Stephen Lendman

Remote Control Killing Like Sport – unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

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Defence contractor giants like Boeing, Lockeed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and others, as well as smaller rivals compete for growing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They include remote control operated killer drones, also called unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).

It’s America’s newest sport. From distant command centers, far from target sights, sounds, and smells, operators dismissively ignore human carnage showing up as computer screen blips little different from video game images. The difference, of course, is people die, mostly noncombatants. More on that below.

On March 10, 2010, Der Spiegel writer Marc Pitzke headlined, “How Drone Pilots Wage War,” saying:

They “sit in air-conditioned rooms far away from (America’s wars). They guide their weapons with joysticks and monitors. The remote warriors work with a high degree of precision – at a fraction of the cost of a fighter jet,” but just as deadly.

Operators use computer keyboards and five monitors. One says “I’ve got eight missiles and two bombs on two Predators. Weapons ready.”

The main monitor shows a target’s aerial view “from a considerable height….Three, two, one. Impact,” after pushing a red button. “Excellent job,” the man says after a destructive explosion. The entire mission lasted two minutes “against a faceless enemy” attacked by remote control half a world away.

“The whole thing looks like a computer game,” virtual war “that doesn’t require combatants to get their hands dirty” or perhaps souls compromised for mindlessly slaughtering civilians lawlessly – what America’s media never explain or why Washington wages war.

Each drone system includes four aircraft, a ground station, a satellite link, and launch site maintenance crew, keeping UAVs ready to use round-the-clock on a moment’s notice. Like America’s wars, moreover, drone technology is a growth business, Insitu’s Steven Sliwa saying the industry is well positioned like the aeronautical one during WW II – up-up-and-away for big profits.

America’s Drone Command Centers

Two currently operate, the CIA’s at its Langley, VA headquarters, the Pentagon’s at Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base, about 35 miles from Las Vegas.

Look-alikes, they’re sterile, insular, secure computer rooms manned by “combat commuters.” By day, they wage war, then drive home for dinner, relaxation, and family time, dismissive of killing for a living like mafia hit men, except they do it daily on a global scale against nameless, faceless targets.

Working in pairs, a pilot sits at one end of a computer station, a sensor operator at the other, controlling visual surveillance, able to zoom in for closer views, capturing images from drone cameras and satellites.

The Pentagon’s team maintains constant radio contact with its Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) Qatar headquarters and US Kandahar, Afghanistan base where UAVs take off and land.

ACLU National Security Project director Hina Shamsi calls Predator drones “targeted international killings by the state.” On February 8, 2010, she and Law Professor Philip Alston’s London Guardian article headlined, “A killer above the law?” saying:

Sanitized killing on the cheap leaves disturbing issues unanswered, including a program shrouded in secrecy, no accountability, and dubious “no reports” of civilian casualties despite “credible (ones) that hundreds of innocents have died.”

International law, in fact, demands accountability. “When complete secrecy prevails, it is negated. Secrecy also provides incentives to push the margins in problematic ways….Equally discomforting is the ‘PlayStation mentality’ that surrounds drone killings. Young military (recruits, CIA operatives, and private civilian contractor) personnel raised on a diet of video games now kill real people remotely using joysticks.”

Lawless abuses always follow secrecy without accountability, killer drones a perfect example. On July 12, 2009, Greg Grant’s Infowars.com article headlined, “Drones Hardly Even Kill Bad Guys,” saying:

Counterinsurgency advisor David Kilcullen “told lawmakers last week that drone strikes” successfully hit militants 2% of the time. All others are noncombatant civilians. These casualties then “become an extension of war by other means. Tactics that physically defeat elements of the enemy and lose the population lose the war,” besides issues of legality.

In his book “Wired for War,” Peter Singer called drone technology disturbingly “seductive” because it makes combat look “costless.”

Britain’s former Iraq air chief marshal said it was “virtueless war,” requiring no heroics or getting one’s hands dirty.

According to Law Professor Mary Dudziak, “Drones are a technological step that further isolates the American people from military action, undermining political checks on….endless war,” as well as its fallout, including the human cost, and America’s illegal targeted assassination program.

Ramping Up Drone Warfare

In FY 2012, the Air Force plans to double its advanced killer drone fleet, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk class, MQ-9 Reaper, and MQ-1 Predator.

General Atomics MQ-9 Reapers are especially valued, the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long endurance, high surveillance targeting, used by the Air Force, Navy, US Customs and Border Protection, UK Royal Air Force, and Italian Air Force. The CIA prefers smaller, lightweight, less obtrusive drones for killing.

The Pentagon just released its 30-year aircraft procurement plans, projected to be more robotic than ever, budgeted for about $25 billion annually, including doubling its robot fleet by 2021, saying:

“The number of platforms in this category – RQ-4 Global Hawk-class, MQ-9 Reaper, and MQ-1 Predator-class unnammed aircraft systems – will grow from approximately 340 in (FY) 2012 to approximately 650 in FY 2021.”

The Army’s got a Gray Eagle Reaper-like drone. The Marines want a similar one as part of their Group 4 Unmanned Air System program. The Navy’s so-called Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Strike and Surveillance initiative aims to put jet-powered killer drones on carrier decks no later than 2018. Around the same time, the Air Force may start buying jet-powered ones to complement its prop-driven Reaper.

By decade’s end, it hopes to have enough medium and large drones to maintain at least 65 round-the-clock “orbits” compared to now. Combined with other service branches, 100 or more permanently positioned killer drones may launch precision-guided bombs and missiles on targets virtually anywhere.

Moreover, improved sensors like the Air Force’s Gorgon Stare and new foliage-penetrating radars will let new generations of drones do what multiple ones are needed for now.

Given the profit potential, US defense contractors are scrambling for part of a bigger pie, developing new killer drone models, including Boeing’s X-45C, Northrop Grumman’s X-47B and General Atomic’s Avenger. Others will follow to satisfy the Pentagon’s insatiable appetite for remote killing and destruction on a global scale.

If America’s military had a motto, it would be war is good, the more the better. How else can generals get stars?

Remote Control High Altitude Killing

In March 2010, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit:

“demanding that the government disclose the legal basis for its use of unmanned drones to conduct targeted killings overseas. In particular, the lawsuit asks for information on when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, the number and rate of civilian casualties and the other basis information essential for assessing the wisdom and legality of using armed drones to conduct targeted killings.”

At issue is using them against civilians, including US citizens abroad after Obama authorized targeting any suspected of terrorist involvement, with or without proof.

The ACLU sued the Defense, State, and Justice Departments after each provided no requested information “nor have they given any reason for withholding documents. The CIA answered the ACLU’s request by refusing to confirm or deny the existence of any relevant documents.” CIA wasn’t sued because the ACLU appealed its non-response to the Agency Release Panel.

UAVs were first used in Vietnam, mainly as reconnaissance platforms. In the 1980s, radar killer drones called Harpy air defense suppression systems were employed. In the Gulf War, unmanned combat air system (UCAS) and X-45 air vehicles were used.

