Friday, November 30, 2012

Lack of Global Warming Blamed on Heat Hiding Oceans

Editor's Note:  They ignore the laws of thermodynamics and just assume the heat is stored somewhere.  Heat dissipates. 

"Missing" global heat may hide in deep oceans

  A fisherman carries a fish near Chitthu Island at Ngwesaung Beach February 14, 2010. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

(Reuters) - The mystery of Earth's missing heat may have been solved: it could lurk deep in oceans, temporarily masking the climate-warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Sunday.
Climate scientists have long wondered where this so-called missing heat was going, especially over the last decade, when greenhouse emissions kept increasing but world air temperatures did not rise correspondingly.

The build-up of energy and heat in Earth's system is important to track because of its bearing on current weather and future climate.

The temperatures were still high -- the decade between 2000 and 2010 was Earth's warmest in more than a century -- but the single-year mark for warmest global temperature was stuck at 1998, until 2010 matched it.

The world temperature should have risen more than it did, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research reckoned.

They knew greenhouse gas emissions were rising during the decade and satellites showed there was a growing gap between how much sunlight was coming in and how much radiation was going out. Some heat was coming to Earth but not leaving, and yet temperatures were not going up as much as projected.

So where did the missing heat go?

Computer simulations suggest most of it was trapped in layers of oceans deeper than 1,000 feet during periods like the last decade when air temperatures failed to warm as much as they might have.

This could happen for years at a time, and it could happen periodically this century, even as the overall warming trend continues, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"This study suggests the missing energy has indeed been buried in the ocean," NCAR's Kevin Trenberth, a co-author of the study, said in a statement. "The heat has not disappeared and so it cannot be ignored. It must have consequences."

Trenberth and the other researchers ran five computer simulations of global temperatures, taking into account the interactions between the atmosphere, land, oceans and sea ice, and basing the simulations on projected human-generated greenhouse gas emissions.

These simulations all indicated global temperature would rise several degrees this century. But all of them also showed periods when temperatures would stabilize before rising. During these periods, the extra heat moved into deep ocean water due to changes in ocean circulation, the scientists said.

(Reporting by Deborah Zabarenko in Washington, editing by Chris Wilson)

OPEN CLIMATE LETTER TO UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: Current scientific knowledge does not substantiate Ban Ki-Moon assertions on weather and climate, say 125-plus scientists.

Financial Post
Policy actions that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to influence future climate. Policies need to focus on preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climatic events, however caused

Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
First Avenue and East 44th Street, New York, New York, U.S.A.
November 29, 2012
Mr. Secretary-General:

On November 9 this year you told the General Assembly: “Extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal … Our challenge remains, clear and urgent: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to strengthen adaptation to … even larger climate shocks … and to reach a legally binding climate agreement by 2015 … This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy.”

On November 13 you said at Yale: “The science is clear; we should waste no more time on that debate.”

The following day, in Al Gore’s “Dirty Weather” Webcast, you spoke of “more severe storms, harsher droughts, greater floods”, concluding: “Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States. A nation saw the reality of climate change. The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars. The cost of inaction will be even higher. We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.”

We the undersigned, qualified in climate-related matters, wish to state that current scientific knowledge does not substantiate your assertions. 

The U.K. Met Office recently released data showing that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years. During this period, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations rose by nearly 9% to now constitute 0.039% of the atmosphere. Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years. Whether, when and how atmospheric warming will resume is unknown. The science is unclear. Some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is also a distinct possibility.

The “even larger climate shocks” you have mentioned would be worse if the world cooled than if it warmed. Climate changes naturally all the time, sometimes dramatically. The hypothesis that our emissions of CO2 have caused, or will cause, dangerous warming is not supported by the evidence.

The incidence and severity of extreme weather has not increased. There is little evidence that dangerous weather-related events will occur more often in the future. The U.N.’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its Special Report on Extreme Weather (2012) that there is “an absence of an attributable climate change signal” in trends in extreme weather losses to date. The funds currently dedicated to trying to stop extreme weather should therefore be diverted to strengthening our infrastructure so as to be able to withstand these inevitable, natural events, and to helping communities rebuild after natural catastrophes such as tropical storm Sandy.

There is no sound reason for the costly, restrictive public policy decisions proposed at the U.N. climate conference in Qatar. Rigorous analysis of unbiased observational data does not support the projections of future global warming predicted by computer models now proven to exaggerate warming and its effects.

The NOAA “State of the Climate in 2008” report asserted that 15 years or more without any statistically-significant warming would indicate a discrepancy between observation and prediction. Sixteen years without warming have therefore now proven that the models are wrong by their creators’ own criterion.

Based upon these considerations, we ask that you desist from exploiting the misery of the families of those who lost their lives or properties in tropical storm Sandy by making unsupportable claims that human influences caused that storm. They did not. We also ask that you acknowledge that policy actions by the U.N., or by the signatory nations to the UNFCCC, that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to exercise any significant influence on future climate. Climate policies therefore need to focus on preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climatic events however caused.

Signed by:

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky Presents 9/11 Revisited: Seeking the Truth

The Highway of Death

A short film about the atrocities that took place along the road from Mutlaa, Kuwait to Basra. Iraq on February 26th & 27th, 1991.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Burt Rutan on Climate Change - WUWT-TV November 14th 2012

Palestine Wins Status of State in Vote by U.N. Assembly

New York Times

More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to grant Palestine the upgraded status of nonmember observer state in the United Nations, a stinging defeat for Israel and the United States and a boost for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who was weakened by the recent eight days of fighting in Gaza.

The new ranking could make it easier for the Palestinians to pursue Israel in international legal forums, but it remained unclear what effect it would have on attaining what both sides say they want — a two-state solution.

Still, the vote offered a showcase for an extraordinary international lineup of support for the Palestinians and constituted a deeply symbolic achievement for their cause, made even weightier by arriving on the 65th anniversary of the General Assembly vote that divided the former British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab — a vote that Israel considers the international seal of approval for its birth.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, about 2,000 Palestinians gathered to celebrate in a central square named after the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Security forces fired into the air and people applauded, danced in the streets and honked car horns when the results were broadcast to the crowd.

“We are witnessing exceptional moments after 65 years of injustice, suffering and pain,” said Jibril Rajoub, the member of Fatah Central Committee. “We are going to witness an Israeli American efforts to keep this resolution ink on paper.”

The tally, in which 138 members voted yes, 9 voted no and 41 abstained, took place after a speech by Mr. Abbas to the General Assembly, in which he called the moment a “last chance” to save the two-state solution amid a narrowing window of opportunity.

