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Closing a Year of Human Rights Violations and Attacks on Civility

Posted in Action at 2:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of recent news about civil and human rights, as well as their chance of revival owing to public scrutiny

THE CAUSE of human rights (and general dignity) seems to have been lost. It often seems like we are moving backwards — not forward — when it comes to values which are not so relative. In this post we share some troubling recent news (from December), highlighting the type of practices we’re now inclined to view as “normal”. Thankfully, the Internet and especially the Web are not yet thoroughly censored, so now there’s an opportunity to fight back with information. Become active and be vocal while it’s still permissible, legal, and not censored (more on censorship in another future article). We may be running out of time.

Police in north America is not enjoying much positive publicity these days, with sexual perverts [1-3] misusing their power in the police forces. Guess who needs to pay for warrantless cavity searches [4-5]? It’s breathtaking! Don’t just blame states like Texas [6-7]. Excessive policing against dissent [8-13], journalists [14-16], students [17-20], young people [21-23], babies/parents [24] or minorities is still an issue [25] that’s without borders. It’s happening in supposedly ‘progressive’ places like Toronto as well. Some cops act like drunken military commanders [26] and shoot people sparingly [27-30] (because they think they can get away with anything). It’s not much better in the UK [31]. It has become a subject of great ridicule [32]. In the East there is a lot of police brutality too, as demonstrated in a supposedly ‘Westernised’ country like South Korea last week [33]. In the ‘Westernised’ Middle East, notably Israel, people are now turned into numbers [34-35]. Russia is still up to oppression, so not much changes there, except the PR stunts [36-40]. So much for progress, eh? The sad thing is that Snowden, Manning and other voices of consciousness hardly appear in the radar [41-42]; people are too busy watching sports and celebrities. Some focus on gender segregation issues [43-44] and other aspects of repression [45-46].

Many still think that sarin gas was used by Syria’s government, despite evidence to the contrary from the UN’s Syrian chemical weapons report [47]. It is starting to look like a plot to destabilise and start a war by falsely blaming leaders of nations yet again. It happened decades ago in Korea [48] and a decade ago in Iraq, where contractors like Blackwater (now feeling betrayed by the CIA [49]), made a killing. There’s a lot of money in this black budget [50-56], even when there’s poor intelligence [57] (provided it serves the agenda). A lot of people still believe, especially now that there’s more disclosure, that the CIA was also behind the killing of JFK [58-59] (most American citizens already believe so based on polls). Now that the Washington Post is visibly connected to the CIA [60-62] and the New York Times rewrites history on behalf of the CIA [63-65] it oughtn’t be too shocking that level of trust in the CIA — just like the NSA — has hit bottom low. “NYT and ABC News lied about CIA operative,” says another source [66-67], having shown complicity between the corporate press and the CIA (the corporate press is trying to cover this scandal up [68]). Looking back at CIA role in the Middle East in the 1940s and 1950s [69], one author recalls and tells the story of malicious intervention. A lot of people still don’t know why Iranians don’t like the West, especially the UK and the US (coup against democratically-elected leadership for foreign oil interests).

Now that an “Interrogation Manual” of the FBI is accidentally out [70-71] we might as well consider how it is connected to the CIA, where the word interrogation (among other euphemisms) often means torture. CIA agents in Iran turn out to have had roots in the FBI [72] (he is said to have ‘retired’ from it). The CIA’s zeal for secrecy [73-75] — just like in notorious Soviet equivalents [76] — is not without victims [77-79]. This is a “colossal flop” and as an anti-terrorism mechanism the CIA has done a terrible job [80-82], mostly decreasing national security by making new enemies, not making peace with those who ask for it [83] and are in peace with 99% of the world (literally 99%), thereby singling out the US [84]. In Latin American countries, including in Colombia and at the border of Ecuador, the CIA continues to bomb people [85-90] (by proxy this time, unlike in previous decades). Is Uruguay next to suffer from foreign intervention because it its new marijuana laws [91-93]? In countries like Pakistan this leads to blowback [94] and oustings [95-96]]. No amount of torture [97-111] (even in Poland) and coverup of torture [112-118] is going to stop (secrets come out sooner or later [119]); usually it only contributes to blowback, a term which the CIA itself coined. This is why we need WikiLeaks [120], bringing accountability to those who abuse power.

The US has become known for drone assassinations due to the bad strategy ‘championed’ by the CIA [121-123]; WikiLeaks proponents are outraged given what they know [124]. Iraq is probably next as a place in which to carry out such assassination, based on the shipment of Hellfire missiles [125-127] (not noticed much because of the Christmas vacation, just like the bombings of Gaza [128-129]). The Pentagon shows no signs of stopping this assassination policy [130-131] and Obama’s promise of reducing drones use are as useless as ever, as an article from Boxing Day [132] helps explain. It was first published (now in many Web sites) after Obama’s drones had killed people on Christmas Day [133-138] (Obama personally orders these strikes [139]) for the first time ever, leading to much anger even at a political level [140-143], which means that the wrath of political espionage/retaliation by NSA is possible (Pentagon chief Hagel had been trying to dodge this public backlash [144-146]). This wasn’t the only attack by drones at that time [147-148] and it happened in multiple nations. Sincerity is a huge casualty [149-152] because the secrecy here works against the CIA, not for it. This breeds a lot of excess suspicion [153-154]. In Yemen, lack of communication [155-157] does a huge damage after imprecise methods (air strikes [158]) rendered yet another botched attack on wedding goers [159-176]. The New York Times’ CIA-leaning coverage of this was exceptionally disgusting [177]. People in Western nation [178-182] and also in the Arab world strongly condemn this [183-185], but the strategy evidently carries on, even on Christmas day (shortly afterwards). It’s the Pentagon’s “Weapon of choice” [186-188] as it breeds hatred [189], even from journalists [190-191] (whom Obama wanted arrested or killed). Don’t be deceived by Obama exploiting Nelson Mandela’s death for publicity; remember the CIA’s role in the attacks on Mandela [192-198] (the corporate press belittles this fact [199]). “As engineers, we must consider the ethical implications of our work,” one writer recently stressed [200], so all these criticisms of the drones war [] should be taken into account in this context. The people who want to use technology against people are usually not technical people; they have leverage and control over some who are. We need to refuse to obey such people. Whenever we are told that a “militant” dies we should read that as “adult male” (the New York Times already admitted that this is what it means by “militant”). The corporate press is very much in this killing game, especially press with CIA ties. Anger over drones has become too easy to find in the news [201-205], even Western news channels (although usually in sections written by readers and authorised reluctantly by editors for ‘balance’).

There is some hope though. In the UK, there is an unprecedented legal challenge to CIA’s drones strikes. It has reached the Court of Appeal [206]. Bribes from the CIA to various obedient leaders are being discovered now; these help discredit the work of those merciless assassins [207]. $2.5 million of taxpayers’ money also gets given to ‘disappear’ CIA agents that got caught [208]. How will taxpayers react now? Nice employers, eh? Overnight is needed here [209].