Others were deployed in Bosnia in 1995 and against Serbia in 1999. America’s new weapon of choice is now commonplace in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and domestically, including for law enforcement – in fact, virtually anywhere for targeted attacks and/or surveillance globally.

At issue is their legality, given their use outside traditional battlefields for extrajudicial assassinations, a practice US and international laws prohibit. Yet reports confirm Obama’s ramped up use with long-term grander schemes – why the ACLU and other human rights groups express concern.

A December 2009 Social Science Research Network Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper titled, “Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan, 2004 – 2009” said the following:

“First drones launch missiles or drop bombs, the kind of weapons that may only be used lawfully in an armed conflict. Until the spring of 2009, there was no armed conflict (in Pakistan). International law does not recognize the right to kill without warning outside an actual armed conflict. Killing without warning is only tolerated during the hostilities of an armed conflict, and, then, only lawful combatants may lawfully carry” them out.

CIA members “are not lawful combatants and their participation in killing persons – even in an armed conflict – is a crime.” US military forces may be “lawful combatants in Pakistan” only if its government officially requested them. It did not.

Further, beyond targeted individuals, collateral killing is commonplace. “Drones have rarely, if ever, killed just the intended target. By October 2009, the ratio has been up to” 50 civilians for each militant. As a result, drone use violates “the war-fighting principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality and humanity.”

Nonetheless, violations continue daily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Libya, having escalated dramatically in recent years. Along with bombers and helicopter gunships, their use in Afghanistan (and North Waziristan, Pakistan) is so pervasive that anyone in the open or near targeted sites risks death – civilians, including vulnerable women and children for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On March 13, 2010, Der Spiegel headlined, “Drones Are Lynchpin of Obama’s War on Terror,” calling them his weapon of choice. “But the political, military and moral consequences are incalculable.”

One report said in the past two years the Air Force Research Laboratory embarked on a program to “build the ultimate assassination robot (described as) a tiny, armed drone for the US special forces to employ in terminating ‘high-value targets’ ” that most often are noncombatants.

On April 4, 2010, New York Times writers Jane Perlez and Pir Zubair Shah headlined, “Drones Batter Qaeda and Allies Within (North Waziristan) Pakistan,” referring to a “stepped-up campaign….over the past three months (casting) a pall of fear over an area (by) fly(ing) overhead sometimes four at a time, emitting a beelike hum virtually 24 hours a day, observing and tracking targets, then unleashing missiles on their quarry….”

The ferocity of strikes, in fact, got one Pakistani to say, “It seems they really want to kill everyone….,” civilians, of course, most vulnerable. Almost daily, noncombatant casualties are reported, sparking public anger and protests, including over America’s regional presence.

In late April, Obama authorized a major Libyan war escalation, ordering the use of killer drones. At an April 21 press conference, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. James Cartwright announced the deployment of Predator UAVs, saying:

“What they will bring that is unique to the conflict is their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on….targets now that they have started to dig themselves into defensive positions.”

Also announced was that surveillance drones have flown throughout the conflict. Now Hellfire missile firing ones are being used, supplementing daily terror bombings and low-flying Apache helicopter gunship killing machines hitting anything on the ground that moves.

A recent CBS News poll shows 60% of Americans against the Libyan war, only 30% saying military involvement in North Africa is justified. It represents a sharp drop from March when 70% supported intervention.

World outrage is also growing, including from the Pan Afrikanist Steering Committee of Namibia against The United Nations Resolution 1973 (PSCNAUNR), calling NATO’s Libya war “a desecration of the Afrikan homeland by a set of Europeans.”

Saying it’s an “appalling atrocity,” Western supported “mercenaries” are being used “to kill, maim, destroy local infrastructures, and attack Afrikans….living in fear of their lives within Libya.”

NATO, “under the guise of the UN, deliberately started its bombardment under a hidden agenda for Regime Change” in violation of international law. “It is now crystal clear that the motive behind Resolution 1973 was of a sinister nature, (effectively) representing a Declaration of War” against a nonbelligerent state.

June 12 on the Progressive Radio News Hour, Cynthia McKinney reported from Tripoli, saying hospitals, schools, residential houses, and other non-military sites have been bombed, causing numerous civilian casualties. NATO and America’s media duplicitously deny it.

However, other independent sources confirm strikes on commercial airports, seaports, power generating facilities, and other sites unrelated to military necessity, terrorizing, killing, and injuring Libyan civilians by intensified attacks.

A Final Comment

As president, Obama intensified US belligerence in multiple theaters, defying international and constitutional law. He may, in fact, have a new target in mind, what a June 10 White House press release suggests, saying:

“The United States strongly condemns the Syrian government’s outrageous use of violence…particularly in the northwestern region. There must be an immediate end to the brutality and violence. We regret the loss of life and extend our condolences to all those who have suffered.”

The double standard gross hypocrisy requires no comment, especially in light of the Washington, Israel, Saudi, and Lebanon’s March 14 Alliance project to destabilize Assad’s government, including by inciting and supporting armed militants for regime change.

So far, Russia and China have blocked a proposed Security Council resolution condemning Syrian violence, fearing passage perhaps means more war. It’s America’s favored strategy against regimes it doesn’t control.

Notably, three rogues senators (John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham) openly support regime change, saying in a joint statement:

“By following the path of (Gaddafi) and deploying military forces to crush peaceful demonstrations, al-Assad and those loyal to him have lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria. We urge President Obama to state unequivocally (that it’s) time for (him) to go,” stopping short of calling for war they may join with others in demanding it.

Despite waging multiple imperial wars, Obama, in fact, may oblige them, heading America perilously closer to all out general war, especially to distract growing millions from their economic misery at home.

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Global Economic Crisis Deepening

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In the 1960s, economist Arthur Okum began calculated America’s Misery Index by adding the unemployment and inflation rates for a sense of public pain or lack of it in good times.

In May, it hit a record high exceeding 25, surpassing the earlier June 1980 21.98 top, based on how both measures were then calculated, not today’s methodology, manipulated to hide painful truths.

At issue is:

— over 22% unemployment, including discouraged workers and the so-called “birth-death model” estimate of net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from ones no longer operating; during hard times, painful truths are hidden by creating non-existent jobs out of whole cloth instead of subtracting them to reflect fewer, not additional new businesses;

— double digit inflation, including soaring food, energy, healthcare, college tuition, and other costs omitted or understated in core figures;

— rising poverty, more than one in seven affected according to way understated Census Bureau figures, using threshold measures developed 40 years earlier;

— record numbers on food stamps;

— record measures of food insecurity – Feeding America.org reporting one in six American facing hunger;

— predicted record 2011 numbers of home foreclosures, estimated at 1.2 million after one million lost last year;

— record homelessness numbers up to 3.5 million on any given night, needing refuge wherever they can find it or face life on city streets; and

— other measures of worsening conditions during a Main Street depression, affecting Europe, Japan and elsewhere like America.