Read More

AP's dangerous Iran hoax demands an accounting and explanation

The Guardian
Glenn Greenwald

Iran ap

An article published by Associated Press about Iran's nuclear program has sparked controversy (screen shot of AP story)
(updated below w/AP's response)

It's important to return to the story about AP's nuclear Iran "exclusive" which I wrote about yesterday. Although it was intuitively obvious that the graph trumpeted by AP as scary and incriminating of Iran's nuclear program was actually a farce, there is now new, overwhelming, very compelling scientific evidence that is the case. Whether as victim or recklessly culpable participant, AP helped perpetrate a dangerous hoax, and owes an explanation and accounting for what took place, including identifying the "officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program" who made false claims about what this is.

To begin with, the graph AP touted as reflecting some sort of nefarious, highly threatening and complex nuclear calculation is, in fact, widely available all over the Internet in the most innocuous places. Just consider this side-by-side comparison of the AP graph on the left, with the graph on the right on this harmless site designed to teach beginner users how to use Microsoft Excel:
iran ap
At the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS), Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress on Wednesday night wrote: "Graphs such as the one published by the Associated Press can be found in nuclear science textbooks and on the Internet." Similarly, Prof. Muhammad Sahimi, a professor of chemical engineering at USC and expert in Iran's nuclear program, told Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olum that "too many graphs like this can be generated by a competent undergraduate student." So what AP presented to the world as some sort of highly complex, specialized document was, in fact, nothing more than a completely common graph easily found in all sorts of public venues.

Even worse, the calculations reflected on this graph are patently ridiculous. Butt and Dalnoki-Veress document that the graph "does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax" [emphasis added]. That's because, they explain, "the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level"; namely:
"The image released to the Associated Press shows two curves: one that plots the energy versus time, and another that plots the power output versus time, presumably from a fission device. But these two curves do not correspond: If the energy curve is correct, then the peak power should be much lower - around 300 million ( 3x108) kt per second, instead of the currently stated 17 trillion (1.7 x1013) kt per second. As is, the diagram features a nearly million-fold error."
This error is patently obvious to anyone versed in nuclear physics. Nima Shirazi yesterday spoke with Dr. M. Hossein Partovi, who teaches courses in thermodynamics and quantum mechanics at Sacramento State, and he echoed the BAS scientists:
"[Dr. Partovi], noting that the graph is plotted in microseconds, explains that 'the graph depicted in the report is a nonspecific power/energy plot that is primarily evidence of the incompetence of those who forged it: a quick look at the energy graph shows that the total energy is more than four orders of magnitude (forty thousand times) smaller than the total integrated power that it must equal!'"
Notably, the nuclear expert quoted by AP in its article, David Albright, also seemed to be trying to tell AP that the graph contained this same obvious, glaring error, yet AP - eager to believe, or at least lead others to believe, that it had some incriminating evidence - either failed or refused to understand its significance. Buried in the AP article was this passage:
"'The yield is too big,' Albright said, noting that North Korea's first tests of a nuclear weapon were only a few kilotons."

But AP never indicated that this error strongly suggested that no real nuclear scientist would have prepared it, and immediately went back in the very next paragraph to touting the document as some sort of scary evidence of Iran's threatening nuclear weapons machinations.

Syria Has Just Been Taken Offline

Noah Shachtman

Updated 1:37 pm.

Syria has been largely cut off from the rest of the internet — just as rebel forces are making some of their biggest advances yet against the Assad regime.

“From what we are seeing,” information security specialist Chris Ginley tells Danger Room, “Syria is offline.”

The network monitoring group Renesys reported on Thursday that 77 networks — 92% of the country’s total — began experiencing outages at 10:26 Greenwich Mean Time.
But Syria’s apparently systematic disconnection from the internet actually began at least a week earlier, according to research by the SecDev Group internet analytics firm. Around the middle of the month, Syria’s ordinary handful of daily requests to withdraw from Syria’s BGP [Border Gateway Protocol] routes started to grow to a few hundred per. These connections are what enables one national network to interface with the broader internet. On November 22, the withdrawals suddenly jumped to more than 2000. An even greater spike occurred on November 29.

“When a country withdraws itself from the internet using BGP such as Syria has, it means that on a technical level no one knows how to get there anymore, because there are no longer any paths, effectively shutting off the internet in the region,” SecDev explains in a draft report.

“On some networks there are still some paths in place,” Ginley adds. “But this could be to maintain some limited communication or perhaps it’s just an error on their side.”
The communications blackout — which, according to some local reports, also briefly included cell and landline phone service – is hugely important to the war effort in Syria.

 The rebels don’t just use these networks to share information with one another. They train their forces and document regime atrocities with YouTube clips. The government has been known to shut down internet service in a particular city in advance of a major attack.

“But this is the first time are seeing it centralized (from what I can tell),” emails SecDev CEO Rafal Rohozinski, who has been working with Syrian opposition groups. “We are trying to ascertain whether this is a deliberate pulling of the plug, a technical error, or something else.”

Damascus International Airport has also reportedly disappeared from some flight radars.
“I would be a bit surprised if this was a long-lasting outage,” Rohozinski adds. “The Syrian government and security forces rely alsp on the internet as a means of coordination, propaganda, and ensuring a degree of satisfaction among its constituency. Also, Syria has seen increase in cell phone and internet subscribers during the period of the conflict. In other words, it’s a source of revenue for the economy and government, as well as a vital lifeline for most people.”

Syria’s information minister claims that the Damascus government had nothing to do with the shutdown. “It is not true that the state cut the internet. The terrorists targeted the internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off,” Reuters quotes him as saying. One regime-friendly website calls the cutoff a NATO “psychological operation.”

Perhaps. But one thing is for certain: the communications clampdown comes as Syrian rebels are enjoying some of their most important gains of the war. They seized a major hydroelectric dam on Monday. And “in the past month,” the New York Times reports, “fighters have overrun a half-dozen [military] bases around Damascus, Syria’s capital; two in the country’s eastern oil-producing area; and the largest military
installation near the country’s largest city, Aleppo.” The AP reports that American officials are preparing to recognize the opposition as Syria’s legitimate government.

A chart from Akamai shows the drop-off of Syrian internet traffic.

The regime is continuing to bombard rebel-controlled bases and towns from the air. On Tuesday, the regime warplanes bombed an olive press factory near the Turkish border, killing at least 20 people. A day prior, air attacks on two rebel bases reportedly sent hundreds of people fleeing into Turkey. These attacks came just before a NATO team arrived in Turkey to scout potential sites for Patriot missile batteries, which could be used to defend against a regime attack across the border.