Through Bezos and Amazon contracts, the CIA has been getting closer to the private sector (Amazon can help track book reading habits, purchasing history, etc. [210]), so there is clearly an expansionary issue here — a shift of power from government-protected (impunity) thugs to the private sector. This ought to worry not just non-US citizen because with NDAA 2014 (also passed the over Christmas vacation [211-]216) a lot of the above policies are now applicable universally, i.e. the CIA can ‘disappear’ US citizens, even those to whom it gives bait [217]. Jailing is becoming a selection process that’s motivated politically and so is assassination. This is hugely worrisome.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Toronto police officer strips naked “hundreds” of people

    Const. Sasa Sljivo told court on Dec. 11 he has stripped “hundreds” of people completely naked, which is against police policy as laid out by the Supreme Court.

  2. Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison
  3. Outraged India backs retaliation against US after strip search of its country’s diplomat
  4. Lawsuit: police and doctors at UMC El Paso forced innocent woman to endure multiple warrantless cavity searches
  5. Lawsuit: Woman Faced Illegal Body Cavity Search, Observed Bowel Movement

    Federal agents wrongfully strip-searched a New Mexico woman at the El Paso border crossing, then took her to a hospital where she was forced to undergo illegal body cavity probes in an attempt to find drugs, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.

  6. Texas Court Allows Cops To Search First, Acquire Warrants Later

    There are several problems with what went on here, not the least of which is the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ determination that these officers (in effect) did nothing wrong. According to the court, the pre-warrant search may have been illegal but the evidence can’t be excluded because its existence was confirmed by an “independent source.”

  7. Judicial activism allows police to get away with illegal conduct

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last week adopted yet another court-created federal exception to the exclusionary rule in state-level search and seizure cases that allows evidence to be admitted in the face of clear police misconduct, even though Texas has a statutory exclusionary rule that – unlike the court-created federal version – includes no exceptions on its face. See Judge Elsa Alcala’s opinion (pdf) on behalf of the majority, a concurrence (pdf) from Judge Tom Price, and a dissent (pdf) from Judge Lawrence Meyers.

  8. Mom as the New Face of Anarchy? Police Terrorize Americans Who Object to Right-Wing Lunacy by Using “Anarchist” Label

    Dissent is once again a criminal act in America. People who object to right-wing lunacy used to be called “communists” and treated as enemies of the state. Now “anarchist” is the label of choice used to harass those who disagree.

  9. Private security guards to get powers to arrest people on the street
  10. More Protesters Arrested As Obama’s Deportation Record Nears 2 Million

    Eight demonstrators tied themselves to one another wrist-to-wrist in the falling snow Tuesday morning, and lay down across the road in a human chain, blocking access to an immigration detention center in Elizabeth, N.J. Detention officers on their way to work waited in a line of cars stretching down the street.

  11. Feel free to annoy me

    We have previously warned that everyone from Christian street preachers to peaceful protesters will be subject to new draconian powers proposed by the Home Office which mean that individuals that are considered annoying can be driven from the streets. That is why we are very happy to support the newly formed Reform Clause 1 campaign which was launched in Parliament yesterday.

  12. The war on democracy

    How corporations and spy agencies use “security” to defend profiteering and crush activism

  13. TSA Agent: Give Me That Toy Monkey Gun Or I’m Calling The Real Cops
  14. NYPD Now Preventing Journalists From Accessing Police Blotters
  15. DHS Interrogates NY Times Reporters At Border, Then Denies Having Any Records About Them
  16. Police Who Seized Woman’s Phone As ‘Evidence’ Of Bogus Crime Now Complaining About Criticism

    Photography Is Not A Crime is in the middle of another police department vs. citizen feud and this one, like the last, is based on dubious “crimes” and a police department’s disingenuous legal response to being slammed with phone calls as a result of its own actions.

    The story starts out with a Louisiana woman (Theresa Richard) being arrested by Crowley Police Dept. officers for recording inside a police station. This was the latest in a long line of attempts by the CPD to silence and intimidate Richard after she filed a lawsuit against the department for false arrest and imprisonment stemming from an incident last year, when she (along with other members of her family) were accosted by police officers and accused of stealing a safe.

  17. Brutal Repression of Students in UK Amid Mainstream Media Blackout

    UK students protesting corporate attacks against their rights to education, control over their universities, and freedom of expression were brutally repressed by the British police in cooperation with university officials.

  18. London’s Students Reclaimed Their Campus Yesterday
  19. London’s biggest university bans student protests

    Students protesting in an area at the centre of London’s student district could be imprisoned or fined, after the University of London obtains a court order banning protests on campus for six months.

  20. #CopsOffCampus Protest: LIVE BLOG
  21. ‘Sexual harassment’ dropped from boy’s record

    Officials at a Colorado school where a 6-year-old boy was suspended for kissing a girl have dropped the term “sexual harassment” from the boy’s record, instead calling the behavior misconduct.

    The change was made after the boy’s parents and the principal met to discuss the issue.

  22. Texas cops handcuff and take 13-year-old white girl from black guardians
  23. Three black students waiting for bus arrested after cops order them to ‘disperse’
  24. Child taken from womb by social services

    Exclusive: Essex social services have obtained a court order against a woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and for her child to be taken from her womb by caesarean section

  25. In Katrina killing of Henry Glover, jury verdict sends one father home while family grieves for another
  26. Group of soldiers ‘mutinied over hungover bosses’, court martial hears

    The group of 16 soldiers who felt they were being “led by muppets” staged a mutiny by sitting down on parade and refusing to get up, a court martial hears

  27. ‘Oh you’re gonna shoot me?’ The sarcastic last words of straight-A student shot dead by college cop after being stopped for speeding
  28. Cops: “If we have to get a warrant…we’re gonna shoot and kill your dogs”

    Eric Crinnian, an attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, says police came to his door looking for parole violators, and got upset when he refused them permission to tramp through his house and paw through his possessions. In fact, he claims, one cop went so far as to threaten to shoot his dogs if he made them abide by the requirements of the law by getting a search warrant to look through his home. Remarkably, a criminal justice professor says the police actions may not be illegal, though they could be awkward in court.

  29. Kansas City Cops Tell Man They’ll Kill His Dogs And Destroy His Home If Forced To Obtain A Search Warrant
  30. Unarmed Man Charged With Assault Because NYC Police Shot At Him And Hit Random Pedestrians
  31. Khan attacks Cameron’s stance on European court of human rights
  32. New London police powers: the right to bite
  33. PHOTOS: 100,000 South Koreans Protest Election Scandal, Labor Clampdown

    From noon till late at night, about 100,000 citizens and labor workers angrily demonstrated against the current government’s election manipulation scandal and clampdowns on labor groups as well as moves toward privatization of the nation’s railway system, though the administration denies such claims. Some observers are calling the outbreak of demonstrations proof that public anger has nearly “reached its boiling point” [ko].

  34. Holocaust survivor: How can Israel make people into numbers?
  35. In official document, Israeli authorities refer to asylum seekers as numbers

    Sometimes it’s kind of scary how Israel treats asylum seekers. From jailing them with no trial to brutal arrests and now, referring to them as numbers. It’s as if they don’t think they’re human beings, with names.