Economic recovery? Explain how to millions unemployed or underemployed, foreclosed homeowners, bankrupt business owners, impoverished legions, and many others food insecure at a time US and European leaders enforce austerity when massive social stimulus is needed.

Across Europe, large deficits and public debt crises are spreading, an Economist April 29 article highlighting “a moment….when events spiral out of control. As panic sets in, bond yields lurch sickeningly upwards and fear spreads to shares and currencies.”

It happened in September 2008, a decade earlier when Russia defaulted, and similar past events. “When the unthinkable becomes the inevitable,” contagion and panic follow like a tsunami sweeping away everything in its path.

Numerous European countries are deeply troubled, notably Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, entrapped in debt, locked in a Eurozone straightjacket. Perhaps heading for default, they’ve inflicted painful austerity on working households, rallying them en masse in protest.

On May 30, financial expert and investor safety advocate Martin Weiss said:

“Never before have I seen so many threats to your safety and wealth converging in one time and place,” citing:

— deteriorating bank safety, evident from increasing failures and other systemic risk measures;

— a deepening housing market depression with no end in sight;

— a worsening European sovereign debt crisis; and

— most worrisome, the contagion spreading to America.

According to Weiss:

“If you thought the debt crisis of 2008-2009 was a harrowing experience, wait till you see what’s coming next.” Last time, corporations were affected. Sovereign states are getting hammered now, including America.

On May 16, the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB) headlined, “Global systemic crisis: Confirmation of a Major Alert for the second half of 2011 – Explosive fusion of world geopolitical dislocation and the global economic financial crisis,” saying:

As it predicted in February 2008, GEAB again believes conditions now suggest a later in the year “explosive fusion….(a worldwide) geopolitical dislocation on the one hand and (a) global economic and financial crisis on the other.”

Combined they show major economic trauma coming, extinguishing economic recovery hopes, notably in debt entrapped America, “represent(ing) the end of an era (in which the) dollar was the currency of the United States and the rest of the world’s problem.”

Ahead, it’s becoming “the main threat weighing on the rest of the world” and America. Summer 2011 “will confirm that the Federal Reserve has lost its bet: the US economy has, in fact, never left the ‘Very Great Depression which it entered in 2008 despite” massive money creation.

As a result, interest rates will rise. Government deficits will explode. Economic decline will intensify. Equity valuations will decline. The dollar will behave erratically “before suddenly losing 30% of its value” as earlier predicted.

At the same time, “Euroland,” BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and “commodity producers will rapidly strengthen their cooperation while launching a final attempt to salvage” the remnants of Bretton Woods and a US/UK dominated world.

“(I)t’s unrealistic to imagine (Obama) who has shown no major international stature so far, proving himself” statesmanlike enough to take risks ahead of the 2012 election cycle.

Under his leadership, America “is completely in dreamland. Whilst the country has reached unsustainable levels of debt, (its leaders) have made this topic an election issue.”

Moreover, America today is seen as the “sick man of the world in which any sign of weakness or serious inconsistency can trigger uncontrolled panic.”

In addition, the combination of “(c)razy central bankers, world leaders without a roadmap, economies at risk, inflation rising, currencies in trouble, frenzied commodities, uncontrolled Western debt, (high unemployment), (and) stressed societies” leaves little doubt about looming trouble ahead as early as second half 2011.

A Final Comment

In late May, Gerald Celente highlighted “the most trend-significant story” getting little or no coverage in Western media reports. The combination of weather, economic, and geopolitical events portend “far-reaching and disastrous” socioeconomic consequences.

“Farming, shipping, seafood, food supplies and petroleum refining will be among the foreseeable casualties, accompanied by massive population displacement. But the ensuing chain reaction (inflation, shortages, unemployment, etc.) will claim many other victims,” so far unquantifiable.

Middle East and European protests “signaled a major turning point, (an unstoppable) “Off With Their Heads” mega-trend, America’s media don’t notice or explain.

Celente calls the European bailouts failures, creating higher unemployment, more debt, draconian austerity, and “a wholesale sell-off of valuable public resources,” asset-stripping national wealth to enrich bankers, producing painful consequences.

As a result, “(e)conomic conditions will continue to deteriorate for most European nations. The worse they get, the louder and more heated the protests….” Repressive crackdowns will follow, producing greater protests this summer into 2012 and beyond as conditions worsen.

However, a potential wild card deserves watching – one or more terror strikes likely derailing angry protesters temporarily, uniting them behind national security issues, the way 9/11 worked.

More worrisome is a possible major false flag, even a nuclear one targeting a US and/or Western European city. If so, all bets are off short term, but sooner or later unmet needs will take precedence, perhaps when hungry people blame Washington for their misery and react angrily for help. It bears watching and may happen sooner than expected.

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Netanyahu’s War on Gaza – Freedom Flotilla

Gaza flotilla

Governing lawlessly by any standard, Netanyahu waged war on Gaza since becoming Israel’s prime minister for the second time on March 31, 2009.

Under his leadership, May 31 marked the anniversary of Israel’s barbaric slaughter of nine Freedom Flotilla activists in international waters, injuring dozens more trying to deliver thousands of tons of vital aid to besieged Gazans, suffocating illegally since June 2007.

At the time, Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed Flotilla organizers for inciting the attack, while his deputy, Danny Alalon, said they were connected to international terrorist organizations, trying to smuggle in arms. In fact, none were on board nor on other aid ships trying to breach Israel’s lawless blockade.

Caught red-handed in a bald-faced lie, Haaretz writer Gideon Levy said:

“The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs (distributing) false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle….There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy (its) web of explanations, lies and tactics.”

Video footage on board the Mavi Marmara mother ship showed Israeli commandos opened fire during the assault, activists saying it began when they stormed on board.

Al Zazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, aboard the ship, said “a white surrender flag was raised (and) there was no live fire coming from the passengers.”

What happened was clear. IDF commandos planned and executed a premeditated attack against unarmed, nonviolent activists, trying to break Israel’s illegal blockade to deliver essential aid. Cold-blooded murder resulted.

An independent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) fact-finding mission held Israel entirely culpable, calling its assault brutal and disproportionate. Based on eye witness testimonies, forensic evidence, video footage, and other photographic material, it:

“concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation….The preponderance of evidence from impeccable sources is far too overwhelming to come to a contrary opinion.”

Israel’s justification on “security grounds” was called entirely baseless. Moreover, prosecuting Israeli criminals is warranted and essential under Fourth Geneva’s Article 147, covering:

— willful killing;

— torture or inhuman treatment; and

— deliberately causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

In emergency session ahead of its investigation, the HRC criticized Israel’s “outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip,” calling it “piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity – unprovoked, unwarranted, atrocious, (and) brutal.”

It described activists onboard as “peaceful, innocent, noble, unarmed, (and) defenseless,” setting the record straight on what happened.