Syrian rebels have fought back with captured anti-aircraft missile launchers, days ago shooting down a regime helicopter. It’s all part of an increasing array of heavy weapons captured from army bases overrun by the rebels. Earlier in November, rebels seized a major military base near the northern city of Aleppo, capturing several tanks, multiple armored vehicles and long-range artillery guns. Perhaps more vital for the war against Assad is the situation near the capital of Damascus, which is now seeing signs of a “rebel siege,” opposition activist Fawaz Tello told Reuters. Rebel forces captured at least two military bases near Damascus in this month, and are are reportedly coming close to cutting off the city’s airport.

Syria’s networks have also become a central battlefield in the conflict. In recent months, pro-regime hackers are trying to gain access to activists’ machines — by tricking them into downloading fake security software. Once installed, the surveillance programs will “take screenshots of target machines, turn on the computer’s microphone or camera, log all your keystrokes — and then send it all back to Damascus,” Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation tells Danger Room. As Renesys notes, it may be no coincidence that one of the few networks to survive the Syrian blackout was implicated the May malware attacks targeting activists.

Both sides have leaked embarrassing emails belonging to the other. In August, pro-regime hackers broke into the Reuters news service, posting a fake news story about the crumbling of rebel support in Aleppo. In September, the Al-Jazeera news network had its websites defaced with messages calling the rebels “terrorists.”

Meanwhile, several hundred Syrian activists have traveled to Istanbul for training in secure communications, funded by the U.S. State Department. The rebel leaders received tips on how to leapfrog firewalls, encrypt their data, and use cellphones without getting caught, as Time magazine recently reported. Then they returned to Syria, many of them with new phones and satellite modems in hand.

In response, perhaps, the regime has detained tech activists like the open source advocate Bassel Khartabil. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has “launched a letter-writing campaign, hoping to flood Syrian officials and diplomats with physical mail demanding that Khartabil be formally charged and given access to a lawyer or released immediately.” Given the state of Syria’s networks, it may be the only kind of mail that gets through.

Maryland Family Files Lawsuit Against Federal Government, Claims CIA was Responsible for the Death of Their Father and Lied About Its Involvement, Says Gilbert LLP

Herald Online
Gilbert LLP
Dr. Frank Olson

Eric and Nils Olson, the victim's sons, claim that Dr. Olson had a crisis of conscience about continuing his research into the use of biological weapons and mind control techniques after witnessing extreme interrogations in which the CIA committed murder using the biological agents that he had helped to develop.  Shortly afterwards, the lawsuit alleges, CIA officials drugged Dr. Olson with LSD and then took him to New York under the pretense of psychiatric treatment by a CIA doctor who turned out to be an allergist.  Plaintiffs claim that Dr. Olson was given alcohol and sedatives, and then was thrown from the thirteenth floor of the New York hotel room he was sharing with his CIA colleague.  Instead of apprehending those responsible and telling the Olson family the truth, the family says, the CIA closed ranks and dissembled, embarking on a multi-decade cover-up that continues to this day.

Dr. Olson plunged to his death from the window of a thirteenth floor hotel room in New York City on Thanksgiving weekend in 1953.  The circumstances of Dr. Olson's death were substantially similar to the "contrived accident" described in detail as "the most effective ["secret assassination"] technique" in a covert CIA manual published that same year.  Indeed, as Dr. Olson lay crumpled and dying on the street, his CIA colleague did not run down to his aid.  Nor did he call the police.  Instead, the complaint alleges, a person in Dr. Olson's room made a phone call.  The hotel operator overheard one party say "Well, he's gone."  The person on the other end responded simply "That's too bad."

Following Dr. Olson's death, the United States informed his widow and three children that Dr. Olson had died in a terrible accident and due to his disfigurement, they should not view the body.  Both statements, the lawsuit alleges, were outright lies.  In the ensuing years of question and doubt, the family suffered at every conceivable level.  Mrs. Olson descended into chronic alcoholism and her sons were raised in part by their father's ex-CIA colleague, who repeatedly abused them sexually, the complaint says.  Throughout, the government's cover-up and lies continued.

In 1975, after post-Watergate scrutiny of federal intelligence abuses, the United States was forced publicly to acknowledge having drugged Dr. Olson with LSD.  Once again, instead of telling the truth and bringing Dr. Olson's murderers to justice, the government came up with a new explanation:  Dr. Olson's death now was not an accident after all, but the result of an LSD-related suicide.  The family's unanswered questions lingered, however, with repeated requests for full disclosure and the truth.  In 1995, Eric and Nils Olson had their father's body exhumed and an autopsy performed. The autopsy found a previously undisclosed wound consistent with a blow to the head.  The New York District Attorney's Office reopened its investigation into Dr. Olson's death, ultimately reclassifying the official cause of his death from "suicide" to "unknown."

In spite of repeated attempts by Dr. Olson's family to obtain a full accounting from the CIA of its responsibility for his murder, the lawsuit alleges, the CIA has compounded their grief by failing to disclose all information related to his death – an omission confirmed by former CIA Director William Colby in a message to one of Dr. Olson's sons several years before Colby's own death under suspicious circumstances.  The decades-long cover-up allegedly extended to high-ranking White House officials, including Donald Rumsfeld, at the time chief of staff to President Gerald Ford, and, Dick Cheney, his deputy chief of staff.

As recently as February 2011, the CIA refused to produce files that the Olson family requested.  The agency continues to claim that it has given the family "a complete and accurate presentation of what happened to Dr. Olson."  "That is just not the case," said Eric Olson.  "The evidence shows that our father was killed in their custody.  They have lied to us ever since, withholding documents and information, and changing their story when convenient.  We were just little boys and they took away our lives – the CIA didn't kill only our father, they killed our entire family again and again and again." he stated.
"It's unfathomable that our own government could stand by as its agents, operating on United States soil, killed an American citizen in cold blood, destroyed his family, and then allowed those directly responsible to walk away without so much as a blemish on their personnel files.  Instead of putting its energy and resources into doing what is right, the United States – including this Administration – has sought to bury this and hide the truth from Dr. Olson's only surviving relatives and from the American people." said Scott Gilbert, lead counsel and founder of Gilbert LLP.

"We need to put an end to this story of murder and deceit; it is time to do what is right.  And our job is to ensure that happens." he added.

About Gilbert LLP

Gilbert LLP is a Washington, DC-based law firm focused on strategic risk and litigation consulting and on insurance recovery. The firm's clients include business entities, debtors and creditors in bankruptcy matters, trusts and committees formed in such cases, law firms, accounting firms and other professional organizations, non-profits and individuals.  Gilbert LLP also has a very robust public service practice.  For more information about Gilbert LLP, visit

Read more here:
A lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to hold the CIA accountable for its involvement in the death of Dr. Frank Olson, a bio-weapons scientist and covert CIA officer who worked at the United States Army's "Special Operations" laboratory at Camp Detrick, Maryland in the early 1950s.A lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to hold the CIA accountable for its involvement in the death of Dr. Frank Olson, a bio-weapons scientist and covert CIA officer who worked at the United States Army's "Special Operations" laboratory at Camp Detrick, Maryland in the early 1950s.