    Yuval Goren, a journalist from the daily Maariv, got hold of a document in which the state asks the court to sentence the 153 asylum seekers who recently marched from the Holot “open detention facility” in the Negev to Tel Aviv to three months in jail.

  36. Jailed Pussy Riot members could be released under Kremlin amnesty

    Russian newspaper reports bill submitted by Vladimir Putin would apply to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina

  37. Freed Pussy Riot members say they still want to remove Vladimir Putin
  38. Two members of Russia punk band Pussy Riot freed from prison

    Two jailed members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were released Monday following an amnesty law that both of them described as Kremlin’s public relations stunt ahead of the Winter Olympics.

  39. Pussy Riot Member: Release Is PR Stunt

    A member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot who was released from prison Monday denounced her release within hours.

  40. Pussy Riot members and Arctic 30 protesters set to walk free

    Russia expected to pass amnesty law with amendment extending scope to include those arrested on Greenpeace ship

  41. Shocker: Snowden, Manning, NSA not on Google’s 2013 top trends
  42. Snowden, Manning, NSA didn’t hit Google’s 2013 top trends list
  43. Gender segregation not ‘alien to our culture’, says Universities UK chief
  44. On Feminism, Anti-Feminism, and the Things That Mystify Me
  45. Sweden Is Closing Prisons Due to Lack of People to Put In Them
  46. Huge Threats to Fundamental Freedoms and Rights Consolidated in the French Parliament

    Despite the strong citizen mobilisation and the numerous reactions [fr] voiced against it, the French Senate just voted in second reading the controversial 2014-2019 Defense Bill and its dangerous terms without any changes. This vote closes parliamentary debate on this text: the French Constitutional Council alone can now alter the application of these measures infringing the basic rights of citizens. La Quadrature du Net strongly calls the members of the French Parliament to formally place the matter before the Constitutional Council for a decision on the conformity of this law to the French Constitution.

  47. UN Syrian chemical weapons report exposes Washington’s lies

    The release of a United Nations chemical weapons inspectors’ report pointing to multiple sarin gas attacks carried out by so-called “rebel” forces further exposes the Obama administration’s lies about Syrian government responsibility for an August 21 chemical shelling of the Ghouta area outside of Damascus.

  48. CIA Document Suggests U.S. Lied About Biological, Chemical Weapon Use in the Korean War

    According to a CIA document declassified in March 2006, the U.S. government lied publicly about pushing for a United Nations “on-the-spot” investigation into Soviet, Chinese and North Korean charges of U.S. use of biological weapons (BW) during the Korean War.

    According to the document, a “Memorandum of Conversation” from the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) dated July 6, 1953, the U.S. was not serious about conducting any investigation into such charges, despite what the government said publicly. The reason the U.S. didn’t want any investigation was because an “actual investigation” would reveal military operations, “which, if revealed, could do us psychological as well as military damage.”

  49. CIA chief betrayed me, says ex-boss of tainted security firm

    THE former head of the US security contractor Blackwater, vilified as a mercenary who personified the excesses of the war on terror, has spoken of his feeling of “ultimate betrayal” after being outed by the Obama administration as a CIA agent.

    With his all-American good looks, assured manner and a powerful physique that befits a former US Navy Seal, Erik Prince is a difficult man to feel sorry for. He arrives for an interview wearing Kaenon sunglasses and a leather flying jacket with the insignia of Presidential Airways — one of his former companies.

  50. Lawyer Suing Bank of China Brings ‘Private CIA’ to Boies
  51. The Jason Bourne Strategy: CIA Contractors Do Hollywood
  52. CIA’s Global Shadow War: Hiring Private Mercenaries And Former Guantanamo Inmates

    Think of it as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) plunge into Hollywood — or into the absurd. As recent revelations have made clear, that Agency’s moves couldn’t be have been more far-fetched or more real. In its post-9/11 global shadow war, it has employed both private contractors and some of the world’s most notorious prisoners in ways that leave the latest episode of the Bourne films in the dust: hired gunmen trained to kill as well as former inmates who cashed in on the notoriety of having worn an orange jumpsuit in the world’s most infamous jail.

  53. Globally Renowned Activist Collaborated with Stratfor

    These revelations come in the aftermath of thousands of new emails released by Wikileaks’ “Global Intelligence Files.” The emails reveal Popovic worked closely with Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based private firm that gathers intelligence on geopolitical events and activists for clients ranging from the American Petroleum Institute and Archer Daniels Midland to Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Northrop Grumman, Intel and Coca-Cola.

  54. CIA-backed Palantir Technologies raises $107.5 million

    Palantir Technologies, the data-mining company that is partly backed by the Central Intelligence Agency, has raised another $107.5 million, according to a filing.

  55. CIA-backed Palantir valued at $9bn
  56. CIA-backed Palantir reportedly worth $9 billion, jumping 50 percent in two months
  57. It’s An Interesting World Where Wikipedia Is More Accurate Than Both The CIA And The Wall Street Journal
  58. Golders Green historian believes the CIA killed US president JFK

    Historian Dr Helen Fry believes the CIA is responsible for JFK’s assassination

  59. Three of Six Shooters of JFK Had Ties to CIA | Sherwood Ross

    Six shooters who participated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, including three with ties to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), were named by a prominent critic of the Warren Commission Report (WCR). Remarkably, Lee Harvey Oswald, the Warren Commission’s lone-assassin-designate, was not among them.

  60. Washington Post Urged to Disclose New Owner’s CIA Ties

    The Washington Post, one of the premier mouthpieces for the establishment, is facing a tsunami of criticism and calls for full disclosure after the newspaper’s new owner, Amazon CEO and Bilderberg luminary Jeff Bezos, secured a $600 million contract with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for “cloud” services. According to critics, the Washington Post boss’s CIA ties represent a serious conflict of interest that, under basic ethical standards in journalism, must be disclosed to readers — at least whenever the paper is reporting on the “intelligence community” and its activities. So far, however, the Post has not publicly announced whether or not it will acknowledge what analysts say is a cut-and-dry conflict of interest.

  61. Amazon, ‘The Washington Post’ and That $600 MIllion CIA Contract
  62. The CIA and the Washington Post

    News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark.

    The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon — which recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But the Post’s articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper’s sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon.

    Even for a multi-billionaire like Bezos, a $600 million contract is a big deal. That’s more than twice as much as Bezos paid to buy the Post four months ago.

    And there’s likely to be plenty more where that CIA largesse came from. Amazon’s offer wasn’t the low bid, but it won the CIA contract anyway by offering advanced high-tech “cloud” infrastructure.

  63. Ex-CIA analyst: NYT Benghazi article ‘an effort to revive discredited theory’ of anti-Islam video

    A former CIA analyst poured cold water over the New York Times’ new report suggesting al-Qaida was not involved in the September 11, 2012 attack against American targets in Benghazi, Libya — calling the article “an effort to revive this discredited theory that the anti-Islam video was behind it.”

    Fred Fleitz spoke with Fox News’ Jamie Colby about the “bombshell” New York Times report published Saturday, which claims the murder of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was carried out by Libyans angry over an American-made anti-Islamic video posted on Youtube.com months before the attack.

