The disregard of human rights in America and Europe

United Nations Human Rights Council

United Nations Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Rights Council confirmed that human rights violations have taken place in America and some European countries
The Guardian wrote that the United Nations announced in its latest report that America, England, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Macedonia have violated human rights under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

The Guardian alluded to America’s terrifying prisons in Guantanamo and Abu Ghrayb and wrote that the transfer of prisoners to secret prisons in Europe was not possible without the cooperation of the governments in England, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Macedonia.

The United Nations also stated in this report that the physical and mental tortures in these prisons are clear violations of human rights and international treaties.

Islam Times

A Call to End All Renditions

Binyam Mohamed

Binyam Mohamed

Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian residing in Britain, said he was tortured after being sent to Morocco and Afghanistan in 2002 by the U.S. government. Mohamed was transferred to Guantánamo in 2004 and all terrorism charges against him were dismissed last year. Mohamed was a victim of extraordinary rendition, in which a person is abducted without any legal proceedings and transferred to a foreign country for detention and interrogation, often tortured.

Mohamed and four other plaintiffs are accusing Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. of flying them to other countries and secret CIA camps where they were tortured. In Mohamed’s case, two British justices accused the Bush administration of pressuring the British government to block the release of evidence that was “relevant to allegations of torture” of Mohamed.

Twenty-five lines edited out of the court documents included details about how Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel as well as other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding “is very far down the list of things they did,” according to a British official quoted by the Telegraph (UK).

The plaintiffs’ complaint quotes a former Jeppesen employee as saying, “We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights – you know, the torture flights.” A senior company official also apparently admitted the company transported people to countries where they would be tortured.

Obama’s Justice Department appeared before a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday in the Jeppesen lawsuit. But instead of making a clean break with the dark policies of the Bush years, the Obama administration claimed the same “state secrets” privilege that Bush used to block inquiry into his policies of torture and illegal surveillance. Claiming that the extraordinary rendition program is a state secret is disingenuous since it is has been extensively documented in the media.

“This was an opportunity for the new administration to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition, but instead it has chosen to stay the course,” said the ACLU’s Ben Wizner, counsel for the five men.

If the judges accept Obama’s state secrets claim, these men will be denied their day in court and precluded from any recovery for the damages they suffered as a result of extraordinary rendition.

Two and a half weeks before Obama’s representative appeared in the Jeppesen case, the new President had signed Executive Order 13491. It established a special task force “to study and evaluate the practices of transferring individuals to other nations in order to ensure that such practices comply with the domestic laws, international obligations, and policies of the United States and do not result in the transfer of individuals to other nations to face torture or otherwise for the purpose, or with the effect, of undermining or circumventing the commitments or obligations of the United States to ensure the humane treatment of individuals in its custody or control.”

This order prohibits extraordinary rendition. It also ensures humane treatment of persons in U.S. custody or control. But it doesn’t specifically guarantee that prisoners the United States renders to other countries will be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that doesn’t amount to torture. It does, however, aim to ensure that our government’s practices of transferring people to other countries complies with U.S. laws and policies, including our obligations under international law.

One of those laws is the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty the United States ratified in 1992. Article 7 of the ICCPR prohibits the States Parties from subjecting persons “to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Human Rights Committee, which is the body that monitors the ICCPR, has interpreted that prohibition to forbid States Parties from exposing “individuals to the danger of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon return to another country by way of their extradition, expulsion or refoulement.”

Order 13491 also mandates, “The CIA shall close as expeditiously as possible any detention facilities that it currently operates and shall not operate any such detention facility in the future.” The order does not define “expeditiously” and the definitional section of the order says that the terms ‘detention facilities’ and ‘detention facility’ “do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis.” Once again, “short term” and “transitory” are not defined.

In his confirmation hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder categorically stated that the United States should not turn over an individual to a country where we have reason to believe he will be tortured. Leon Panetta, nominee for CIA director, went further and interpreted Order 13491 as forbidding “that kind of extraordinary rendition, where we send someone for the purposes of torture or for actions by another country that violate our human values.”