Read more here:

Read more here:
A lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to hold the CIA accountable for its involvement in the death of Dr. Frank Olson, a bio-weapons scientist and covert CIA officer who worked at the United States Army's "Special Operations" laboratory at Camp Detrick, Maryland in the early 1950s.

Read more here:

WH: Obama 'Is Not Particularly Concerned' Whether Susan Rice Misled the American People

Weekly Standard
Daniel Halper

In response to a question from reporter Major Garrett on whether the Obama administration's mishandling of Benghazi raises "core questions of basic competency," press secretary Jay Carney revealed that Barack Obama "is not particularly concerned" about whether Susan Rice misled the American people:

"What the president is worried about, Major, is what happened and why in Benghazi. He is not particularly concerned about whether the ambassador or I went out and talked about the fact that we believed extremists might have been responsible. And whether we named them as al Qaeda or not does not--no, it certainly doesn't have any bearing on what happened and who was responsible as that investigation was continuing on Benghazi."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Does Israel’s Zionist Project Require the Destruction of Palestine?

Interview with Gregory Harms

Global Research
Kourosh Ziabari

israelAmerican journalist and scholar Gregory Harms believes that the recent 8-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip might have been waged to distract public attention from the internal socioeconomic crises and problems the Israeli regime faces, especially ahead of the January 2013 legislative elections. He believes that launching airstrikes on Gaza may serve to give Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party a secure vote in the upcoming elections.

“[P]ushing the Gaza button focuses Israelis on matters of security. The population in Israel is highly manipulated and taught to be fearful… Israel’s isolation is bad for the country and its people; it cultivates a very unhealthy national psychology. As a result – and quite similar to Americans – the public is easily turned around. When things are too calm, the people begin focusing on domestic issues and the economy. This has been a serious issue in Israel, with massive protesting occurring over housing costs and income disparity. Israel’s economy is better than most, but there are serious grievances, and when the Arab Spring took hold of North Africa and the Arab Middle East, its effects were felt in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv,” he said in a recent interview with me after the announcement of ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on November 21.

Gregory Harms is an independent scholar specializing in U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. He lectures, keeps a blog on Facebook, and publishes articles on CounterPunch, Truthout, and Mondoweiss. Harms has traveled throughout Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and has been interviewed on BBC Radio.

His first book “The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction,” 3rd ed. (Pluto Press, 2012) is brief and general summary of the history of Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the establishment of the Israeli regime in 1948.

I conducted an interview with Gregory Harms a few days after the conclusion of the Operation Pillar of Defense which claimed the lives of at least 170 Palestinians and caused serious damages to the infrastructure and civilian buildings in the besieged Gaza Strip. Following is the text of the interview.

Kourosh Ziabari: Ceasefire has now been declared between Hamas and Israel, but through the eight-day attacks and air-strikes of Israel against the Gaza Strip, some 180 Palestinians, many of whom innocent civilians, have been killed. Why do you think Israel renewed its assaults on Gaza?

Gregory Harms: The question of why is a matter of speculation; but we can make some reasonable guesses. It’s hard to imagine that the upcoming January elections in Israel are not a factor. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely looking to focus the country on security issues as well as consolidate Likud’s coalition in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. He and Likud are the expected victors, but the elections are too near for this not to be a consideration.

Another possible factor is Hamas’s increased regional prestige. Because of the new leadership in Cairo under President Mohamed Morsi, the strong presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian politics, and Hamas’s severing of ties with its former sponsor in Damascus, relations between Hamas and Cairo have progressed. Hamas’s growing ties with Qatar and Turkey also signal the Islamist organization’s increased status. Israel’s strategic take on this is difficult to discern, but if this development did factor in the recent violence, it is Tel Aviv acting on its longstanding impulse of using the military first. One possible benefit, from Israel’s perspective, is that now that Morsi and company have played a key role in achieving a truce, Gaza has been pushed closer to Egypt. For Tel Aviv, the best-case scenario is that Gaza becomes Cairo’s problem altogether, as it was before 1967.

Iran could very well be a possible motive. If Tel Aviv plans on attacking Tehran’s nuclear facilities anytime soon, it will want Hamas’s weapon supplies diminished. If this is indeed a rationale, it raises the question of Hizballah’s caches and preparedness in Lebanon. Whether Iran is a factor is difficult to say. The Obama White House has to-date shown no interest in direct armed intervention in Iran, which in turn makes a unilateral Israeli operation an unpopular notion among the majority of Israelis. Furthermore, Iran is a very large country that can fight back, automatically making it a less likely candidate for US-Israeli action.

There is also the fast-approaching bid on the part of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to seek nonmember observer-state status for Palestine at the United Nations. By roughing up Gaza, there might be a hope of getting the Palestinian Authority to shift course. Israel’s foreign ministry has already talked of removing Abbas from power in the event the PA makes headway at the UN General Assembly – which is almost guaranteed. As stated in a foreign ministry paper, quoted in the Guardian (Nov. 14),

Breaking Private Manning


By the time the 23-year-old soldier’s court martial starts on February 4, 2013, Bradley Manning will have spent 983 days in prison, including nine months in solitary confinement, without having been convicted of a single crime. This week, in pre-trail hearings, a military court is reviewing evidence that the conditions under which he has been held constitute torture. These conditions include the nine-month period spent 23 hours a day in a six-by-eight-foot cell where he was forbidden to lie down or even lean against a wall when he was not sleeping – and when he was allowed to sleep at night, officers woke him every five minutes – and where he was subjected to daily strip searches and forced nudity. The UN Special Rapporteur for Torture has already found this amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and possibly torture.

For almost three years Manning has endured intense physical and mental pressure, all designed to force him to implicate WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange in an alleged conspiracy to commit espionage. It is also a message to would-be whistleblowers: the U.S. government will not be gentle.
“[If] you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, D.C.… what would you do? … It’s important that it gets out…it might actually change something… hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms…”
These are purportedly Manning’s words*, and that is change many of us would like to believe in: that if you give people the truth about their government’s unlawful activities, and the freedom to discuss it, they will hold their elected officials accountable.