  64. CIA Benghazi Team Clash Led to ‘Stand Down’ Report
  65. American shot in Benghazi is allegedly CIA agent – Libyan sources

    Sources within Libya, including intelligence sources within the Libyan Tribal system have reported that the American shot in Benghazi today Ronald Thomas Smith II was not a teacher as was widely reported. Tribal elders report that currently there are no foreign teachers employed in Libya and that Ronald Smith was in Tripoli meeting John McCain on Tuesday and Wednesday according to sources who were present during the meetings.

  66. NYT and ABC News lied about CIA operative

    Since 2007, ABC News and the New York Times have known that ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, missing in Iran, was spying there for the CIA.

  67. ABC, NYT Repeatedly Lied About CIA Operative Robert Levinson
  68. Should the AP And Washington Post Have Published Their Scoop On The CIA?
  69. A nascent CIA in the 1940s and 1950s helped shape the Middle East, author says

    Given the number of books and articles about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its controversial undertakings across the globe, it’s surprising that the US spy agency’s first encounters with the Arab and Muslim world have not garnered more attention. Hugh Wilford’s new account, America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, is an attempt to illuminate this dark and murky terrain.

  70. You’ll Never Guess Where This FBI Agent Left a Secret Interrogation Manual
  71. FBI Agent Tries To Register Copyright On Top Secret Interrogation Manual… Making It Available To Anyone
  72. A retired FBI agent goes on an unauthorized CIA mission to Iran, then disappears
  73. Senators clash with justice department lawyer over CIA intelligence memos

    CIA nominee Caroline Krass angers intelligence committee by claiming legal opinions on surveillance are beyond its scope

  74. CIA probe into Bay of Pigs should be kept secret – Obama admin

    Over 50 years after the Bay of Pigs invasion went awry, the US federal government is still attempting to keep secrets about the failed overthrow of the Cuban government, with an Obama administration lawyer arguing this week to keep a document classified.

  75. Attorney targets CIA in his war on secrecy

    Kuzma’s suit against the CIA came just six months after he filed a freedom of information suit against the FBI on behalf of Leslie Pickering, a former spokesman for the press office of the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group.

    Pickering knows the FBI is watching him but says he wants to know how and whether others have been targeted.

    Kuzma also is working with Irwin on a federal freedom of information suit brought by members of Occupy Buffalo.

    The group is seeking information documenting the extent of the government’s surveillance of the protest group.

  76. Former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko: William Hague wins secrecy fight over inquest

    Foreign Secretary William Hague today won a ruling to keep documents relating to the death of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko out of the public domain ahead of a proposed inquest.

    Sir Robert Owen, the coroner presiding over the inquest into Mr Litvinenko’s murder, ruled earlier this year that a cache of Government papers concerning matters of relating to the death could not be withheld on grounds of national security.

  77. Obama pressured to locate missing CIA contractor in Iran

    Associated Press’ national security writer, Lara Jakes, wrote on Friday evening that the CIA paid Levinson’s family about $120,000, the value of the new contract the agency was preparing for him when he left for Iran, and the government gave the family a $2.5 million annuity, which provides tax-free income, multiple people briefed on the deal said. No one wanted a lawsuit that would air the secret details.

  78. Robert Levinson: Used by CIA, Forgotten by USA, Burned by Media, Left in Iran

    Robert Levinson was used by the CIA, forgotten by the USA, recently burned by media revelations, and left in Iran nearly seven years ago. The details surrounding the Levinson case are complex and his present whereabouts and physical condition are unconfirmed. It was back in 2007 that the retired FBI agent went missing in Iran. The story at the time was that he was simply a business man who had traveled there for private purposes. This idea has since been discounted as recent media revelations clearly assert that Levinson was in fact contracted in some capacity by the CIA. The revelations go on to show that, contrary to past statements by U.S. officials denying his connection to the government, Levinson had indeed been working on an unsanctioned intelligence gathering mission when he went missing.

  79. A disappearing US spy, and a scandal at the CIA

    Robert A. Levinson was an overweight bear of a man who once worked as an FBI agent and desperately wanted to recapture the life of international intrigue he relished as an expert on Russian organized crime. But as he sat in a hotel room in Geneva in early 2007, he was anxious about a secret mission he had planned to Iran.

  80. CIA’s anti-terrorism effort called ‘colossal flop’

    Most CIA officers abroad pose as U.S. diplomats. But those given what’s called non-official cover are known as NOCs, pronounced “knocks,” and they typically pose as business executives. At the forum, the NOCs spoke of their cover jobs, their false identities and measures taken to protect them. Few said much about gathering intelligence.

    A colleague passed a caustic note to the senior officer. “Lots of business,” it read. “Little espionage.”

  81. How the CIA Bungled the War on Terror

    Think of it as the CIA’s plunge into Hollywood – or into the absurd. As recent revelations have made clear, that Agency’s moves couldn’t be have been more far-fetched or more real. In its post-9/11 global shadow war, it has employed both private contractors and some of the world’s most notorious prisoners in ways that leave the latest episode of the Bourne films in the dust: hired gunmen trained to kill as well as former inmates who cashed in on the notoriety of having worn an orange jumpsuit in the world’s most infamous jail.

  82. Truman’s True Warning on the CIA

    National security secrecy and a benighted sense of “what’s good for the country” can be a dangerous mix for democracy, empowering self-interested or misguided officials to supplant the people’s will, as President Truman warned and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

  83. Cuba’s Raul Castro calls for ‘civilised relations’ with US

    Cuban President Raul Castro has called for “civilised relations” with the United States, saying the two countries should respect their differences.

  84. Elian Gonzalez Leaves Cuba, Slams the U.S.
  85. This is the lethal electronic kit that changed Colombia’s history

    The war against Colombia’s socialist insurgency has turned on a campaign of targeted assassinations of rebel leaders using technology provided by the US.

  86. Beyond Plan Colombia: Covert CIA Program Reveals Critical U.S. Role in Killings of Rebel Leaders

    A new report has exposed a secret CIA program in Colombia that has helped kill at least two dozen rebel leaders. According to the Washington Post, the program relies on key help from the National Security Agency and is funded through a multibillion-dollar black budget. It began under former President George W. Bush, but continues under President Obama. The program has crippled the FARC rebel group by targeting its leaders using bombs equipped with GPS guidance. Up until 2010, the CIA controlled the encryption keys that allowed the bombs to read GPS data. In one case, in 2008, the United States and Colombia discovered a FARC leader hiding in Ecuador. According to the report, “To conduct an airstrike meant a Colombian pilot flying a Colombian plane would hit the camp using a U.S.-made bomb with a CIA-controlled brain.” The attack killed the rebel leader and sparked a major flareup of tensions with Ecuador and Venezuela. The U.S. role in that attack had not previously been reported. We’re joined by the reporter who broke this story, Dana Priest of the Washington Post. Priest is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter whose work focuses on intelligence and counterterrorism.

  87. Correa slams report on CIA role in Ecuador strike

    Ecuador President Rafael Correa warned Monday that reports US intelligence played a role in a 2008 Colombian attack on FARC rebels in his country could threaten regional peace efforts.

