsions and introduced new legislation targeting the Roma. Human rights groups criticised the EU for failing to address the real issues driving Europe's largest ethnic minority to migrate in the first place and for choosing not to upbraid countries for breaking both domestic and EU laws in their treatment of them.
"There are alarming links between increased reports of extrajudicial executions of civilians by the Colombian army and units that receive U.S. military financing," John Lindsay-Poland, lead author of a two-year study on the question, told IPS.
In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.”
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