But it is one thing to talk about transparency, the lifeblood of democracy, and even to campaign on it – in 2008, candidate Obama said, “Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal” – and another thing to act on it. On a fundamental level, Manning is being punished, without being convicted, for a crime that amounts to having the courage to act on the belief that without an informed public our republic is seriously compromised. Or, as he is quoted saying, for wanting  “people to see the truth…

regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
The U.S. government is intent on creating a portrait of Manning as a traitor who aided and abetted Al Qaeda by releasing classified information into the public domain. But what actually occurred was that documents were sent anonymously to WikiLeaks, which published them in collaboration with The New York TimesThe Guardian and other news media for the benefit of the general public, much like the Pentagon Papers were published a generation ago.

The emails the prosecution is using to try to prove Manning was the source of the leaks also depict the side of the story they want to hide, that of a young soldier grappling with the dilemma of a would-be whistleblower who knows he is taking great risks by exposing the state-sponsored crimes and abuses he witnessed, the “almost criminal political back-dealings… the non-PR-versions of world events and crises,” as he is quoted describing them to the confidant who ultimately betrayed him.

“I will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens.”  One can’t help wondering what Manning must think now, after so long under such brutal conditions of confinement. Did he expect the government to punish him in such a disproportionate and unlawful manner?

Manning’s abusive pre-trial treatment is a clear violation of the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and even U.S. military law. In fact, Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs is arguing in the pre-trail hearings this week that in view of this blatant disregard for his client’s most fundamental rights, all charges should be dismissed.

The government claims this was all done to prevent Manning from committing suicide, though any rational observer might point out that these conditions are more likely to drive someone to suicide than keep him from it. The more likely explanation is the obvious one: the government wants to break Manning enough to force him to implicate WikiLeaks and Assange, and make enough of a show of it to deter other whistleblowers. At stake is the foundation of our democracy, a robust free press, and the fate of a true American hero.

*Disclaimer: Bradley Manning has not been convicted of any charges, nor has he admitted to any of the allegations against him. Likewise, he has not acknowledged the chat logs that purport to be his words.

Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as well as other journalists and major news organizations seeking to make the documents from the Manning trial public.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ben Swann: "No Country Would Tolerate Missiles From Outside

The Osama bin Laden Myth

Daily Bell

Paul Craig Roberts

The interview below with Osama bin Laden was conducted by the Karachi, Pakistan, daily newspaper, Ummat, and published on September 28, 2001, 17 days after the alleged, but unsubstantiated, al Qaeda attack of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center twin towers and Pentagon. The interview was sensational. The alleged "mastermind" of 9/11 said that he and al Qaeda had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. The British Broadcasting Corporation's World Monitoring Service had the interview translated into English and made public on September 29, 2001.

Osama bin Laden's sensational denial was not reported by the US print and TV media. It was not investigated by the executive branch. No one in the US Congress called attention to bin Laden's refusal of responsibility for the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on a superpower.

To check my memory of the lack of coverage, I googled "Osama bin Laden's interview denying responsibility for 9/11." Some Internet sites reproduced the interview, but the only mainstream news source that I found was a 1 minute YouTube video from CNN in which the anchor, after quoting an al Jazeera report of bin Laden's denial, concludes that "we can all weigh that in the scale of credibility and come to our own conclusions." In other words, bin Laden had already been demonized, and his denial was not credible.
The sensational news was unfit for US citizens and was withheld from them by the american "free press," a press free to lie for the government but not to tell the truth.

Obviously, if bin Laden had outwitted not only the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the FBI but also all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of Washington's NATO puppet states, Israel's Mossad and in addition the National Security Council, NORAD, US air traffic control and airport security four times on the same morning, it would be the greatest feat in world history, a movement-building feat that would have made al Qaeda the most successful anti-imperialist organization in human history, an extraordinary victory over "the great satan" that would have brought millions of new recruits into al Qaeda's ranks. Yet the alleged "mastermind" denied all responsibility.

I remember decades ago when a terrorist attack occurred in Europe, whether real or an Operation Gladio false-flag attack, innumerable organizations would claim credit. Perhaps this was the CIA's way of diverting attention from itself but it illustrates that every intelligence service understands the value to an organization of claiming credit for a successful attack. Although bin Laden denied responsibility, in 2011 some al Qaeda leaders, realizing the prestige value of the 9/11 attack, claimed credit for the attack and criticized Iranian President Ahmadinejad for questioning the official US story.

Although only a few Americans are aware of the September 28, 2001 interview in which bin Laden states his non-involvement with the 9/11 attacks, many Americans have seen post-2001 videos in which a person alleged to be bin Laden takes credit for the attacks. There are two problems with these videos. Experts have examined them and found them to be fakes, and all of the videos appeared after bin Laden was reported by the Pakistan Observer, the Egyptian press and Fox News to have died in mid-December, 2001, from lung disease.

Bin Laden also suffered from kidney disease. According to a CBS news report on January 28, 2002, Osama bin Laden was hospitalized for dialysis treatment in the Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, the day before 9/11

Obviously, a man suffering from terminal lung and kidney disease did not survive for another decade to be murdered by a US Navy SEAL team in Abbottabad. A Pakistani TV interview with the neighbor of the alleged "bin Laden compound" exposed the assassination hoax. This sensational interview also went unreported by america's "free press." I had the interview translated, and it is available here. See also this video from the BBC.

Shortly after the alleged assassination 30 members of the SEAL unit died in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan, and now we learn that not a single one of the thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, witnessed bin Laden's alleged burial at sea from that ship. The press reports with a straight face that for unexplained reasons it was kept secret from the ship's sailors. This is supposed to be the explanation of the sailors' emails reporting to family and friends that they witnessed no burial at sea. Some speculate that the SEALs were bumped off before their questions to one another, "Were you on that raid?", reached outside the unit. Apparently, it doesn't strike the media or the public as strange that the US government captured and killed the terror mastermind without interrogating him and without keeping any evidence or presenting any witnesses to support the assassination claim.

Adolf Hitler claimed that communists burned down the Reichstag and that Polish troops had crossed the frontier and attacked Germany. With 9/11, Americans experienced Washington's version of these grand lies. An omniscient bin Laden dying from terminal illnesses in distant Afghanistan defeated the American National Security State and drove his attack through the walls of the Pentagon itself, requiring for our defense a "war on terror" that destroyed US civil liberties and financially ruined the country in order to prevent the triumph of a man who died of natural causes in December 2001.

On May 9, 2011, Professor Michel Chossudovsky republished the September 28, 2001, Osama bin Laden interview in Global Research.

Interview with Osama bin Laden. Osama Denies his Involvement in 9/11

The Healing Power of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped

Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states, but it's clear we've discovered a fraction of its potential for health.