But alarmingly, Panetta appeared to champion the same standard used by the Bush administration, which reportedly engaged in extraordinary rendition 100 to 150 times as of March 2005. After September 11, 2001, President Bush issued a classified directive that expanded the CIA’s authority to render terrorist suspects to other States. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the CIA and the State Department received assurances that prisoners will be treated humanely. “I will seek the same kinds of assurances that they will not be treated inhumanely,” Panetta told the senators.

Gonzales had admitted, however, “We can’t fully control what that country might do. We obviously expect a country to whom we have rendered a detainee to comply with their representations to us . . . If you’re asking me, ‘Does a country always comply?’ I don’t have an answer to that.”

The answer is no. Binyam Mohamed’s case is apparently the tip of the iceberg. Maher Arar, a Canadian born in Syria, was apprehended by U.S. authorities in New York on September 26, 2002, and transported to Syria, where he was brutally tortured for months. Arar used an Arabic expression to describe the pain he experienced: “you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother.” The Canadian government later exonerated Arar of any terrorist ties. Thirteen CIA operatives were arrested in Italy for kidnapping an Egyptian, Abu Omar, in Milan and transporting him to Cairo where he was tortured.

Panetta made clear that the CIA will continue to engage in rendition to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects and transfer them to other countries. “If we capture a high-value prisoner,” he said, “I believe we have the right to hold that individual temporarily to be able to debrief that individual and make sure that individual is properly incarcerated.” No clarification of how long is “temporarily” or what “debrief” would mean.

When Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) asked about the Clinton administration’s use of the CIA to transfer prisoners to countries where they were later executed, Panetta replied, “I think that is an appropriate use of rendition.” Jane Mayer, columnist for the New Yorker, has documented numerous instances of extraordinary rendition during the Clinton administration, including cases in which suspects were executed in the country to which the United States had rendered them. Once when Richard Clarke, President Clinton’s chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council, “proposed a snatch,” Vice-President Al Gore said, “That’s a no-brainer. Of course it’s a violation of international law, that’s why it’s a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.”

There is a slippery slope between ordinary rendition and extraordinary rendition. “Rendition has to end,” Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! “Rendition is a violation of sovereignty. It’s a kidnapping. It’s force and violence.” Ratner queried whether Cuba could enter the United States and take Luis Posada, the man responsible for blowing up a commercial Cuban airline in 1976 and killing 73 people. Or whether the United States could go down to Cuba and kidnap Assata Shakur, who escaped a murder charge in New Jersey.

Moreover, “renditions for the most part weren’t very productive,” a former CIA official told the Los Angeles Times. After a prisoner was turned over to authorities in Egypt, Jordan or another country, the CIA had very little influence over how prisoners were treated and whether they were ultimately released.

The U.S. government should disclose the identities, fate, and current whereabouts of all persons detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody by the CIA since 2001. Those who ordered renditions should be prosecuted. And the special task force should recommend, and Obama should agree to, an end to all renditions.

Britain: Foreign Office colludes with US to cover-up torture of Binyam Mohamed

Binyam Mohamed

Binyam Mohamed

A High Court ruling by two British judges regarding the torture of a Guantánamo detainee has unleashed a major political crisis.

The judges have stated that they have been pressured by the United States into concealing evidence that should be made available in any country governed by the rule of law. This took the form of threats to withdraw security cooperation, instigated under the Bush administration and continued under Barak Obama’s presidency.

Binyam Mohamed, 30, is currently in Guantánamo Bay but is reportedly being prepared for a return to the UK. He states that he was tortured by US agents in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan between 2002 and 2004, and that Britain’s security agencies were complicit.

The High Court judgment on February 4 refused to order the disclosure of the CIA dossier said to contain evidence of his abuse. The document is a report by the US government to the British security services. The ruling followed a submission by the UK Foreign Office.

While calling for the document to be made public, the judges stated that it was not presently in the public interest to publish it, as the US government could “inflict on the citizens of the United Kingdom a very considerable increase in the dangers they face at a time when a serious terrorist threat still pertains”.

The joint judgment by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones registered its concern that the document remained secret. “In the light of the long history of the common law and democracy which we share with the United States it was in our view difficult to conceive that a democratically elected and accountable government could possibly have any rational objection to placing into the public domain such a summary of what its own officials reported, as to how a detainee was treated by them and which made no disclosure of sensitive intelligence matters”.