    Over the weekend, The Washington Post reported that a secret Central Intelligence Agency program had helped Colombia kill at least two dozen leftist guerrilla leaders.

  88. CIA Fuels Decades-Long Class Conflict by Helping Colombian Military Drop ‘Smart Bombs’ on Rebel Leaders
  89. ‘Eavesdropping and smart bombs’: CIA secret program helped Colombia kill FARC rebels

    A secret US intelligence program has helped Colombia’s government kill at least two dozen leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the rebel insurgency also known as FARC, The Washington Post reported.

  90. CIA helps Colombia kill rebel leaders: Report

    And the paper says the US provided Colombia with GPS equipment that can be used to transform regular munitions into “smart bombs” that can accurately home in on specific targets, even if they are located in dense jungles.

  91. Uruguay Marijuana Law Signed By President Jose Mujica
  92. Uruguay legalizes sale and production of marijuana
  93. UN Agency Pissed Off That Uruguay Legalized Marijuana

    Here comes the backlash: one day after Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize marijuana, a United Nations drug control agency issued a press release condemning the country’s decision.

  94. Pakistan Outs Three US CIA Station Chiefs in Three Years

    For the third time in three years, a CIA station chief has been outed in Pakistan, a country where the CIA is running one of its largest covert operations. It’s a remarkable record of failure by the CIA, since each outing, which has required a replacement of the station chief position, causes a breakdown in the agency’s network of contacts in the country.

  95. Controversy over CIA station chief

    To a question, Mazari said if the PTI discovered the name of pilot who had operated the drone, then the name will be shared with the police and ostensibly he or she will also be nominated in the FIR.

  96. US Congress, CIA still feuding over secret prisons
  97. MPs take over inquiry into use of Scottish airports for CIA flights

    An inquiry into whether Scottish airports were used by the CIA to transport terror suspects to secret prisons for torture has been scrapped and handed over to MPs.

  98. Rights court to examine claims of CIA torture in Poland

    The European Court of Human Rights will on Tuesday examine claims that Poland turned a blind eye to the torture on its territory of two Guantanamo-bound prisoners of the CIA. Lawyers for Abu Zubaydah, a 42-year-old Palestinian, and Saudia Arabian national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 48, will tell the court that the government in Warsaw authorised the US intelligence agency to detain their clients in Poland for several months in 2002-03 and that they were repeatedly tortured by waterboarding during that time.

  99. Europe rights court hearing on secret CIA prisons

    Europe’s human rights court shone a rare public light Tuesday on the secret network of European prisons that the CIA used to interrogate terror suspects, reviving memories and questions about the “extraordinary renditions” that angered many on this continent.

  100. Two terror suspects sue Poland over ‘CIA torture’

    The European Court of Human Rights is hearing a case brought by two terror suspects who accuse Poland of conniving in US human rights abuses.

  101. First ever open court hearing held on the CIA ‘black site’ prison in Poland
  102. Guantanamo Detainees Accuse Poland of Role in Extraordinary Rendition and CIA Torture

    Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri bring first case against Poland at ECHR

  103. Guantánamo Bay detainees claim Poland allowed CIA torture

    Terror suspects subjected to extraordinary rendition tell European court of human rights they were waterboarded

  104. Europe rights court hears of CIA prisons

    Lawyers say a Saudi national and a Palestinian were tortured in a secret US facility in a remote part of Poland.

  105. CIA Torture Report Poised for Release — At Least Some of It
  106. Poland allowed CIA to torture two Gitmo men, court told
  107. Rendition and torture — interview on RT
  108. MPs take over inquiry into use of Scottish airports for CIA flights

    An inquiry into whether Scottish airports were used by the CIA to transport terror suspects to secret prisons for torture has been scrapped and handed over to MPs.

  109. MI6 ‘turned blind eye’ to torture of rendered detainees, finds Gibson report

    Britain’s intelligence agencies ‘totally unprepared’ for US response to 9/11 and years later ‘co-operated with interrogations’

  110. European judges grill Poland over allegations of CIA jail

    But Polish envoys said they could not share information with the court because that could compromise a separate investigation by Polish prosecutors, and because the court could not guarantee the information would be kept confidential.

    “The government does not wish to confirm or deny the facts cited by the applicants,” Artur Nowak-Far, under-secretary of state in the Polish foreign ministry, told the court.

  111. European court hears claims Poland turned blind eye to CIA torture

    The European Court of Human Rights yesterday heard claims that Poland had turned a blind eye to the torture of two Guantanamo-bound prisoners of the CIA on its soil.

    The case marks the first time Europe’s role in the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” of terror suspects reached the European Court of Human Rights.

    Lawyers for Abu Zubaydah, a 42-year-old Palestinian, and Saudi Arabian national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 48, told the court that Warsaw authorised the US intelligence agency to detain their clients in Poland for several months in 2002-03.

  112. ACLU Files Suit Against CIA For Failure To Release Reports On Torture Program
  113. Senate intelligence committee presses CIA to release torture report
  114. Senators: CIA ‘Misleading’ Public Over Secret Torture Report
  115. Senate committee asks CIA to hand over report on interrogation
  116. Senators: CIA Deliberately Misleading Public on Torture Report

    Three years, $40 million and 6,000+ pages later, the report on CIA torture and secret prisons during the Bush era is still stuck in the declassification process, with CIA officials fighting the Senators calling for its release.

  117. Internal CIA Report on Torture Agrees with Senate Report That the CIA Disagreed With
  118. The 6,000-Page Report on CIA Torture Has Now Been Suppressed for 1 Year

    It cost $40 million to produce, documents serious wrongdoing, and doesn’t threaten national security. Team Obama won’t release it.

  119. CIA interfered with Lockerbie case, says former US prosecutor
  120. ‘Not real James Bonds’: Assange explains why ‘small publisher’ WikiLeaks beat the Pentagon

    WikiLeaks’ major achievement is in weakening the authority of US intelligence, according to the whistleblowing website founder, Julian Assange, who has just marked three years under virtual house arrest in the UK.

    Julian Assange believes that the WikiLeaks website he founded represents “an example of a small publisher beating the Pentagon” and by doing so reducing the public fear of government institutions.

  121. Known by our drones

    U.S. drone attacks have killed 2,446 civilians in the last decade in Pakistan alone. The Pakistanis know us by our drones, not by our love.

  122. America in 2013: Impressions from around the world

    “To me, America means drones, and drones mean the death of our people. How can we be friends with those who kill our people?” says Murad Ali, a rickshaw driver in Peshawar, Pakistan. “When Obama became the president, I hoped that there would be a positive change in American policies. I am surprised that Obama proved himself to be the enemy of Pakistani people and Muslims.”

  123. Medea Benjamin talks “Drone Warfare” with VOR, part 2
  124. Imran shocked over Nawaz Sharif’s statement on drones

    Chairman PTI Imran Khan expressed shock and disappointment over Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that PTI’s drone protest was isolating Pakistan.
    Khan, in a statement, reminded the PM that PML-N, along with the PPP had not only been a party to the parliamentary resolutions (present and previous) against drones, but also party to the anti-drone resolution in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provincial Assembly.