Following its own investigation, Turkey also held Israel responsible, accurately explaining the facts, not Israel’s web of lies and coverup, its speciality.

High Seas Barbarism and Piracy

Israel violated the 1958 Geneva Convention on the High Seas and 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Under UNCLOS’ Article 101, maritime piracy includes “any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation….against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State (and) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating (such) an act.”

Usually it refers to robbery or criminal violence committed by private parties. Broadly interpreted, it can apply to states committing lawless acts. UNCLOS lets them interdict at sea to prevent illegal arms and drug smuggling, the slave trade or terrorist activities – not applicable to Flotilla activists despite Israel’s accusations.

Its mission was humanitarian. Inspected before departure, its cargo included food, medicines, educational, construction, and other materials, not weapons, munitions or anything threatening Israel. Under UNCLOS, its commandos had no right to interdict or attack activists on board, especially in international waters.

Under customary maritime law, ships have “innocent passage” rights through all international and coastal area waters, subject to certain restrictions.

UNCLOS defines “innocent passage” as expeditious, continuous passage through waters in ways not “prejudicial to the peace, good order or the security” of a coastal state.

America’s Defense Department defines it as:

“The right of all ships to engage in continuous and expeditious surface passage through the territorial sea and archipelagic water of foreign coastal states in a manner not prejudicial to its peace, good order, or security. Passage includes stopping and anchoring, but only if incidental to ordinary navigation or necessary for force majeure (a natural or unavoidable catastrophe) or distress, or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships, or aircraft in danger of distress.”

Israel’s brazen slaughter was lawless, punishable under international law. Claiming it was self-defense was spurious, reprehensible and laughable on its face.

Law Professor and international law expert Francis Boyle said Israel also “violated the SUA (Suppression of Unlawful Acts) Convention, to which Israel, Turkey and the USA are all parties.” SUA followed “in reaction to the (1985) Achille Lauro Hijacking and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer.”

It’s “one of the Conventions adopted by the UN and its affiliated organizations to deal with the phenomenon of international terrorism,” what Israel stands guilty of repeatedly, yet remains free from accountability, ready to do it again.

It’s Coming: Freedom Flotilla Two (FF 2)

On May 31, 2011, Haaretz writer Amos Harel headlined, “Israel prepping to block next Gaza flotilla,” saying:

On the massacre anniversary date, “Netanyahu said Israel prefers (diplomacy, but will) exercise force against anyone (trying) to disobey the navy’s orders….” to thwart an expected late June arrival.

Called “Freedom Flotilla Two (FF 2),” 15 ships with over 1,500 activists from about 100 countries are sailing on June 20 from various Mediterranean ports, calling on UN member states to support their humanitarian mission to deliver medical equipment, educational supplies, construction materials, (including 700 tons of cement), and other vital aid to besieged Gazans awaiting them.

In readiness, Israel held drills, involving ships and mobilized reserve combatants, including surveillance, “based mainly on open communications and Internet sites.” Focusing on riot-control measures, brute force will be used “as a last resort.”

In fact, it’s Israel’s method of choice, showing contempt for rule of law standards. Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, in fact, admitted that activists resisting interdiction will be shot, knowing after action whitewashes will absolve Israel’s worst crimes, calling them self-defense, the last refuge of lawless scoundrels.

Knowing the risks, 1,500 courageous activists are still coming, determined to breach Gaza’s blockade no matter what Israel intends. From what’s known, expect force, including “surprises” from the same commando unit that murdered activists last May.

They’re preparing, undergoing “extensive training in hand-to-hand combat taught by experts from Israel’s Shin Bet security service.” More still involving “mock raids aboard a vessel that simulates events aboard the Mavi Marmara.”

Israel calls cold-blooded murder self-defense and international water interdiction “legal.” Others call them barbarism and piracy.

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Solidarity with Palestine

Ahead of May 15 Nakba commemorations, massive crowds assembled in Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square in solidarity. They displayed banners, proclaiming, “The People want the Rafah Crossing opened,” and “Palestine is a Arab state.”

They also waved Palestinian flags, chanting “Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada” and “National Unity” ahead of a planned weekend march to Gaza. More on that below.

Domestic issues were also addressed, including ending recent sectarian violence and concerns about popular unaddressed issues under military junta rule. After Friday prayers, Sheikh Safwat Hegazy addressed the crowd, saying:

“(Appointed prime minister) Essam Sharaf: this is not your government. This is the revolution’s government. You should kick out the six former (NDP ruling party) ministers from the cabinet. We won’t accept (deputy prime minister) Yehia El-Gamal who’s part of the former regime….”

In response, crowds chanted, “Down, down Yehia El-Gamal.” One participant, identified only as Mohammad, spoke for others, saying:

“Sharaf’s government is taking the same path as the former government. They have the same double standards, secrecy and authoritarian policy-making in internal (and) external affairs.”

Though Egypt’s spring hasn’t bloomed, its spirit pervades Tahrir, suggesting perhaps renewed uprisings ahead. For now, however, Egyptians head for Gaza in solidarity with Palestinian liberation, a goal millions around the world support, as well as a Third Intifada to achieve it.

Surprisingly, however, despite MENA region (Middle East/North Africa) Morocco to Oman to Syria uprisings, Palestinians haven’t yet reacted, except for regular small-scale demonstrations far short of large masses throughout Egypt and neighboring countries, posing challenges for ruling authorities.

Yet nowhere is regional abuse more extreme, including occupation, isolation, land theft, mass arrests, torture, targeted assassinations, daily terror, and at times war, causing thousands of casualties and widespread destruction.

Perhaps Egypt’s solidarity march will inspire what hasn’t yet occurred, under the slogan, “Cairo’s liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).”

According to Justice and Freedom Youth Movement’s Ahmed Doma:

“We are organizing this event as part of the Arab Internet call for a third Palestinian Intifada, and as part of what has been termed ‘the Arab mass march.’ ”

Facebook was used, urging that regional Arabs march en masse to Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Jordanian/Israeli borders, demanding what Palestinians have long sought, including liberation, ending occupation, the right of return, and East Jerusalem as its capital.

Participating Egyptians also want:

— Rafah’s border crossing permanently open, permitting free movement of people and goods;

— halting Egypt’s sale of gas to Israel;

— ending all “humiliating agreements with the Zionist state;” and

— immediate release of all Palestinians in Egyptian prisons.

On May 14 at noon Cairo time, marchers headed for Gaza, expecting to arrive that evening ahead of planned May 15 Nakba day rallies. At the same time, protesters demonstrated in front of Israel’s Giza embassy and its ambassador’s Maadi residence.

We are All Resistance member Arwa said “other convoys heading to Palestine are moving from Alexandria, Suez, Damietta and North Sinai. People will also join convoys from Gharbiya, Beni Suef, Assiut, Qena and Sohag” in a mass show of solidarity.