Allen Badiner

There are now legal medical cannabis programs in 18 states plus Washington, DC, with pot fully legal for adults in two other states. Ironically, however, the actual healing power of the plant has barely been tapped. Smoking marijuana with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), or better, vaporizing it (using a device to bake the plant material and inhale the active ingredients), has an indisputably palliative effect and can be medically useful for pain relief, calming and appetite stimulation. It already has confirmed benefits against glaucoma, epilepsy and other specific diseases and disorders. It also gets people high. THC triggers cannabinoid receptors in the brain and this produces the sensation of being stoned. These receptors are found in the parts of the brain linked to pleasure, memory, concentration, and time perception.

But, based mostly on research overseas there is an increasing consensus that the medicinal benefits of psychoactive THC pale in comparison to the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) from the leaves of the same plant--raw and unheated. Depending on the strain, some plants are high in CBD but also contain a lesser amount of THC which is said to enhance the healing potentiality. CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC (for example, suppressing the appetite vs. stimulating it). CBD is beginning to be recognized by researchers at mainstream medical institutions around the world as a potentially very powerful weapon against cancer.

Researchers Sean D. McAllister and Pierre Desprez, who conducted studies of CBD's effect on cancer cells for California Pacific Medical Center, suggest that these non-psychoactive compounds from the cannabis plant might, in short order, render chemotherapy and radiation distant second and third options for cancer patients. Based on a more recent study, McAllister and Desprez feel that CBD's "could stop breast cancer from spreading."

Dr. Donald Abrams, a cancer specialist and professor of integrative medicine at UCSF, conducted early trials involving THC medical cannabis, and now he is excited about the powerful impacts of CBD on cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute was busy researching this in the 1970s, Abrams explains, but restrictions on the use of cannabis for research in the United States resulted in most of the research on this subject disappearing in the U.S., and being picked up in other countries, such as Israel, Spain and Italy. He says existing studies point to a remarkable ability of CBD to arrest cancer cell division, cell migration, metastasis, and invasiveness.

Other studies point to CBD as having great promise as a defense against Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2006 study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, a team of University of Connecticut researchers reported that cannabis “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.” The research team predicted that cannabinoid-based medications "will be the new breakout medicine treatments of the near future.”

Medical cannabis has a long history of use, starting in India, and then in China and the Middle East some 6,000 years ago. It came to the West in the 1800s, where it was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia until the 1930s. Used for over 100 ailments, cannabis was a favorite of our grandparents for cough remedies, analgesics, and tonics and was available over the counter at every local drugstore as well as companies such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. Banned in 1937 via the Marijuana Tax Act as part of a politically and racially driven prohibition craze, it was gradually removed from the pharmacopeia and research was discouraged and later prohibited via drug scheduling. The FBI linked the herb with insanity and claimed a direct correlation between cannabis and violence, and even death, especially when used by people of color.

Currently, science increasingly recognizes the role that cannabinoids play in almost every major life function in the human body. It wasn't until 1990 that endocannabinoids, produced by the human body, were discovered to act as a bio-regulatory mechanism for most human life processes and have receptors sites throughout the human body. CB2 receptors are found almost exclusively in the immune system, with the greatest density in the spleen. These CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and other newly recognized and very significant therapeutic effects of cannabis.

Cannabis medicine has distinct advantages. CBD, as well as THC, can be given in massive doses with no side effects. In fact, it has performed very effectively as an anti-psychotic when given in high doses. CBD selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving normal healthy cells unmolested. On the other hand, chemotherapy and radiation are highly toxic and indiscriminately injure healthy cells in the brain and the body. Industrial hemp is often high in healing CBD and very low in THC. Hemp CBD is a waste product -- it's thrown out by the ton every year when it could easily be harvested for tumor shrinking.

The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack

Letting the Internet be rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla.

Wall Street Journal
Gordon Crovitz

imageWho runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web's success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations.

Many of the U.N.'s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack a U.N. agency that has nothing to do with the Internet.

For more than a year, these countries have lobbied an agency called the International Telecommunications Union to take over the rules and workings of the Internet. Created in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, the ITU last drafted a treaty on communications in 1988, before the commercial Internet, when telecommunications meant voice telephone calls via national telephone monopolies.

Next week the ITU holds a negotiating conference in Dubai, and past months have brought many leaks of proposals for a new treaty. U.S. congressional resolutions and much of the commentary, including in this column, have focused on proposals by authoritarian governments to censor the Internet. Just as objectionable are proposals that ignore how the Internet works, threatening its smooth and open operations.

Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla. The Internet is made up of 40,000 networks that interconnect among 425,000 global routes, cheaply and efficiently delivering messages and other digital content among more than two billion people around the world, with some 500,000 new users a day.

Many of the engineers and developers who built and operate these networks belong to virtual committees and task forces coordinated by an international nonprofit called the Internet Society. The society is home to the Internet Engineering Task Force (the main provider of global technical standards) and other volunteer groups such as the Internet Architecture Board and the Internet Research Task Force. Another key nongovernmental group is Icann, which assigns Internet addresses and domain names.

Egypt’s Mursi Defends Power Grab

Insists Move 'Temporary' and Aimed to Protect Constitutional Committee

Jason Ditz

Faced with an ever-growing backlash over last week’s power grab, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi struggled to defend his edict, insisting that the move was “temporary” and not intended to centralize power in his hands.

Rather, in a new statement Mursi insisted that the move was meant to limit the power of the judiciary, and was primarily aimed at avoiding the “politicization” of the court system while keeping them from ousting the committee penning the new constitution.

Yet the edict went well beyond protecting the committee, claiming unilateral power for the president to do anything he deems necessary and insisting the court can’t even theoretically review anything he does. To the extent it renders the court totally powerless it would seem to limit interest in its politicization.

Making the move temporary does seem to be a key part of the edict, and assuming it remains temporary it may placate some critics. The edict only sought to define presidential power until the new constitution is written, with the assumption that the constitution itself will define them afterwards.

“Temporary” measures in the Middle East have a tendency to last for decades, however, as with the “emergency law” in place in Egypt before the revolution, which granted Mursi’s predecessor Hosni Mubarak similar unchecked power. The longer it takes to get a constitution in place, the more Egyptians are likely to bristle at the power Mursi is now claiming for himself.

Supreme Court rules cops can be filmed

Russia Today

Smile for the camera, coppers — the US Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lesser ruling that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties.

Police officers  in Chicago, Illinois.(AFP Photo / Joshua Lott)Up until just last year, an anti-eavesdropping legislation on the books across Illinois meant any person within the state could be imprisoned for as much as 15 years for recording a police officer without expressed consent. In August 2011, a federal appeals court struck down the law, but an Illinois prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court — unsuccessfully — to challenge that ruling.