  125. U.S. sending missiles drones to Iraq
  126. US sending missiles, drones to Iraq

    The daily wrote that 10 ScanEagle reconnaissance drones — smaller versions of the larger Predator drones that once were frequently flown over Iraq — are expected to be sent by March. Administration sources told the Times that the delivery comes as the Iraqis had virtually run out of Hellfire missiles.

  127. US sending missiles, drones to Iraq to battle al-Qaida
  128. Israel launches airstrike in Gaza
  129. The Killings Fields of Gaza
  130. The Pentagon’s Vision for the Future of Military Drones
  131. DoD: To conquer nations and budgets, combat must go totally autonomous
  132. President Obama’s new normal: the drone strikes continue

    Americans abhor mass shootings in our communities, but why do we allow our government to kill so many innocents abroad?

  133. Four killed in fresh North Waziristan drone attack
  134. US drones kill 4 ‘militants’ in North Waziristan strike
  135. 4 Killed in U.S. Drone Strike in NW Pakistan
  136. Drone Strike in Pakistan Was First to Be Launched by Obama Administration on Christmas Day
  137. Aerial violation: US drone kills four in North Waziristan
  138. 4 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan
  139. Former drone pilot, Lieutenant-Colonel: Obama personally orders drone killings

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as ‘drones’, are in high demand and are a multimillion dollar industry. They are praised for not risking pilot’s lives and are formidable weapon – a nightmare for the enemy. But there are loud voices that label them as unaccountable killing machines and demand they be banned. Today we talk about the drone controversy with a former drone pilot, Lieutenant-Colonel Bruce Black.

  141. Pakistan condemns North Waziristan drone strike
  142. Pakistan says drone strikes constitute dangerous precedent in inter-state relations
  143. Pakistan to table anti-drone resolution at UN rights council

    Pakistan is planning to introduce an anti-drone resolution at an upcoming meeting of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva, Press TV reports.

  144. Pentagon chief Hagel in Pakistan for talks on security, drones

    Islamabad says drone strikes kill too many civilians and violate its sovereignty.

  145. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks drones with Pakistan PM amid tensions
  146. Pentagon chief in rare Pakistan visit amid more rows over CIA drone strikes

    Chuck Hagel wants to bolster fraught relations with Pakistan as airstrikes continue to cause anger and suspicion

  147. Drone Strike Kills Two Qaida Suspects in Yemen

    An alleged U.S. drone strike killed two al-Qaida suspects in Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramawt Friday, an official said, a day after U.N. rights experts expressed “serious concern” over such attacks.

    “The drone raid targeted a vehicle in which two al-Qaida suspects were travelling completely destroying it and killing them,” the government official in Hadramawt — an al-Qaida stronghold — told Agence France Presse.

    The source could not immediately identify the suspects.

  148. Yemen drone strike kills two Al Qaida suspects

    Sana’a: At least two alleged Al Qaida fighters were killed on Friday in the Yemen’s southeastern Hadramout province, security official told Gulf News.

  149. Is al Qaeda outdoing the U.S. on truth telling?

    It has long been said that in war, “truth is the first casualty.”

    It is generally accepted, however, that the United States, the world’s leading democracy, should try to make truth-telling a common practice when it goes to war.

    When Gen. David Petraeus was U.S. commander in Afghanistan in 2010 he issued guidance to his troops, one of the key points of which was to “be first with the truth.” The guidance explained, “Avoid spinning, and don’t try to ‘dress up’ an ugly situation. Acknowledge setbacks and failures, including civilian casualties, and then state how we’ll respond and what we’ve learned.”

  150. Philip Hammond ignores the truth about drone atrocities
  151. Drone Killings Show Numbers, Not Bodies
  152. Obama Run Amuck

    The Ishaq Principle has the weight of mathematical law: Kill, kill, kill, profess no knowledge of the killing, throw a curtain of extreme secrecy around the event, and make special provision for wedding parties, more especially traversing remote areas. Drone murder is a WAR CRIME. Its personal authorization by POTUS makes him a war criminal. Period. We may pretend, as is now happening, that Putin is evil incarnate, but if so, I contend that Obama is keeping up with him, atrocity for atrocity.

  153. Was the CIA involved in the Jonestown Massacre?
  154. Reagan administration, CIA complicit in DEA agent’s murder, say former insiders

    Former DEA El Paso boss: Agent Camarena had discovered the arms-for-drugs operation run on behalf of the Contras, aided by U.S. officials in the National Security Council and the CIA, and threatened to blow the whistle on the covert operation.

  155. Latest Drone Strikes Shows How U.S. Strategy in Yemen Is Backfiring
  156. U.S. drone strikes in Yemen likely to continue despite parliamentary ban

    Yemen’s parliament has voted for a ban on drone strikes, but experts said Monday lawmakers have limited powers and their vote is unlikely to impact Washington’s bid to crush Al-Qaeda militants.

  157. Letter: Drones kill indiscriminately

    These drone strikes are NOT the antiseptic, surgical strikes claimed by the administration. It is NOT only an unknown number of terrorists that are being killed, it is also ordinary people trying to live lives like you and me. What could possibly give the United States the right to send our deadly weapons into other countries and kill its citizens? Just imagine how the U.S. would react if another country were to send its drones here with the excuse it is killing people who may do harm to their country. How many of us would not want to turn our fury on the invading country?

  158. The Drone Next Door

    “Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

    “‘Did we just kill a kid?’ he asked the man sitting next to him.

    “‘Yeah, I guess that was a kid,’” the pilot replied.

    “‘Was that a kid?’ they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

    “Then someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. ‘No. That was a dog,’ the person wrote.

    “They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?”

    Welcome to pixel war.

  159. A Yemeni tribal leader yesterday denied that there were Al Qaida members in the wedding convoy
  160. The Aftermath of Drone Strikes on a Wedding Convoy in Yemen
  161. Killing Two Birds With One Drone
  162. US Drone Strike Targets Yemeni Wedding

    “Before any strike is taken,” President Obama assured us in his speech this May on U.S. Drone and Counter-terrorism policy, “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” Nice words, but as Jon Snow remarks in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, “Men are men, vows are words, and words are wind.” Sorry, I can’t help it if a GOT quote most aptly fit there.

  163. Column: When your drones kill people at a wedding, an apology might be in order
  164. Yemeni move unlikely to end US drone strikes

    Yemen’s parliament has voted for a ban on drone strikes, but experts said Monday lawmakers have limited powers and their vote is unlikely to impact Washington’s bid to crush Al-Qaeda militants.

    The United States operates all unmanned aircraft flying over Yemen in support of Sanaa’s attempts to break Al-Qaeda, and intensified strikes this year have killed dozens of militants.

  165. U.S. Drone Strike “Mistakenly” Murders 15 Wedding Guests in Yemen

    For those of us concerned with the Constitution, due process, and the rule of law, however, “suspected militant” is just a euphemism for a person not charged with any crime, not afforded even the most perfunctory due process protections, but executed by presidential decree anyway. In this way, we are no better than those we kill in the name of safety.