Cairo participating groups include:

— the National Front for Justice and Democracy;

— Cairo University’s Supporters of the Palestinian Revolution;

— the Justice and Freedom Youth Movement,

— Kifaya;

— We are All the Resistance Movement;

— Helwan University’s Resistance Movement;

— Ultras Ahlawy Ahly football club supporters;

— Zamalek club White Knights;

— Activists for Palestine;

— the Palestinian Women’s Coalition;

— the April 6 Movement;

— the Nasserist Party; and

— various independent activists.

In Tel Aviv, Israel’s Zochrot organization also shows support, defying the imposed ban on Nakba commemorations by posting a sign in German saying “we remember.” Other Israelis joined them in solidarity.

On its web site (zochrot.org), it:

“seeks to raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba, especially among Jews in Israel, who bear a special responsibility to remember and amend the legacy of 1948.”

Palestinians were victimized, losing “their entire world. But Jews in Israel also pay a price for their conquest,” living with the criminal legacy Palestinians and global supporters won’t forget. Zochrot’s goal is “recognition for injustice and new paths toward change and repair,” including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, saying:

“Return is fundamental to resolving the conflict and implementation of return need not cause injustice to Jewish people….in Israel.” It doesn’t mean expelling them. In fact, “the very opposite: The mutual existence of Palestinians and Jews in the country,” co-existing together peacefully. Return can thus free two societies from the destructive occupier/occupied relationship, ending a longstanding intolerable blight.

As a result, Zochrot will participate in March of Return activities, its site saying its members will visit Miska village, destroyed and ethnically cleaned by Israelis in 1948. They’ll then join the March of Return in al-Damun and al-Ruways villages, also demolished in 1948.

Ahead of May 15 demonstrations, Haaretz writers Anshel Pfeffer, Jack Khoury and Nir Hasson headlined, “Israeli – Palestinian tensions rise in Jerusalem, West Bank as Nabka Day nears,” explaining that:

Clashes erupted between IDF soldiers and Palestinians throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem Friday morning, including in Silwan, Isawiya and the Old City. Israeli police arrested 11 protesters. IDF soldiers used rubber bullets, tear gas, and heavy-handed thuggishness, assaulting nonviolent demonstrators.

Several injuries were reported, including an American and 17-year old Milad Said Ayyash, shot in the head Friday at close range with a high-velocity tear gas cannister and killed. At his Saturday funeral, two Palestinians were wounded. Others were arrested.

Further, Haaretz said “(t)ens of thousands of Palestinian refugees will converge in Maroun al-Ras, a village in southern Lebanon that was a major point of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War. A parallel demonstration will also be held on the Israeli side of the Lebanon border in Avivim….where demonstrations will be staged concurrently with” a planned Maroun al-Ras rally.

The International Middle East Media Center also reported on May 13 IDF – Palestinian clashes, including:

— Israelis blocking roads, impeding weekly Bil’in anti-wall protesters from traveling to established sites;

— arresting 34 West Bank/East Jerusalem protesters; and

— wounding 22 Palestinians in Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, including photo-journalist Hilmi Tamimi.

Moreover, Italian and Malaysian activists arrived in Gaza, including friends of slain activist/journalist Vittorio Arrigoni. They’ll join growing numbers of others in solidarity for Palestinian liberation and justice.

However, according to Press TV on May 14, Egyptian authorities blocked access to Sinai, preventing activists from reaching Rafah. Also, buses to transport other supporters didn’t arrive. Nonetheless, “a convoy left Cairo’s Liberation square on Saturday,” hoping to show Palestinian solidarity on the Gaza/Rafah border.

A Final Comment

On May 12, a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) report said Israeli soldiers and settlers killed 7,342 Palestinians from September 29, 2000 (start of the second Intifada) through December 31, 2010.

PCBS also said Israeli security forces “kidnapped” nearly 750,000 Palestinians since June 1967, including 12,000 women and many children, targeted for wanting freedom in their own land.

Occupation harshness continues daily throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and besieged Gaza. On May 15, regional solidarity will converge in Gaza, along Egyptian, Lebanese, Jordanian, and Syrian border areas, and perhaps other locations worldwide, commemorating Nakba day for what Palestinians have long sought – liberation on their own land in their own country. Long overdue, it can’t come a moment too soon.

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Staged Bin Laden Killing Hokum

As reported, it sounded more like bad fiction than eliminating “Enemy Number One,” especially with no visuals, corpse, independent proof, and shifting official accounts.

In Hollywood, it’s called rewrite. In politics, it’s lying, a Washington bipartisan specialty, notably on issues mattering most.

Also at issue is conducting lawless operations for any purpose. More on that below.

Previous article discussed the staged May Day hokum, accessed through the following link:

Click here – > https://awakeningtempest.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/lies-damn-lies-and-bin-ladens-death/

They addressed the alleged killing of a dead man, an administration and media spread lie. David Ray Griffin’s important book titled, “Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?” provided convincing objective and testimonial evidence of his mid-December 2001 death, of natural causes, not a commando hit squad getting their man.

Issues and Answers

After years of using bin Laden simultaneously as a CIA asset and “Enemy Number One,” why the shift now? Aside from eliminating the alleged top terror threat, major events like this are always strategically timed for political reasons.

At least several stand out now, including:

(1) Boosting Obama’s sagging image. It worked according to a New York Times poll showing an approval bump from 46% in April to an early May 57%, even though the euphoria will soon fade in hard times.

(2) Diverting attention from eroding domestic needs, notably growing angst over a deepening Main Street depression.

(3) Hyping fear for intensified, not less, imperial war, and perhaps preparing the ground for a major false flag attack to advance America’s grand scheme for unchallengeable global dominance.

On May 4, Webster Tarpley told Press TV that balkanizing Pakistan is planned to use it “as an energy corridor between Iran and China or between India and Europe.” Afghanistan is insufficient, he said.

“The Pakistan corridor could be created and the goal of US policy (is) to take the Afghan war and export it to Pakistan and to promote the division along the well-known lines of Punjabis, Baluchestan, (Abdolmalek) Rigi supported by NATO and so forth, and then, of course, Pashtunistan, which is the epicenter of all this.”

He also suspects something greater, using bin Laden’s alleged killing as “the equivalent of the Sarajevo assassination of June 22, 1914.” Weeks later, WW I began. Tarpley wonders if general war is coming, involving regional and major powers.

“I think the world situation is much more dangerous (now) than most people” imagine, he said.

Ahead, he also sees a new manufactured top enemy, perhaps named after staged revenge attacks in America and/or Europe. Not from Al Queda, he believes, but from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), whether or not it will work.

Perhaps a dirty bomb will be used as pretext to seize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. If so, he sees a good chance of events “leading towards a general war between the two countries, and in the middle of that we have to remember that the supply line for the invaders in Afghanistan goes from Karachi across Pakistani territory for (nearly) 1,000 miles.”