The judgment continued, “Indeed we did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence contained in reports by its own officials…relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be”.

The ruling stated that the High Court had been informed by lawyers for the Foreign Secretary David Miliband that a threat to withdraw security cooperation remained under the Obama administration. The court said of the Foreign Office submissions, “We have however been informed by counsel for the foreign secretary that the position has not changed. Our current understanding is therefore that the position remains the same even after the making of executive orders by President Obama on 22 January 2009”.

This refers to the recent executive orders signed by Obama to close down the Guantánamo Bay prison camp within a year and to review the military trials for alleged terrorist suspects.

The British government has denied that the US government threatened to break off security intelligence cooperation. Miliband said that he would not demand that Obama intervene in the case, stating, “I am not going to join a lobbying campaign against the American government for this decision”.

Miliband’s account has been flatly contradicted by BBC reporter Jonathan Beale, who said that he had been informed in Washington by a former Bush administration official who dealt with Guantánamo Bay that US intelligence agencies did tell the UK that they opposed the release of certain US intelligence without their consent.

On February 5, Channel 4 News documented the contents of confidential letters from the US State Department to the UK Foreign Office. One of the letters was dated August 21, 2008, and read, “The public disclosure of these documents or of the information contained therein is likely to result in serious damage to US national security and could harm existing intelligence information-gathering arrangements between our two countries”.

A further letter sent a week later said, “Ordering the disclosure of the US intelligence information now would have only the marginal effects of serious and lasting damage to the US-UK intelligence sharing relationship, and thus the national security of the United Kingdom”.

Opposition politicians have demanded a full explanation from government ministers regarding the allegations that Britain was complicit in torture. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader said, “If British ministers were complicit in any way in the use of torture, or helped the US authorities to cover it up, they could face consequences in the International Criminal Court”.

David Davis, a Conservative Party opposition MP who has projected himself as a champion of democratic rights said, “The judge rules that there is a strong public interest that this information is put in the public domain even though it is politically embarrassing”.

Davis said US interference in the judicial process in Britain “is completely beyond the rule of law…. All the rumours are that it actually does show some degree of complicity by the UK and US governments. The question has come about that one of our agencies—MI5, MI6, whoever—have known about torture being used against people like that, has used information arising from torture, all of those sorts of issues”.

Mohamed, an Ethiopian national resident in the UK for seven years, was arrested in Pakistan as he was about to board a flight to Britain in April 2002. Mohamed said that he had gone to Afghanistan to attempt to escape from and deal with a drug problem. He was accused by the United States of travelling to Afghanistan in May 2001 and attending “terror training camps”.

He became a victim of the US government’s notorious policy of “extraordinary rendition” and was forcibly transferred from one country to another on three occasions, without reference to a court of law. He was questioned in Pakistan and subjected to torture there and in Morocco and Afghanistan. In Morocco he was subjected to prolonged torture for a period of 18 months. The American Civil Liberties Union website reports that “his interrogators routinely beat him, sometimes to the point of losing consciousness, and he suffered multiple broken bones. During one incident, Mohamed was cut 20 to 30 times on his genitals. On another occasion, a hot stinging liquid was poured into open wounds on his penis as he was being cut. He was frequently threatened with rape, electrocution and death. He was forced to listen to loud music day and night, placed in a room with open sewage for a month at a time and drugged repeatedly”.

The Bagram Theater Internment Facility is a US detention facility located at an air base in Afghanistan. At Bagram, Mohamed was forced to write a 20-page statement that detailed his relationship with alleged terrorist Jose Padilla. Included in the document were details of how he and Padilla went to Afghanistan together, and how they planned to go to the United States to detonate a “dirty bomb”. Mohamed has always maintained that these “confessions” were extracted on the basis of torture.

He was taken from Bagram on September 19, 2004, and moved to Guantánamo, where he has spent more than four years. Mohamed was charged under President Bush’s military order and was told he would face trial by a military commission. In November 2005 he was charged with conspiracy on the basis of his confessions. Mohamedmade a statement denouncing the commission as illegitimate. Following a ruling by the US Supreme Court that the president lacked the constitutional authority to create military commissions, proceedings against Mohamed were halted. He could have faced the death penalty.