On Monday, the top justices in the US said that they would not hear the case and will instead rely on last year’s ruling where a federal appeals court in Chicago agreed that the eavesdropping law, as written, “likely violates” the First Amendment.

“The Illinois eavesdropping statue restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny” and that the “statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests,” the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals opined previously.

Under that ruling and thanks to the Supreme Court’s refusal to weigh in this week, last year’s decision to not allow the enforcement of that law will stand, essentially making it for once-and-for-all perfectly legal at the highest level to tape record cops on the job.

Harvey Grossman, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, says in a statement that the ACLU was "pleased that the Supreme Court has refused to take this appeal.”

“The ACLU of Illinois continues to believe that in order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police,” Grossman says. “The advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish."

The ACLU says they will now attempt to secure a permanent injunction in the case of Anita Alvarez v. ACLU of Illinois so that state attorneys will be barred from attempting to enforce the eavesdropping law ever again, “so that the ACLU’s program of monitoring police activity in public can move forward in the future without any threat of prosecution.”

Monday, November 26, 2012

Abbas: Collaborating with the Enemy

Global Research
Stephen Lendman

 Previous articles explained Abbas’ longtime collaboration with Israel. He sold out long ago for whatever benefits he derives.

He’s Israel’s enforcer. He ill serves and insults Palestinians. His presidency is illegitimate. Israel rigged his 2005 election. In January 2009, his term expired.

He’s still in office. At least for now, Washington and Israel want him there. He’s more stooge than statesman. He’s a duplicitous puppet.

He replicates fascist Quisling Norway, Vichy France, and other Nazi-controlled collaborationist regimes. Instead of serving his people, he betrayed them.

He subverts Palestine’s liberating struggle. Collaborating with the enemy is treason. Abbas and likeminded Fatah officials are guilty on multiple counts.

What did he know and when about Pillar of Cloud?

He knew about Cast Lead in advance. On November 30, 2010, Reuters headlined “Israel says Abbas, Egypt warned on Gaza war – leaks,” saying:

Ahead of Cast Lead, Israel “conferred with the Western-backed Palestinian leadership and with Egypt….”

Leaked US diplomatic cables quoted a senior Israeli official confirming it. Haaretz reported the same thing. Mubarak and Abbas were briefed in advance.

Haaretz said “Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian authority.” WikiLeaks released US diplomatic cables confirming it.

In June 2009, months before Cast Lead, Israeli Defense Minister Barak met with US congressional members.

He also “consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.”

He “received negative answers from both.” Previous leaked information reported the same thing. WikiLeaks provided “the first documented proof.”

Abbas denied getting advance word. He lied. Mubarak said nothing either way.
Reuters said Abbas “urged Israel to crush Hamas during the war.”

Avigdor Lieberman held ministerial positions under Sharon and Ehud Olmert. In April 2009, he became Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister.

He explained Abbas’ involvement, saying:

“Over the past year, I witnessed (Abbas) at his best. In Operation Cast Lead, (he) called us personally, applied pressure, and demanded that we topple Hamas and remove it from power.”

Though out of government during Cast Lead, a senior Olmert official called his comments “essentially accurate.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said this information “reaffirms the fact that Mahmoud Abbas is no longer fit to represent our people, who conspired against his people during a war.”

Abbas was never fit to serve. That’s why Israel and Washington chose him.

WikiLeaks also disclosed that Hamas spokesman Salah Al-Bardaweel said:

“We have not ruled out that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority could have contributed in one way or another in the war against Gaza for political reasons such as bringing down the Hamas movement and regaining control.”

More from WikiLeaks suggested it. Washington’s Tel Aviv embassy said Fatah officials asked Israel to attack Hamas.

According to a June 2007 dispatch, Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said “demoralized” Fatah officials wanted help to destroy Hamas.

“They are approaching a zero-sum situation,” said Diskin, “and yet they ask us to attack Hamas. They are desperate. This is a new development. We have never seen this before.”

He added that “Fatah is in a very bad shape in Gaza. We have received requests to train their forces in Egypt and Yemen. We would like them to get the training they need, and to be more powerful, but they do not have anyone to lead them.”

He also praised Shin Bet’s “very good working relationship” with Abbas at the time. His internal security service collaborates with Israel. He understands that “Israel’s security is central to (his) survival in the struggle with Hamas….”

At the time, Fatah collaborated with Washington to oust Hamas. An abortive coup failed. More information surfaced.

WikiLeaks published a June 12, 2007 cable. It said Israeli military intelligence head Amos Yadlin told US embassy officials that Hamas retaining power in Gaza was advantageous.
“Although not necessarily representing a GOI (government of Israel) consensus view,” said Yadlin, “Israel would be ‘happy’ if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Hamas as a hostile state.”

Israel’s imperial agenda needs manufactured enemies. Having them facilitates violence and instability. They also help justify small and larger-scale wars.

Like Pillar of Cloud, Cast Lead was planned months in advance. Its aim was to advance Israel’s imperium.

It involves controlling all valued parts of Judea and Samaria, depopulating much of Palestine, and confining remaining population elements to canonized worthless scrubland.

Both conflicts are more about weakening Hamas than destroying it. They also involve waging war on civilian men, women, children, infants and the elderly.

Doing so is official Israeli policy in all conflicts. Israel considers all Palestinians combatants or potential future ones.

Perhaps Abbas and other Fatah officials knew about Pillar of Cloud in advance. Maybe they approved or urged it.

During eight terror bombing days, Abbas’ comments were delayed, weak, meaningless and insulting.

He did nothing to help beleaguered Gazans. Nor during Cast Lead. Both times he went along with Israeli slaughter and mass destruction.

Issam Younis serves as Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights general director. On November 20, Maan News published his “Letter to Abbas: Visit us in Gaza.” In part it said:

“This is a historic moment, that must be taken up. We’ve waited for you in Gaza for six days. We’re still waiting; your people who are being attacked and slaughtered in Gaza.”

“It is not acceptable anymore – no matter what those surrounding you make it look like to you – that you do not come. I do not invite you to show solidarity with Gaza, but to be in Gaza and with Gaza.”

“The advocates of divide can stay back in Ramallah. This scandalous schism must end now and here; the schism that made your people bleed.”

“We are waiting to know that you have ordered PLO diplomats in Geneva, New York, Vienna, and Paris, and in all UN offices, to immediately act to convene the UN General Assembly, Human Rights Council, UNESCO and others to condemn the crimes perpetrated against our people in Gaza, and do all they can to secure that these crimes be investigated and punished.”