Imagine the consequences of disrupting it, besides drawing in other nations, possibly including China and Russia. No one knows for sure what’s coming, but reckless plans produce unpredictable consequences.

Shifting Official Stories

On May 2, after Sunday’s staged event, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said Navy Seals killed bin Laden in a firefight. “Whether or not he got off any rounds, I frankly don’t know,” he said.

On May 1, New York Times writers Peter Baker, Helene Cooper and Mark Mazzetti headlined, “Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says,” saying:

“When American operatives converged on (his compound, he) ‘resisted the assault force’ and was killed in the middle of an intense gun battle, a senior administration official said, but details were still sketchy early Monday morning.”

In 24 hours, things changed, White House press secretary Jay Carney saying bin Laden was shot in the head unarmed. Other first reported details also changed, putting a lie to the entire account, including Brennan explaining that commandos had orders to capture him alive if he didn’t resist, saying:

“If we had the opportunity to take bin Laden alive, if he didn’t present any threat, the individuals involved were able and prepared to do that.”

On May 4, Times writers Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti headlined, “Account Tells of One-Sided Battle in Bin Laden Raid,” saying:

The revised account “suggested that the raid, though chaotic and bloody, was extremely one-sided, with a force of more than 20 Navy Seal members quickly dispatching the handful of men protecting bin Laden.”

In fact, US commandos took no fire. Initially saying otherwise compounded the big lie about what really happened and why extrajudicially.

On May 3, CIA director Leon Panetta repeated the deception, telling Public Broadcasting:

“There were some firefights that were going on as these guys were making their way up the staircase of that compound.”

On May 4, Washington Post writers Anne Kornblut and Felicia Sonmez headlined, “White House goes silent on bin Laden raid,” saying:

Obama “ruled out publicly releasing (bin Laden) photographs….(giving) no new details about the raid (after earlier) fitful attempts to craft a riveting narrative,” now completely discredited.

He also “contradict(ed Panetta’s) assertion Tuesday that the photos would eventually be made public….” Moreover, “the White House found itself struggling to (explain what happened,) and having to justify the legal basis for it.”

Gerald Celente’s Assessment

In a May 4 commentary, Trends Research Institute founder Gerald Celente quoted Obama, saying “justice has been done….The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden.” At time same time, Hillary Clinton warned about terror not “stop(ping) with the death of bin Laden, (so) we must redouble our efforts.”

If it’s safer, asked Celente, why double down? “These were but two of the contradictions coming out of the White House” after the raid with “many (other) discrepancies (to) follow.”

Moreover, “absent from America’s non-stop exultation and self-congratulation,” as well as cheerleading media coverage, “was any discussion of the practical consequences” going forward. With or without bin Laden or others targeted, it:

— won’t win the losing Iraq and Afghan wars;

— lower unemployment;

— stop Western nations from economic decline;

— revive housing or other real estate;

— “solve the debt and deficit crises;

— lower oil and food prices; (or)

— reverse” devastating radiation spreading from Fukushima.

It also won’t end America’s permanent war agenda or curb a domestic one on working households, unionism, public education, human and civil rights, and vital benefits, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, on the chopping block for elimination.

According to Celente, “the restored, rebuilt, new and improved terror bandwagon rolls again….and it will keep rolling until Election Day 2012.” Moreover, they’ll keep fear alive and they’ll blame everyone but themselves.

Legal Implications

Commenting on German television, former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said:

The May 1 assault “was quite clearly a violation of international law. The operation could also have incalculable consequences in the Arab world in light of all the unrest.”

He’s right, of course, despite Attorney General Eric Holder saying:

The action was “lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way….I’m proud of what they did. And I really want to emphasize that what they did was entirely lawful and consistent with our values.”

In other words, according to him, Obama, other administration officials, Washington groupthink, and editorial writers and pundits, acting lawlessly is lawful.

On June 27, 2010, in their Harvard National Security Journal article headlined, “Law and Policy of Targeted Killing,” Harvard Law Professors Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann said:

“The right of a government to use deadly force against (anyone) is constrained by both domestic criminal law and international human rights norms that seek to protect the individual’s right to life and liberty….Guilt must be proved in a court of law, with (charged) individuals (given) the protections of due process guarantees.”

“Killing an individual without trial is allowed only” in self-defense or need to save other lives. “In almost any other case, it would be clearly unlawful, tantamount to extrajudicial execution or murder.”

In other words, sending US commandos against anyone, especially in another country’s sovereign territory, violates US and international law. Guilt or innocence of any crime deprives no one of due process and judicial fairness, afforded Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg.

Targets otherwise are judged guilty by accusation, not arrested, tried, Mirandized, or afforded justice. Just a bullet, bomb or slit throat, America’s “rules of engagement” morality.

On May 3, Der Spiegel writer Thomas Darnstadt headlined, “Was Bin Laden’s Killing Legal?” quoting University of Cologne Law Professor Claus Kress saying:

Achieving justice for any crime isn’t “achieved through summary executions, but through a punishment that is meted out at the end of a trial.” Doing it commando style guns blazing can also cause tragic and inevitable escalations of injustice, he added.

On May 28, 2010, Philip Alston published his UN Human Rights Council “Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,” expressing great concern that Washington “seems oblivious” to the implications of using drone attacks against people “labeled as terrorists, (and for) assert(ing) an ever-expanding entitlement for itself to target individuals across the globe,” adding:

“But this strongly asserted but ill-defined license to kill without accountability is not an entitlement which the United States or other states can have without doing grave damage to the rules designed to protect the right to life and prevent extrajudicial executions.”

“The most prolific user of targeted killing today is the United States” in gross violation of international law. (This) expansive and open-ended interpretation of the right to self-defense goes a long way towards destroying the prohibition on the use of armed force contained in the UN Charter. If invoked by other states, in pursuit of those they deem to be terrorists and to have attacked them, it would cause chaos.”

It would also render international law null and void. No nation for any reason can be judge, jury and executioner, with no allowed exceptions.

Consider also that in 1996, Obama opposed the death penalty, and in his book titled, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream,” he said it “does little to deter crime.”

As a Senate and presidential candidate, however, he changed to accommodate public opinion, simultaneously calling death penalty justice so flawed that a national moratorium should be declared. In February 2008, he also said “no one in this country is above the law.”

As president, however, he authorized torture, illegal wars, mass killings and targeted assassinations. As a result, he violates it daily abroad and at home, unaccountable to the law he once taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Perhaps a refresher course or two might help.

[source]

Lies, Damn Lies, and Bin Laden’s Death

Winston Churchill rightly explained that “(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” He said it perhaps before television. For sure before 24-hour cable TV and modern technology instantly communicating globally.

It applies to Obama’s latest lie, announced at 11:35PM EDT on bin Laden, saying:

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.”

Highlighting 9/11, he painstakingly discussed everything but the truth. America’s media repeated it. Celebratory crowds in front of the White House, in Times Square, and at “ground zero” cheered it past midnight, mindlessly believing a lie. More on that below.