Mohamed’s lawyer had said that that all a trial by military commission would produce “is evidence not of terrorism, but of torture…. I have seen not one shred of evidence against him that was not tortured out of him. We know the British talked to Binyam [Mohamed] in Pakistan, told him he was to be rendered and gave information to the US that was used in his torture in Morocco”.

Last July his lawyers filed a petition in a UK court declaring that the Foreign Office should be compelled to turn over the evidence of his abuse. In August the High Court concluded that the British security services had facilitated the original interrogation of Mohamed in Pakistan and that he was seen by British agents whilst in detention. The court established that British security service provided information about Mohamed and interrogation questions having full knowledge of the conditions of his detention and treatment.

The court stated that much of the case against Mohamed was believed to have been based on confessions made in Bagram between May and September 2004, and in Guantánamo Bay before November 2004. Judges ruled that the Foreign Office should disclose this material as “not only necessary but essential for his defence”.

In August 2007, Foreign Secretary Miliband requested that the US government release Mohamed and four other UK residents at Guantánamo. The US released three of the men, but refused to release Mohamed and Saudi-born Shaker Aamer. In June last year the US military announced they were formally charging Mohamed. These charges were dropped in October.

In the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has brought a case against a subsidiary of the Boeing Company, Jeppesen Dataplan, accusing the firm of aiding in rendition flights that carried Mohamed and others to torture. The case was dismissed in a San Francisco court last year after the Bush administration asserted its “state secrets privilege”. An appeal to this decision is expected to come before the court next week.

Supporters of Mohamed in Britain have demanded that he is moved immediately from the maximum security prison Camp 5 in Guantánamo due to the risk to his mental and physical health. He is said to have smeared faeces over his cell walls and spent days in the cell with his water supply cut off. His lawyer states he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The case of Binyam Mohamed reveals the extent to which basic democratic and legal norms have been overturned in the name of the “war on terror”. There is a growing body of evidence revealing collusion between the UK and US governments in the suppression and erosion of democratic rights, using criminal practises including humiliation, abuse, torture and extraordinary rendition. It has been used as a pretext for waging illegal wars abroad and for attacking established constitutional rights at home.

It also demonstrates that while signing the order to close Guantánamo and promising to review the ongoing military trials, the Obama regime intends to preserve the essential elements of the “war on terror”, including the suppression of evidence of torture and other nefarious activity.

Informationclearinghouse

Suicide has defeated American Soldiers


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Suicide amongst American soldiers reached its height in 2008.

According to the latest reports by American commanders, 143 American soldiers committed suicide in 2008. The reasons for suicide were severe stress and psychological disorders caused by their extended presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before this, the highest number of suicides amongst American soldiers was 115 in 2007.

American military figures, answered the criticisms of the families of these American soldiers in respects to them being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan by saying that suicide has more than one cause.

At the same time as this report, the English defense forces reported that one fourth of their casualties in Iraq resulted from suicide.

According to this report, from amongst the 178 English soldiers which have been killed in Iraq, 42 of them committed suicide.

Islam Times

Glasnost In London – War Fever In Washington

Lord West

Lord West

What used to be called “Cool London” looks more like “Crash London” these days. Of all the leading industrial nations, Britain has so far suffered more than any other nation, even the United States.

Most major banks, even venerable names like Barclay’s and Lloyd’s, are on life support. The financial district around Canary Wharf is beginning to look like a ghost town, as offices close and whole floors of financial drones are fired. Gloom pervades just about everywhere.

Meanwhile, two senior British officials have created a sensation by finally speaking some hard truths that contradict all the lies spewed out by Washington and London about the bogus “war on terror.”

Lord West, the security minister of Britain’s Labor government (equivalent to the US Homeland Security chief), dropped a bombshell last week by declaring that his nation’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan had actually fueled global radicalism against Britain and the US as well as domestic “terrorism” in the United Kingdom.

According to the outspoken minister, the Western power’s recent policies in the Muslim world were encouraging what we term terrorism. Interestingly, I happened to be in London at the time, promoting my new book, American Raj, which argues precisely the same point.