“It is regrettable we have not so far seen any meaningful diplomatic effort that matches the size of blood and suffering in Gaza.”

“We are waiting for the orders to our veteran diplomats to be set on fire and approach the European Union and other powers to mobilize the much-needed pressure on the occupying state.”

On November 4, Younis also challenged Hamas. Maan Newspublished his open letter, saying:

He remains “an advocate of the right of Hamas to govern, and I absolutely reject the double standards employed by the international community towards the movement.”

“The financial and political sanctions on Gaza are simply unjust and scandalous. Hamas won a free and fair election in 2006. The world was well aware that Hamas would win in the elections.”

“At the same time, he challenged Hamas to act more like a government than a ‘movement.’ ”

“The issue here is not about calling into question the intentions or desires of the people in power. It is more about the actual process of governance in such a unique situation like Gaza.”

“What is needed is for the government to interact openly with society, with all of its social and political structures. Society also has a duty to reciprocate and to be open to interacting with the government.”

On November 23, Haaretz contributor Amira Hass headlined “War highlights Abbas’ mutual alienation with Gaza.”

She discussed both Younis letters. Abbas was abroad when Israeli terror bombing began. He returned. He had to. Yet he waited two days before speaking publicly.

His comments were weak, unacceptable and duplicitous. He showed which side he’s on.
He also convened Palestinian PLO leaders. “(H)e didn’t even invite the Hamas representative in the West Bank.” He failed to show solidarity with Gaza.

“It is not clear whether the Hamas government would (let him come) as part of an overall conciliation agreement” or for any purpose.

During Cast Lead, his security forces prevented Palestinian protests. This time he didn’t “dare (stop) people from marching toward Israeli Defense Forces checkpoints in the West Bank (to) demonstrate against the attacks on Gaza.”

Doing so fell far short of what’s needed. Palestinians need leaders serving them, not Israel. Abbas is a collaborative traitor. He’s also a pathetic spent force.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Both Benghazi And The Petraeus Scandal Suggest US Media Is Way Too Cozy With The State

Business Insider
Geoffrey Ingersoll

newsweek cover obama gay president
If there is just one lesson to take away from the Benghazi and Petraeus affairs it's that the American media is way too cozy with heads of state.

Immediately following the Benghazi crisis, U.S. gersollmedia did its due diligence and flexed its sources, anonymous and otherwise, to uncover the truth about the attack — but then they purposely failed to report the details because of requests from the CIA and the Obama administration.

Michael Calderon of The Huffington Post reports that the AP, The New York Times and The Washington Post all withheld information at the behest of the CIA. Calderon also details how other news outlets failed to mention the true ties of CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

From his report:

ABC News, for example, reported that Doherty had been working to "round up dangerous weapons" in the country. One national security reporter told The Huffington Post that it was an "open secret" in national security circles that the former SEALs were working for the CIA.

The AP even went so far as to edit a Sept. 21 story it wrote, which revealed the employment status of Woods and Doherty; ensuring the edited version made no mention of Woods and Doherty's employment the CIA.

A statement written to HuffPo from AP spokesman Paul Colford:

"We omitted mention of the two former SEALs' CIA connection in subsequent versions of the story after CIA officials insisted that other lives would be endangered."

Another statement, from the New York Times, echoed this sentiment: "[We] agreed to withhold locations and details of these operations at the request of Obama administration officials, who said that disclosing such information could jeopardize future sensitive government activities and put at risk American personnel working in dangerous settings."

When Propaganda Masquarades as News

Global Research
Prof. James F. Tracy

news1The week-long Israeli onslaught against largely defenseless Palestinians in Gaza that began on November 14 provides a basis for assessing how Western corporate media whitewash the war crimes of America’s foremost ally in the Middle East. There are three often intertwined techniques consciously applied to such news coverage—historical context, sourcing, and objectification of the enemy to be targeted. Such practices can readily transform journalism into propaganda that acts to abet such crimes while at the same time allowing journalistic institutions to still claim the mantle of “objectivity.”

Such methods are on full display in the reportage of Israel’s most recent operation in Gaza. The use of such propaganda fits within a broader campaign of media disinformation that subdues potential outrage—particularly in the US—over Israel’s overwhelming use of force against an oppressed and vulnerable people, most of whom are civilians.

Meaningful historical context for understanding Israel’s aggression is almost entirely absent from most Western news coverage of the event. If present, such context would illuminate Israeli government officials’ true motivations for a military venture that involved 750 airstrikes in four days alone. “’Operation Pillar of Defense,’” Nile Bowie observes,

launched just months away from Israel’s elections, is a calculated component of the Netanyahu government’s strategy to topple Hamas and continue absorbing Palestinian territory. Decades of occupation and apartheid have shaped the current scenario; Israel has dehumanized an entire people by seizing their land and forcing them into prison-like ghettoes. Adherents to political Zionism have shown contempt for a genuine political solution to the Palestinian conflict, and the Netanyahu administration is poised to crush all opposition to the Jewish state.[1]

Major Western media focused instead on the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) November 14 assassination of Hamas leader and Palestinian hero Ahmed al-Jabari, while blatantly omitting the fact that he was also a major figure in negotiations for a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel freshly brokered by Egypt. Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated,” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported the day following the assassination, “he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the cease-fire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip.”[2]

Apart from Western alternative media such critical details were quickly dispatched to the memory hole. Major news outlets almost systematically relied on Israeli government, military, and intelligence sources to shape its coverage, where Jabari was reviled as “the commander of the military wing of Hamas.” Reuters, for example, proceeded to source an IDF spokeswoman who proceeded to lay out the dominant frame for the coverage. “This is an operation against terror targets of different organizations in Gaza,” she declared. “Jaabari [sic] had ‘a lot of blood on his hands.’ Other militant groups including Islamic Jihad were on the target list.”[3]

A similar report in the UK Telegraph taking the tack of Israeli official pronouncements beings with the lead, “Ahmed Jabari probably didn’t event hear the missile that killed him, launched from a drone in the skies over Gaza City as he drove an ordinary saloon car through a quiet residential street.”[4] Emphasis on Jabari’s military status and alleged criminal and terrorist activities invariably legitimates Israel’s flagrant barbarism. Further, by holding Jabari up as a dangerous renegade supposedly representative of the Palestinian people the stage is set for attacks on civilians that are much more readily rationalized in the public mind.

Honest contextualization of the crisis leading readerships to greater understanding would involve consulting and publicizing both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives—an undertaking Western journalists are now adept at through their routine discussions with Syrian “activists” reporting on the alleged atrocities committed by the Syrian Army against Syrian citizens and the gallant Free Syrian Army “rebels” in that close by theatre.