Archive for February, 2013

Pat Buchanan: How is America threatened by Iran?

February 28, 2013

Infantile Conservatism

Pat Buchanan, ICH, Feb 27, 2013

Regularly now, The Washington Post, as always concerned with fairness and balance, runs a blog called “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s Take From a Conservative Perspective.”

The blog tells us what the Post regards as conservatism.

On Monday, Rubin declared that America’s “greatest national security threat is Iran.” Do conservatives really believe this?

How is America, with thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, scores of warships in the Med, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, bombers and nuclear subs and land-based missiles able to strike and incinerate Iran within half an hour, threatened by Iran?

Iran has no missile that can reach us, no air force or navy that would survive the first days of war, no nuclear weapons, no bomb-grade uranium from which to build one. All of her nuclear facilities are under constant United Nations surveillance and inspection.

And if this Iran is the “greatest national security threat” faced by the world’s last superpower, why do Iran’s nearest neighbors — Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan — seem so unafraid of her?

Citing The Associated Press and Times of Israel, Rubin warns us that “Iran has picked 16 new locations for nuclear plants.”

How many nuclear plants does Iran have now? One, Bushehr.

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Afghanistan government accuses US special forces of civilian death and torture

February 26, 2013

Hamid Karzai orders US elite force to leave Maidan Wardak province after local reports of disappearance of nine people

  • Golnar Motevalli in Kabul
  • guardian.co.uk, 24 February 2013 23.17 GMT
us special forces afghanistan

US special forces in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai’s government has ordered the elite force to leave Maidan Wardak province over claims of killing or torture of disappeared civilians. Photograph: David Bathgate/ David Bathgate/Corbis

The Afghan government has ordered US special forces to leave one of Afghanistan‘s most restive provinces, Maidan Wardak, after receiving reports from local officials claiming that the elite units had been involved in the torture and disappearance of Afghan civilians.

US military officials have rejected the allegations but President Hamid Karzai, who convened a meeting of the Afghan national security council on Sunday, appears to believe the evidence was strong enough to demand US special forces leave Maidan Wardak within two weeks.

Security in the province bordering Kabul has deteriorated over the past year, and it has become a focus of US-led efforts to stop insurgents reaching the capital. The decision could have implications for relations with Washington and for US plans to maintain a counter-terrorist force in Afghanistan after Nato combat troops leave in 2014.

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George Bush, Tony Blair and the century’s greatest crime

February 24, 2013

What US and Britain did to Iraq is nothing short of state terrorism

By Linda S. Heard | Special to Gulf News,  February 18, 2013

 

  • Image Credit: Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

It’s been almost 10 years since the US and Britain unleashed ‘Shock and Awe’ on the Iraqi capital Baghdad ostensibly to punish a rogue dictator for hoarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in non-compliance with binding UN Security Council resolutions. In reality, Saddam Hussain had shut down his nuclear programme and destroyed Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons more than a decade earlier.

UN weapons inspectors were almost certain of this fact and were on the point of giving Iraq a clean bill of health until they were leant-on by Uncle Sam. Indeed, the man who had supervised Iraq’s WMD programme for a decade Saddam’s son-in-law Hussain Kamal confirmed as much to CIA intelligence officers and UN officials following his defection to Jordan in 1995.

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Iraq (1991): The Massacre of Al-Amiriyah Remembered

February 22, 2013

Ibrahim Ebeid, uruknet.info, Feb 20, 2013

20amiriyah2.jpg
While the People of the United States were celebrating Valentine’s Day, February 1991, the day of Love and Friendship, US bombs were falling all over Iraq. Destruction and death were the lot of Iraq and its People.

Al-Amiriya, a bomb shelter which was one of 38 shelters built by a Scandinavian construction company was brutally attacked by US Air Force. Fifteen hundred civilians, mostly women and children, were taking refuge in it when the precision bombs fell and turned the refuge into a death chamber. Only 11 were known to have survived after suffering different degrees of wounds, burns and psychological trauma. Whole families were wiped out, as can still be seen today from their locked houses in Amiriyah.

The temperature inside the shelter rose to thousands of degrees melting bodies along with cement and iron. The evidence is still there in the blackened ceiling where melted iron rods in the roof hang inside along the edges of the hole, which was caused by the bombs. Ripped air conditioning ducts lie on the floor to bear witness to the crimes committed by George Bush Sr. and his Administration.

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Stephen Lendman: Medals for murder

February 16, 2013

Stephen Lendman, MWC, Feb 16, 2013

Obama

Extrajudicial killing is official US policy. Drone wars normalize it. Obama decides who lives or dies. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner.

He’s got final kill list authority. His secret memo authorized Anwar al-Awlaki’s assassination. Anyone anywhere in the world can be murdered on his say.

His “white paper” inverted inviolable legal principles. It’s titled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a US Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force.”

It calls lawless killing without trial or evidence legal. Vague language substitutes for clear evidence and just cause. Rule of law principles don’t apply.

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President Obama defends drone assassinations in State of the Union address

February 14, 2013

 

By  Barry Grey, wsws.org, 13 February 2013

The most significant point in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night was a passing and euphemistically worded reference to his program of extra-judicial drone assassinations. “Where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans,” he declared.

Every congressman, senator, cabinet member, Supreme Court justice and general in the House chamber knew that with that statement Obama was defending his asserted power to secretly order the assassination of anyone in any part of the world, including American citizens. The president went on to make clear he was intent on making state murder a permanent and completely institutionalized government function.

His administration, he said, had worked “tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework” to guide such operations. He went on to indicate he might be open to suggestions for giving the assassination program a fig leaf of “transparency” and legality, pledging to “engage with Congress to ensure… our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances…”

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Saddam Hussein speaks

February 10, 2013

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRF7d9ydQf8

Robert Scheer: America’s Global Torture Network

February 9, 2013

Robert Scheer, truthdig.com,  Feb 7, 2013

AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Demonstrators from the groups Code Pink and Witness Against Torture protest last month against President Obama’s choice of John Brennan to head the CIA.

The title, “Globalizing Torture,” says it all. This meticulous accounting of the network of torture chambers that the United States has authorized in more than 54 nations is a damning indictment that should make all of us in this country cringe with shame.

The report is a product of the Open Society Foundations, funded by international financier and philanthropist George Soros, who, as a young Jew, suffered through the Nazi occupation of Hungary and emerged from that experience an uncompromising fighter for human rights. That his lifelong goal to “foster accountability for international crimes,” reflected in his organization’s mission statement, now includes our government is a condemnation as awful as it is deserved.

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‘Kill List’ Document Outlines When US Can Target Its Own Citizens in Drone Strikes

February 6, 2013

‘Without saying so explicitly, the government claims the authority to kill American terrorism suspects in secret.’

– Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams, February 5, 2013

A “profoundly disturbing” Justice Department document—with “chilling” parallels to the Bush torture memos—obtained by NBC News outlines when the U.S. can put its own citizens on a “kill list” to be targeted in drone strikes.

“This is a profoundly disturbing document, and it’s hard to believe that it was produced in a democracy built on a system of checks and balances. It summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority – the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement before or after the fact,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

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CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries ‘offered covert support’

February 5, 2013

Report finds at least 54 countries co-operated with global kidnap, detention and torture operation mounted after 9/11 attacks

John Brennan

John Brennan, Barack Obama’s choice to head the CIA. The report’s release appears timed to coincide with his confirmation hearing. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

The full extent of the CIA‘s extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world’s governments covertly offered support.

A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe.

So widespread and extensive was the participation of governments across the world that it is now clear the CIA could not have operated its programme without their support, according to the OSJI.

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