West described as “bollocks” former PM Tony Blair’s claims the US-led “war on terror” had nothing to do with growing Islamic radicalism. This comes soon after Britain’s foreign secretary, David Miliband, urged an end to the use of the term “war on terror,” which he called deceptive and misleading.

In an extraordinary move, cabinet minutes of Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq may shortly be made public, raising the possibility of serious criminal charges against some senior British officials. At minimum, the sanctimonious Blair is likely to be exposed as a liar and hypocrite in his claims the Iraq war was justified and necessary.

Many Britons are calling for war crimes trials against their former leaders and are angered by plans to send more British troops to Afghanistan. Britain’s soldiers have become as much auxiliaries in the American military machine as were Nepal’s renowned Gurkha troops in the British Empire.

While glasnost sweeps London, in Washington, it’s déjà vu and love your government. President Barack Obama vowed to continue President Bush’s war policies in Afghanistan and intensify the eight-year-old conflict by doubling the number of US troops and aircraft there in coming months.

In addition, Washington is rife with rumors that the Obama administration plans to dump the US-installed president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and replace him by one of four CIA-groomed candidates. The problem is, three new stooges won’t be any better than one old stooge.

London is warning Washington both against a precipitous change of regime in Kabul that would be widely viewed as crass political manipulation and against a plan to arm tribes in neighboring Pakistan that the US used in by now totally fragmented Iraq.

Obama’s dismaying eagerness to expand the war demonstrates political inexperience and a faulty grasp of events in Afghanistan. A change of administration in Washington, and departure of the reviled Bush, offered an ideal opportunity for Washington to declare a pause in the Afghan War and reassess its policies. It also presented an ideal opportunity to offer negotiations to Taliban and its growing number of supporters.

The Afghan War will have to be ended by a political settlement that includes the Taliban-led nationalist alliance that represents over half of Afghanistan’s population, the Pashtun people. There is simply no purely military solution to this grinding conflict – as even the Secretary General of NATO admits.

But instead of diplomacy, the new administration elected to stick its head ever deeper into the Afghan hornet’s nest. The bill for an intensified war will likely reach $4 billion monthly by midyear at a time when the United States is bankrupt and running on borrowed money from China and Japan.

The 20,000–30,000 more US troops slated to go to Afghanistan will also be standing on a smoking volcano: Pakistan. The Afghan War is relentlessly seeping into Pakistan, enflaming its people against the NATO powers and, as Lord West rightly says, generating new jihadist forces.

Polls show most Pakistanis strongly oppose the US-led war in Afghanistan and the grudging involvement of their armed forces in it. Intensifying US air attacks on Pakistan have aroused fierce anti-American sentiment across this nation of 165 million.

Why is President Obama, who came to power on an antiwar platform, committed to expanding a war where there are no vital US interests?

Oil is certainly one reason. The proposed route for pipelines taking oil and gas from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea coast run right through Taliban-Pashtun territory.

Another reason: Americans still want revenge for 9/11. In the absence of a clear perpetrator, Taliban has been selected as the most convenient and identifiable target though it had nothing to do with the attacks and knew nothing about them. The 9/11 attacks were mounted from Germany and Spain, not Afghanistan, and planned by a group of Pakistanis. Washington is yet to offer a White Paper promised in 2001 “proving” the guilt of Osama bin Laden in the attacks.

There is also the less obvious question of NATO. Washington arm-twisted the reluctant NATO alliance badly for the US-led forces as their vulnerable supply lines come increasingly under Taliban attack. Here in Europe, the majority of public opinion opposes the Afghanistan War as a neocolonial adventure for oil and imperial influence.

The US could survive a defeat in Afghanistan, as it did in Vietnam. But the NATO alliance might not.

The end of the cold war and collapse of the USSR removed the raison d’être of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which was created to resist Soviet invasion of Western Europe.

According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of America’s leading strategists, NATO serves as the primary tool for America’s strategic domination of Europe. Japan fulfills the same role for the US in Asia. The Soviet Union used the Warsaw Pact to dominate Eastern Europe.

The US also uses NATO to help deter the creation of a truly united – and rival – Europe with its own unified armed forces. The EU will not become a truly integrated national state until it has its own independent armed forces.