  166. U.S. drone strike on Yemen wedding party kills 17

    Anger over the American drone campaign against militants in Yemen swelled Friday with word that most of those killed in a strike a day earlier were civilians in a wedding party.

    The death toll reached 17 overnight, hospital officials in central Bayda province said Friday. Five of those killed were suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda, but the remainder were unconnected with the militancy, Yemeni security officials said.

  167. Officials: US drone strike kills 13 in Yemen wedding convoy

    Missiles fired by a U.S. drone slammed into a convoy of vehicles traveling to a wedding party in central Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, Yemeni security officials said.

  168. Drone strike kills 15 ‘wedding party-goers’ in Yemen

    Fifteen people who had been heading to a wedding in Yemen have been killed in an air strike. Local media reported that a drone attack had been responsible, and the party-goers had been hit instead of an Al-Qaeda convoy

  169. Yemen: The CIA Has No Idea Who The 13 People They Just Killed With a Drone Are

    Missiles fired by a US drone struck a convoy of vehicles on their merry way to a wedding in Yemen on Thursday, killing AT LEAST 13 people, and leaving charred bodies and vehicles littering a road. Thing is, nobody really knows whether these were good guys or bad guys. Either way, they’re dead.

    One military official told the Associated Press that the drone mistook the wedding party for an al-Qaida convoy, killing local tribesmen instead of terrorists. In other words, a bunch of innocent civilians just got toasted by the good, ole U S of A.

  170. U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 18 Yemeni Civilians In One Week

    Eighteen Yemeni civilians have been killed this week in two separate attacks by U.S. military drones.

  171. Yemen: Death of 15 civilians in airstrike underscores serious lack of accountability
  172. We Still Don’t Know How Many Civilians Have Been Killed by Drones

    A truck full of 14 people is bumping its way down rural Yemen when, out of nowhere, a missile strikes. And then another. Children are killed, officials argue with local tribesmen over whether or not the 11 killed in the strike were members of al-Qaeda. The US, which doesn’t take ownership of the strike for months, refuses to comment further.

  173. Attack on Wedding Convoy One of the Worst in History of Drone War in Yemen

    A drone strike by the United States, which targeted a wedding convoy, reportedly killed anywhere from ten to seventeen people and injured as many as thirty individuals.

  174. U.S. drone strike kils more than a dozen people on their way to a wedding
  175. Dilemma deepens as drones kill more civilians
  176. Unmanned and Undiscerning

    With the development of robotic warfare, accountability has virtually gone extinct.

  177. The Official Story: How NY Times Covers Yemen Drone Strikes

    So most of the dead appeared to be people suspected of being linked to Al Qaeda. That’s a whole lot of qualifiers to make the point that those who were killed were the intended targets.

    But there’s a pattern of the Times doing this.

    In August of this year there were several suspected US drone attacks. Strikes on August 1 and August 8 reportedly killed several civilians, including children, part of a series of drone strikes around that time.

  178. A Modest Opinion – Amazon: Primed to Kill
  179. My Turn: Drones show folly of War on Terrorism policy

    Another bill, HR-1083, called the “No Armed Drones Act” (NADA), would establish prohibitions to prevent the use of an unmanned aircraft system as a weapon while operating in US airspace. Rep.Welch signed onto this bill on Oct. 22, 2013.

  180. Killing with drones is not ‘easy’

    States that have already acquired lethal, remotely piloted aircraft have at least a moral responsibility to use the technology wisely. As a result of CIA actions, the US is creating generations of enemies in some regions of Pakistan – and perhaps at home as well – for no discernible strategic advantage.

  181. First Person: Targeted kills are step away from anarchy

    In a recent BBC documentary, it was alleged a short-lived British Army unit called the Military Reaction Force (MRF) had assassinated suspected Republican terrorists on the streets of west Belfast. It was suggested that some of those killed were unarmed.

    One of the interviewed soldiers said: “We were not there to act like an Army unit. We were there in a position to go after IRA and kill them when we found them.”

    Perhaps those of us who criticise the CIA’s activities in Pakistan should ponder what the MRF allegedly did. The agents of the British State – the armed forces and police – are there to uphold the rule of law. Assassination moves us one step closer to anarchy.

  182. Letters from Readers: Illegality of drones

    It is difficult to comprehend how our Nobel Peace Prize President can defend lethal unmanned drone Predators and Reapers that deliver Hellfire missiles that kill, maim and terrorize thousands, are hideously immoral and counterproductive. Drones have assassinated wedding parties, children, farmers and rescuers, and murder people who have not been tried in a court of law. They are illegal.

    Drone killings are acts of “premeditated murder.” Murder by sudden or secret attack is a crime in all 50 states, and was banned by Presidents Ford and Reagan.

  183. Dear leaders, if you can’t protect drone victims, let the K-P government do it

    We saw our prime minister’s (PM) silence over drones in his visit to the US.

  184. The Obama administration needs more transparency in its drone use

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has referred to civilian casualties caused by U.S. forces as a reason for not signing the agreement. “For years,” Karzai said in a statement issued after the strike, “our people are being killed and their houses are being destroyed under the pretext of the war on terror.”

  185. Top comments: “How can a machine honor human rights?”

    Our audience debate whether the U.S. should halt the use of drones in warfare.

  186. Weapon of choice

    During the Bush presidency, there were 48 recorded drone strikes in Pakistan; during Obama’s there have been more than 300. Although we would never know the ascertainable number of casualties by drones in Pakistan, commonsense does make some suggestions. The population of a typical village in Fata is not segregated in a manner that militants live on one side while women, children, old and sick people live on the other. Therefore, when a drone kills two or three militants as is often claimed, it must kill many more. That ‘precision kill’ story is humbug.

    More so when, following Israel’s strategy in Palestine, the drones return to target the rescuers gathered to pick up the dead and wounded by the first strike. Are all rescuers militants? And how does one distinguish between a militant and a non-combatant? The New York Times in March 2012 made it easy to define a militant: “All military-age males, armed or unarmed, are considered to be combatants unless there is posthumous evidence proving otherwise.”

  187. Kill Decision

    The 21st century with flying cars and android servants envisioned in the likes of The Jetsons and Back to the Future have yet to become a reality, but flying robots do exist—just not in the forms we expected.

  188. War from afar: How the Pentagon fell in love with drones
  189. Civilian Afghan Deaths from U.S. Drone Strikes Continue to Build Hatred of U.S.
  190. Jailed Yemeni journalist receives Human Rights Defenders award

    Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who shed light on US drones in Yemen, is not permited to attend ceremony to receive award

  191. Drone film director decries U.S. strikes

    Tahir also talked about how she has experienced the hatred of people who are for the use of drones and how she is often attacked for being a “Taliban sympathizer.” She said that it sometimes goes so far that the topic becomes almost taboo.