On May 1, New York Times writers Peter Baker, Helene Cooper and Mark Mazzetti headlined, “Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama says: continuing:

Calling him “the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world,” Obama announced his death Sunday night, declaring “justice has been done.”

Cheerleading, not reporting, Baker, Cooper and Mazzetti called his “demise….a defining moment in the American-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.”

New Year’s eve arrived early in America, celebrating a lie, the “bewildered herd” again seduced by presidential deception.

A USA Today editorial headlined, “At last, bin Laden is dead,” saying:

“Could there be any more satisfying words to hear?”

The Boston Globe highlighted “a moment of unity” after nearly a decade of war, calling Obama’s announcement a “vindication of a manhunt spanning presidential administrations, and involving numerous agencies and countless intelligence officers.”

AP quoted Bill Clinton saying:

“I congratulate the president, the national security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al Qaeda attacks.”

House speaker John Boehner (R. OH) said it was “great news…”

House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi called it “historic.”

Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid “reaffirm(ed) our resolve to defeat the terrorist forces that killed (9/11 victims) and thousands of others across the globe.”

Expect lots more cheerleading ahead, led by major media reports doing what they do best, providing sanitized, managed news, not truth.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Post-9/11, bin Laden became “Enemy Number One,” the nation’s top “security threat.” In fact, if he hadn’t existed, he’d have been invented for political advantage.

In March 1985, after Ronald Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 166 to arm Afghan Mujahideen fighters, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) recruited bin Laden to fight Soviet Afghan forces as a CIA asset. He likely remained one until his death, while simultaneously called “Enemy Number One,” using him advantageously both ways.

David Ray Griffin wrote seminal books on 9/11, including “The New Pearl Harbor,” “The 9/11 Commission Report,” “9/11 and American Empire,” “9/11 Contradictions,” “Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7,” and “Osama Bin Laden: Dead of Alive?”

It was also the title of his October 9, 2009 Global Research article, covering two types of evidence:

(1) Objective evidence that he’s dead:

After December 13, 2001, his regularly intercepted messages stopped.

On December 26, 2001, according to “a leading Pakistani newspaper” story, a prominent Taliban official said he attended his funeral.

Bin Laden, in fact, was very ill with kidney disease. In September 2001, CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported that he was admitted to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital on September 10, 2001, and France’s Le Figaro said:

“Dubai….was the backdrop of a secret meeting between Osama bin Laden and the local CIA agent in July (2001). A partner of the administration of the American Hospital….claims that (bin Laden) stayed (there) between the 4th and 14th of July (and) received visits from many members of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis. (During the same period), the local CIA agent, known to many in Dubai, was seen taking (the hospital’s) main elevator (to) bin Laden’s room.”

Why not if he was a valued asset.

In July 2002, “CNN reported that (his) bodyguards had been captured in February of that year, adding: ‘Sources believe that if the bodyguards were captured away from bin Laden, it is likely the most wanted man in the world is dead.”

Finally, despite Washington offering a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture or killing, no one came forward.

(2) Testimonial evidence of his death:

In 2002, influential “people in a position to know” that he died included:

— Pakistan President Musharraf;

— FBI counterterrorism head Dale Watson;

— Oliver North saying, “I’m certain that Osama is dead….and so are all the other guys I stay in touch with;”

— Afghanistan President Karzai;

— Israeli intelligence saying supposed bin Laden messages were fake; and

— Pakistan’s ISI “confirm(ing) the death of….Osama bin Laden (and) attribut(ing) the reasons behind Washington’s hiding (the truth) to the desire of (America’s hawks) to use the issue of al Qaeda and international terrorism to invade Iraq.”

Other evidence includes former CIA case officer Robert Baer telling National Public Radio (NPR): “Of course he’s dead.”

Then in March 2009, “former Foreign Service officer Angelo Codevilla published an essay in the American Spectator entitled ‘Osama bin Elvis,’ ” saying:

“Seven years after (bin Laden’s) last verifiable appearance among the living, there is more evidence of Elvis’s presence among us than for his.”

Griffin also explained fake messages and videos, saying today’s advanced technology can fool experts, but not all of them.

For years, bin Laden tapes surfaced at strategically-timed moments. Consider one on Friday, September 7, 2007 ahead the sixth 9/11 anniversary. Hector Factor’s Neal Krawetz, a digital image forensics expert, said it was full of low quality visual and audio splices, a likely fake.

Striking also was bin Laden’s beard that was gray in recent images. In this one, it was black. In addition, he was dressed in a white hat and shirt, as well as a yellow sweater, the same attire as on an October 29, 2004 video. Moreover, the background, lighting, desk and camera angle were identical.

Krawetz noted that “if you overlay the 2007 and 2004 videos, bin Laden’s face is the same (unaged).” Only his beard was darker, and the picture contrast was adjusted. Most important are the edits showing obvious splices, at least six video ones in all. Even more audio ones were used that appeared to be words and phrases spliced together, making Krawetz suspect a vocal imitator was used.

A Final Comment

Clear evidence showed bin Laden died years ago, likely in December 2001. However, reporting it was concealed to pursue America’s “war on terror.”

As a result, “Enemy Number One” was used to stoke fear as pretext for imperial wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, perhaps others now planned, and numerous proxy ones in Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, Central Africa, Colombia, and elsewhere.

Griffin wrote his bin Laden book, hoping to shorten America’s wars. He also wished to expose “fake bin Laden tapes (used as) one part of an extensive propaganda operation….furthering the militarization of America and its foreign policy” while popular needs go begging.

Obama’s latest lie left America’s imperial agenda unchanged. In fact, his announcement likely bolsters public support for what’s clearly become unpopular, saying:

“(T)hink back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” urging people to show it again despite how militarism harms their security, well-being and futures by draining funds badly needed for domestic needs.

Instead, expect increasing amounts used for corporate handouts and wars, Obama as uncaring about human needs as extremist Republicans. He’s also an inveterate liar.

[source]

Lies, Damn Lies, and Humanitarian Intervention

Masquerading as “humanitarian intervention,” Washington launched full-force barbarism on six million Libyans, all endangered by America’s latest intervention. More on how below.

Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The scrip is familiar, playing out now in Libya – full-scale “imperial barbarism,” a term James Petras used in a September 2010 article titled, “Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism,” saying:

“The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war,” including:

— use of mass destruction weapons, unleashed on Libya as explained below;

— targeting the entire country and society; and

— dismantling “the entire civil and military apparatus of the state,” replacing it with “colonial officials, paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps” – puppets, figures As’ad AbuKhalil calls “useful idiots.”

Moreover, as Petras explains:

“The entire modern professional class is targeted (and) replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible to bribes and booty-shares. All existing modern civil society organizations are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to the colonial regime. The entire economy is” disrupted by “shock and awe” bombings and ground attacks, affecting essential civilian infrastructure on the pretext of destroying military and “dual use” targets.