NATO’s defeat in Afghanistan would raise questions about its continuing purpose and obedience to US strategic demands. Calls would inevitably come for empowerment of the European Defense Union, an independent European armed force that answers to the EU Brussels, not to Washington.

This, I believe, is one of the primary reasons why vested interests in Washington – notably the Pentagon – have prevailed on the new president to expand the war in Afghanistan by claiming that America’s influence in Europe depends on victory in Afghanistan.

The US and its allies cannot be seen to be defeated by a bunch of Afghan tribesmen. Coming after the epic defeat in Vietnam and the trillion-dollar fiasco in Iraq, defeat in Afghanistan is simply unthinkable to the military-industrial-petroleum-financial complex that still seems to be calling many of the shots in Washington.

Lew Rockwell

Why `Holocaust Denial’ Laws are Dangerous

Frederick Toben

Frederick Toben

On October 1, British police at London’s Heathrow airport arrested Dr. Frederick Toben – an Australian citizen and a Holocaust revisionist – during a stop on a flight from the United States to Dubai. He was detained on the basis of a “European Arrest Warrant” issued by German authorities that accuses him of publishing material online “of an anti-semitic and/or revisionist nature.”

Toben, a former schoolteacher who holds a doctorate in philosophy, has reportedly described the Holocaust as “a lie”. His Australia-based “Adelaide Institute” website allegedly carries the transcript of an interview in which he says there is “no proof” that the Hitler regime systematically exterminated Jews.

He is being held in custody until a British court decides if he is to be extradited to Germany. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17. A German prosecutor says that if Toben is extradited, he could be sentenced to five years in prison. He would then join two German citizens, Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudolf, who are already serving prison terms for having violated Germany’s “Holocaust denial” law.

In Germany it is crime to “deny, play down or justify” genocidal acts carried out by the Hitler regime. “Holocaust denial” is also a crime in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and several other European countries, as well as in Israel. Over the years many individuals have been fined, imprisoned or forced into exile for “denying the Holocaust,” including Robert Faurisson and Roger Garaudy in France, Siegfried Verbeke in Belgium, Juergen Graf and Gaston-Armand Amaudruz in Switzerland, and Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolf, Guenter Deckert and Hans Schmidt in Germany.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Less Than Half the World Believes al Qaeda Was Behind 9/11 Attacks

9/11 Victims

9/11 Victims

An international poll released this week by the Project on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) found that outside the United States, many are skeptical that al Qaeda was really responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sixteen thousand people in 17 countries — allies and adversaries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East — were asked the open-ended question: “Who do you think was behind the 9/11 attacks?”

On average, fewer than half of all respondents said al Qaeda (although there was significant variation between countries and regions). Fifteen percent said the United States government itself was responsible for the attacks, 7 percent cited Israel, and fully 1 in 4 said they just didn’t know.

Among our closest allies, very slim majorities believe al Qaeda was the culprit. According to the study, “Fifty-six percent of Britons and Italians, 63 percent of French and 64 percent of Germans cite al Qaeda. However, significant portions of Britons (26%), French (23%), and Italians (21%) say they do not know who was behind 9/11. Remarkably, 23 percent of Germans cite the U.S. government, as do 15 percent of Italians.”

Whatever one thinks of “alternative” theories of who the perpetrators were that day, the results are an eye-opening indication of how profoundly the world’s confidence in the United States government has eroded during the Bush era. The researchers found little difference among respondents according to levels of education, or to the amount of exposure to the news media they had. Rather, they found a clear correlation with people’s attitudes toward the United States in general. “Those with a positive view of America’s influence in the world are more likely to cite al Qaeda (on average 59%) than those with a negative view (40%),” wrote the authors. “Those with a positive view of the United States are also less likely to blame the U.S. government (7%) than those with a negative view (22%).”

full article: www.insight-info.com

‘The US is not a republic anymore’

Press TV:We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President’s Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney – does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?

Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that’s end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Denis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there’s nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.

Press TV: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?

Gore Vidal: Well it’s because we no longer have a country. We don’t have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they’ve got rid of the Bill of Rights, they’ve got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies – the Magna Carta – from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.

Press TV: You have often written about the US’s superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we’re witnessing the end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?

