Friday, October 31, 2014

The Ongoing US Operation

Happy Anniversary William Binney

Today marks the anniversary of whistleblower William Binney's resignation from the NSA.  If you need refreshing, read this Frontline interview from December 2013.

A 36-year NSA veteran, William Binney resigned from the agency and became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop -- nicknamed ThinThread -- were being used to spy on Americans.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

But We Don't Have Any Boots on the Ground, You Understand

American military advisers are needed in Iraq’s volatile Anbar province, the nation’s top military officer said Thursday.

There are currently 1,400 U.S. troops in Iraq, 600 of whom are involved in an advise and assist mission to help Iraqi government and Kurdish forces take on the Islamic State terrorist group, which has taken over large chunks of the country.

  Stars & Stripes
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Check here to see where you can see the film - you can also buy tickets.

Shadow Report on US Torture Regime

[A] new report [by advocates from the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School] submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture has been released that excoriates [the Obama] administration for shielding the officials responsible [for torture in the “War on Terror”] from prosecution.

The report describes the post-9/11 torture program as “breathtaking in scope”, and indicts both the Bush and Obama administrations for complicity in it – the former through design and implementation, and the latter through its ongoing attempts to obstruct justice. Noting that the program caused grievous harm to countless individuals and in many cases went as far as murder, the report calls for the United States to “promptly and impartially prosecute senior military and civilian officials responsible for authorizing, acquiescing, or consenting in any way to acts of torture.”

  The Intercept
That would be pretty much the entire Bush administration, and arguably, Obama and his DOJ, if failure to hold accountable the Bush group is considered consenting, and I think it is.
[The report names] former President George W. Bush, Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo and former CIA contractor James Mitchell, among many others, as individuals sanctioned torture at the highest levels.


The [...]report cites former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh as describing the Bush administration’s legal definition of torture as, “so narrow that it would have exculpated Saddam Hussein.”
Proud to be an American.

And nothing will come of the report.  I assume the UN Committee Against Torture will file it in a cabinet somewhere.

More than 100 organizations and individuals across civil society have already signed on to the report. Advocates for US Torture Prosecutions will continue to gather signatures from individuals and organizations to submit to the UN Committee in Geneva; you can sign on here until November 6.

  Harvard Law
Yes, you can, but you're asked to offer some title or institution to which you belong.  Apparently, it doesn't matter whether the untitled dregs of American society think there ought to be accountability and prosecution for war crimes.

Wait! Wait! Khorasan Again!

They're here! They're Dead! They're Alive!   (Just like al Qaeda in Iraq a decade ago.  Only these guys are MUCH worse, of course.)

Still have your scorecard?

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Literal Overkill

Today the ACLU is presenting this video at a conference about racial disparities in the US criminal justice system before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is part of the Organization of American States. The surfacing of the graphic video comes at a particularly sensitive time in the US, where the nation is still grappling with the killing of 18 year-old African-American Michael Brown, who was shot by a white police officer in August in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking days of protests and violence that continues to simmer.

It shows a mentally ill homeless black man with a penknife being shot at 46 times (hit 14) by eight white police officers at a safe distance (and with a police dog) in Saginaw, Michigan, two years ago. 

We Just Need More Apartheid

[Israeli] Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told the Knesset on Wednesday that continuing to allow Palestinians to ride buses in the West Bank with Israeli Jews, including soldiers, guaranteed a terror attack.

"You don't have to be a security official to understand that when there are 20 Arabs on a bus with a Jewish driver and two or three passengers and an armed soldier, that's a guarantee of a terror attack," he told Knesset members Wednesday, in response to a question from MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) about the Haaretz report.

Ya'alon's proposed method of keeping Palestinians and settlers from riding the same buses heading from Israeli cities within the Green Line into the West Bank, he said, is an Israeli pilot program to keep Jews and Arabs on segregated buses by creating Palestinian-only bus lines.

And that WON’T encourage attacks.
"I did not ban Arabs from traveling in Judea and Samaria, and there is no plan to ban them from traveling on public transportation in Judea and Samaria," Ya'alon said.
Because, for some reason, THOSE Palestinians are not a problem. Only those in the West Bank.
GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon has said Palestinian passengers are not a security threat because before they board the buses to the West Bank, they must have obtained pre-approval from the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police. They then undergo body checks at the border crossings heading into Israel. Alon also noted that terror attacks within the Green Line, like the murder of soldier Eden Attias, were carried out by those without permits, not by authorized workers.
Yeah? What does HE know?
The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has been closed to all worshipers for the first time since 1967. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the closure a ‘declaration of war.’

Both Jewish and Muslim worshipers will be prohibited from visiting the site “until further notice,” Israel’s public security minister said.


The closure of Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site, followed the shooting of a right-wing Jewish activist, Yehuda Glick, on Wednesday.
Looks like everything is going along swimmingly. Who needs peace talks?

Epidemic Proportions

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What Oil?

A new report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that a massive layer of coagulated oil remains on the Gulf of Mexico’s seafloor nearly five years after the Deepwater Horizon sank and spilled some 5 million barrels of oil in the area.

The “bathtub ring,” a layer of water containing high levels of oil, covers 1,200 square miles about a half mile below the surface. The researchers also say that a “fallout plume” of oil particles sank into sediment as much as a mile below the surface.

Well, yeah. Did anyone think that shit they sunk was just going to magically disappear?
BP released a statement Monday criticizing the report over the chemical fingerprinting used to identify the oil on the seafloor.
Of course they did.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.