As a result, mass casualties follow, many post-conflict from disease, homelessness, starvation, depravation, and environmental contamination. All wars are ugly, especially modern ones Washington wages, unleashing full force human and overall destruction, mostly affecting noncombatant men, women and children – imperialism’s hidden victims.

Already, unknown hundreds of Libyans have been killed, wounded, or disabled, besides countless numbers affected overall. Expect much worse ahead, including violent, US-backed proxy insurgence, perhaps later joined by Pentagon troops if current air and ground attacks don’t accomplish “Operation Odyssey Dawn’s” objectives.

UN Resolution 1973

Claiming authority under the UN Charter’s Article VII, it, in fact, violates Article 51, stating:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Effectively, UN Resolution 1973 authorized war, not peace. Moreover, it denied a sitting government, despotic or otherwise, the right of self-defense. A Western-backed insurgency initiated attacks, permitting a head of state to respond.

Further, the UN Charter explains under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion are justified. None exist in Libya.

In addition, Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes, not “shock and awe” attacks. Article 2(4), in fact, prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zones that are acts of war.

Further, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council – that may not violate its own Charter. In fact, Washington bullied enough members to do so, planning naked aggression in response.

Ostensibly to protect civilians, Resolution 1973’s paragraph 4 authorized Member States “to take all necessary measures….” As a result, a giant interventionist loophole was created they knew Washington would exploit.

Under paragraph 6, moreover, “establish(ing) a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians,” in fact, harms them by US “shock and awe” attacks.

Further, paragraph 7’s authorization for “flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian” denies them because Pentagon-controlled airspace will destroy any encountered Libyan aircraft, claiming it hostile, not delivering food, medical or other essential supplies or personnel.

In addition, supplying insurgents with weapons and munitions violates paragraph 13, “Call(ing) upon Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from” Libya.

In fact, besides covertly supplying its own weapons, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps other regional and/or NATO countries are arming insurgents, at the behest of Washington – violating Resolution 1973.

As a result, Libyans are at the mercy of US imperial aggression, disdaining all international laws, principles and standards. At war, Washington causes mass casualties and destruction. Now begun, expect much more ahead.

In addition, “coalition” participation is fig leaf cover for US aggression. AFRICOM’s General Carter Ham has full command authority, directing UK, French and other belligerent partners, besides America’s full air, sea and ground might.

Expect protracted conflict, perhaps “boots on the ground,” putting a lie to Obama’s promise for “humanitarian intervention” to end in “a matter of days, not weeks.” Already, insurgency has been ongoing for weeks, perhaps months covertly, the worst yet to come, but already conditions are bad. They always are when Washington arrives.

Weapons of Mass Destruction Used

Since the 1991 Gulf War, Washington used nuclear weapons covertly – in depleted uranium (DU) form. Contaminating exposure is deadly. All US missiles, bombs, and shells have solid DU projectiles or warheads in them. Even bullets because in all forms, DU-tipped munitions easily penetrate armor, irradiating air, ground and water when used. DU, in fact, painfully kills from later contracted illnesses and diseases, including cancer and many others.

When weaponized DU strikes, it penetrates deeply, aerosolizing into a fine spray which then contaminates wide areas. Moreover, its residue is permanent. Its microscopic/submicroscopic particles remain suspended in air or swept into it from contaminated soil.

Atmospheric winds then carry it far distances as a radioactive component of atmospheric dust, falling indiscriminately to earth and water. Virtually every known illness and disease may result from severe headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infection, depression, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and brain tumors. As a result, permanent disability or death may follow.

Moreover, DU use is illegal under international law. Although no specific convention or treaty bans radioactive weapons, including DU, they’re, in fact, illegal de facto and de jure under the Hague Convention of 1907, prohibiting use of any “poison or poisoned weapons.”

In all forms, DU is radioactive and chemically toxic, thus fitting the definition of poisonous weapons Hague banned. America is a signatory. As a result, DU weapons use for any purpose violates international law. Moreover, all DU weapons meet the U.S. federal code WMD definition in 2 out of 3 categories:

The US CODE, TITLE 50, CHAPTER 40, SECTION 2302 defines a Weapon of Mass Destruction as follows:

“The term ‘weapon of mass destruction’ means any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of (A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors, (B) a disease organism, or (C) radiation or radioactivity.”

As a result, commanders up the chain of command, including civilian ones to the highest level, authorizing DU weapons use for any purpose are war criminals.

Moreover, under various UN Conventions and Covenants, weapons causing post-battle environmental or human harm are banned. Nonetheless, Washington uses them indiscriminately, including DU. As a result, millions of Iraqi, Serbian/Kosovar, and Afghan nationals, as well as belligerent US troops have been gravely harmed, yet Pentagon and administration authorities deny all responsibility.

Libyans will now be victimized by DU poisoning. Wherever it strikes and spreads, it’s unforgiving, disabling and deadly. If enough is used, a future cancer epidemic will follow, too late to help those harmed.

Helen Caldicott calls radiation a “Destroyer of Worlds,” doing it by killing people silently, painfully, illegally, and at times genocidally.

In 2005, before his death, no wonder Nobel laureate Harold Pinter condemned US aggression saying:

“(T)he United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious……It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant.”

Under Bush, Obama or anyone else, it does what it pleases – the law, human welfare, and environmental considerations be damned.

A Final Comment

On March 21, Reuters said missile and air attacks on Libya continue. The New York Times headlined, “Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces, but Resistance Continues (unconfirmed) Reports Say.” The Washington Post said, “Libyan rebels launch offensive; coalition pounds Gaddafi forces,” that may be observing a ceasefire. Al Jazeera reported “Rejoicing in Libya’s Benghazi,” continuing its biased war reporting, siding with anti-Gaddafi forces.

In contrast, independent web sites, analysts, and on-air programming offer detailed, truthful information, including the Progressive Radio News Hour this writer hosts on the Progressive Radio Network.com, featuring distinguished guests, dominant media sources spurn.

Middle East/Central Asian analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is one of many reliable sources. On March 20, his Global Research.ca article headlined, “BREAKING NEWS: Libyan Sources Report Italian POWs Captured. Additional Coalition Jets Downed. Qatar has joined the War,” saying:

— unconfirmed “(i)nternal Libyan sources reported….the capture of an Italian vessel and military personnel, who were detained;”

— Gaddafi’s government “started supplying (Libyans) with food rations, medicine, and weapons to defend themselves;”

— unconfirmed “Libyan sources reported” downing two more “coalition” jets, “identified as Qatari military planes;” and

— unconfirmed Libyan sources claim five “coalition” jets downed, three attacking Tripoli, two others over Sirt.

March 22 marks day four of a protracted conflict. It’s certain to cause widespread deaths, injuries, disabilities and destruction. It’s assured when America arrives – on cruise missiles, bombs and shells, not white horses promoting peace and democratic values, what all US administrations disdain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com 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.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

[by Stephen Lendman]