Full article: www.insight-info.com

The incredible story of Youssef Nada

Under the cover of the ” war against terror “, the United States and the European Union have granted unlimited powers to secret services and police. Emergency measures which were introduced on a provisional basis in 2001, outside any judiciary control, have become permanent. Since September 2001, at least 80,000 people, mainly Muslim, would have been kidnapped, kept in secret prisons, and tortured by CIA and FBI agents. Hundreds of others have been put on the UN « black list ». That’s what happened to the businessman Youssef Nada, 77 years old, an Italian citizen of Egyptian origin, accused by U.S. President, G.W Bush of financing Al-Qaeda. Two judiciary investigations resulted in a non-suit, but Mr. Nada didn’t get his name deleted from the UN « black list » (*). His assets remain frozen; he is barred from travelling to or transiting in any country. He can’t go outside the tiny enclave of Campione – an Italian enclave inside Swiss territory – where Silvia Cattori went to meet him.

Silvia Cattori : Once he knew, in detail, your incredible story, Mr. Dick Marty denounced the injustice which is inflicted on you. He reported on your case, 19th March 2007 to the Council of Europe. Despite his report, you remain on the « black list » of people suspected of assisting terrorism, deprived of freedom because my country continues to uphold the UN sanctions against you. You are living in Italy, yet being kept as hostage by Switzerland?! I want to tell you that many of us are outraged by the martyrdom that Switzerland continues to inflict on you.

Youssef Nada : You can’t say that it is “the country, Switzerland”. The citizens are one thing, and politics is another. It is true that, in Switzerland, the people here are tolerant and peaceful, and neutral. Not only is the Government neutral, but the people themselves are neutral. But Mr. Dick Marty proved that he is one of the best Swiss citizens. Really, you feel when you read and hear what he says, that he is a humanitarian. The risk he took when he followed the “Extraordinary Renditions” case, nobody took before him. All the politicians know what is going on, but no one has the courage to speak. He was the only one who had the courage. Although I respect all the Swiss people, I respect Mr. Marty more, and not only because of the attitude he had towards me. His courage when he talks about people who are helpless in front of the biggest power is unique.

Silvia Cattori : Mr. Marty’s behaviour was exemplary; but unfortunately not the behaviour of the media. You implicate them on your personal website [3]. Does that mean that the journalists are apologists in support of this war?

Youssef Nada : Some journalists do have a special agenda, which they just mix up. They take part from me, part from their preconceived ideas, and make their own story. However, most journalists and media are honest. You can’t generalise. There are a lot of honest people within the media, doing their job and looking for the facts and for the interest of the public. Every month, I speak to about 15 to 20 journalists. TV journalists came: two from France, two from England, one from Austria, two from Germany, two from Italy, one from Spain, others from the Middle East and from the Far East. Some of these journalists are very honest. In fact, some of them, even without seeing me, defended my case in a correct way.

Silvia Cattori : It must have been a terrible hardship for you. Every day, you were confronted by new accusations, all more unlikely and overwhelming than the last, without being able to answer them!

Full article: www.insight-info.com

 

Resume: George Bush

I will be available in January 2009, am willing to relocate.

RESUME

bush monkey

GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Law Enforcement:
I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under  the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver’s license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been ‘lost’ and is not available.

Military:
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam while campaigning for a fellow Louisiana
Republican.

College:
I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader. My good grades got me into Harvard Business School , where I learned much of what you will find below under Work Experience.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:

I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.

I began my career in the oil business in Midland , Texas , in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn’t find any oil in Texas . The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.

With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas .

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS :

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor utility and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union . During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America .

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.

With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida , and my father’s appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President of the United States , after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.

I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury, driving the US dollar down to toilet paper status.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and after a short respite, that trend continues today.

I’m proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My ‘poorest millionaire, ‘ Condoleezza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.

I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. history, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.

I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I
presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States Government.

I’ve broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspector’s access to U.S. ‘prisoners of war’ detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 US election)

I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August of 2001, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history

I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. Citizens and the world community.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.

In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I am supporting development of a nuclear ‘Tactical Bunker Buster,’ a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfil my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father’s library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. I specified that my sealed documents will not be available for 50 years.

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