  192. How Nelson Mandela betrayed us, says ex-wife Winnie
  193. Convenient to Ignore

    When Obama took office, it seemed like Africa was finally going to get the serious attention that it deserved in terms of American foreign policy. After generations of neglect from the American government, maybe, just maybe, the United States would recognize the strategic value of the African continent, not to mention the basic need to treat the people of that continent as something more than a basket case full of failed states. Curious that when the United States has been energized, in places such as Libya, the country at issue is more Arab than African, and the man who the United States helped overthrow in Libya was actually emerging as America’s best friend in Africa against the growing threat of extremist Islamic influence and terrorism.

  194. Dick Cheney Didn’t Regret His Vote Against Freeing Nelson Mandela, Maintained He Was A ‘Terrorist’
  195. Who is a terrorist?

    Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. And as he emerged from prison, he did not seek revenge. He instantly forgave. He sought peace not war. Cheney said he was a terrorist. Was he? Cheney loved war. Mandela loved peace. Who was — who is — the terrorist?

  196. Crocodile Tears: It was the CIA that helped jail Nelson Mandela
  197. New York Times June 10, 1990 Report: CIA tie in Mandela’s 1962 arrest
  198. CIA behind Mandela’s arrest nearly fifty years ago

    The White House has announced President Obama and the First Lady will travel to South Africa next week to honor South African President Nelson Mandela.

  199. The Day Mandela Was Arrested, With A Little Help From the CIA

    The CIA’s involvement in these activities is unclear, but Leach claims the agency sent South Africans to a facility in Taiwan for advanced psychological warfare training. The Telcom auditing official called the CIA’s alleged wiretap training “very sinister.” He suspects the CIA used the program to develop its own spies in Telcom, to protect its assets in the country at this time.

  200. As engineers, we must consider the ethical implications of our work

    Engineers are behind government spying tools and military weapons. We should be conscious of how our designs are used

  201. Drones and dirty politics [ad hominem attack on Imran Khan]
  202. Community Roundtable: Support U.S. drone use?
  203. America’s Drone dilemma

    Congressional representatives and government officials met Jaber and expressed their condolences, but provided no explanations. Nor has the US admitted that it made a mistake.

    A week later, Gen Joseph Dunford, Jr., the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, did apologise for a drone attack that killed a child and seriously wounded two women in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

  204. Drone Wars: What’s the Right Policy?

    The United States’ use of lethal drones to kill terrorists in foreign countries began in the Bush administration and has significantly widened under the Obama administration.

  205. Fighting terror with a joystick won’t help

    The US must also not forget that the soldiers who slay the innocent from their computer screens will return to their own communities either psychologically damaged or as ruthless killers. It must not be forgotten that 350 US troops returned from Iraq and took their own lives in 2012. Societies that become too comfortable with killing inevitably bear the tragedy themselves. It is in our hands to fill this world with communities of peace through education, rather than communities of war perpetrating random attacks. Time has come for the superpowers to change their plans in the Middle East. They must use education as a weapon, not drones. If they really desire peace, that is.

  206. First UK legal challenge to CIA drones reaches Court of Appeal

    An unprecedented attempt to discover if British officials are complicit in the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan reached the Court of Appeal this week.

    The case is brought by Noor Khan, a Pakistani tribesman whose father was among over 40 civilians killed in a March 2011 drone strike.

    Khan’s lawyers are attempting to get English courts to examine whether UK officials at GCHQ share information about targets in Pakistan with the CIA, and whether this could therefore make British spies complicit in murder or war crimes.

  207. CIA handed over suitcases and plastic bags full of cash to corrupt Afghan officials

    On December 5, 2013 Rep. Barbara Lee of California asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for one minute regarding the war in Afghanistan. What she said was absolutely shocking!

    “Mr. Speaker, as most of us joined family and friends over Thanksgiving week last week, 2,500 Afghan elders voted on a security agreement that could potentially leave thousands of United States troops in Afghanistan for at least another decade.”

  208. CIA Paid Missing American’s Family $2.5 Million to Avoid Lawsuit

    The Associated Press revealed today that “retired” FBI agent Robert Levinson was recruited by a band of rogue CIA analysts to run a totally unauthorized spying operation. He’d been working with them for years, and had a contract since 2006 related to writing articles about his “travels.”

  209. CIA: a powerful agency should receive powerful oversight

    Barret details how the CIA was created out of WWII and the failure of intelligence at Pearl Harbor. He said that over the years there have been a number of efforts to keep the power of the CIA in check.

  210. 6 Things To Keep In Mind While Shopping On Amazon Black Friday

    If you plan on looking for online deals this Black Friday — and if 2013 is anything like 2012, more than 57 million Americans will — you’ll likely visit a little website called Amazon.com. From the outside, the world’s largest online store works like magic: Click a button and in few days, some chosen item will miraculously show up at your doorstep.

  211. Senate setting dangerous precedent on Defense Authorization Bill
  212. NDAA draft contains big changes on Gitmo, military sexual assault

    Since 2011, the NDAA has contained provisions for the indefinite detention of American citizens.

  213. Cyber and the NDAA

    Congress is in recess now (that’s why it’s so quiet here in Washington) and when they return the first order of business for the Senate is to take up the 2014 NDAA. The bill, authorizing activities of the Department of Defense, is one of the few bills that routinely gets a full hearing in the Senate and has a high likelihood of being passed into law.


    In short, S. 1353 does very little of note. Indeed, I am comfortable predicting that it will be added to the NDAA with nary a dissent. And thereafter, Congress may well wash its hands of cybersecurity and mark the problem “sovled” — which, come to think of it, might very well be the best possible result.

  214. Obama signs NDAA 2014, indefinite detention remains

    The troubling NDAA provision first signed into law in 2012, which permits the military to detain individuals indefinitely without trial, remains on the books for 2014.

  215. Ted Cruz: Indefinite Detention Retained in NDAA 2014

    Eighty-five of 100 U.S. senators voted to renew the president’s power to indefinitely detain Americans, denying them of their fundamental right to due process.

  216. BREAKING NEWS: Michigan nullifies NDAA’s indefinite detention

    Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan signed Senate Bill No. 94 into law yesterday. The bill seeks to nullify section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). “It is important to recall that indefinite detention first appeared in section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, which provided warrant for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens,” said Snyder.

  217. The feds’ guide to bringing down a hacker from the inside

    Jeremy Hammond faces 10 years in prison for hacking Stratfor Global, but many details of his conviction don’t add up

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  1. EPO Eating Its Own (and Robbing Its Own)

    António Campinos is lying to his staff and losing his temper when challenged about it; Like Benoît Battistelli, who ‘fixed’ this job for his banker buddy (despite a clear lack of qualifications and relevant experience), he’s just robbing the EPO’s staff (even pensioners!) and scrubbing the EPC for ill-gotten money, which is in turn illegally funneled into financialization schemes

  2. [Meme] EPO Budget Tanking?

    While the EPO‘s António Campinos incites people (and politicians) to break the law he’s also attacking, robbing, and lying to his own staff; thankfully, his staff isn’t gullible enough and some MEPs are sympathetic; soon to follow is a video and publication about the EPO’s systematic plunder (ETA midnight GMT)

  3. EPO.org (Official EPO Site) Continues to Promote Illegal Agenda and Exploit Ukraine for PR Stunts That Help Unaccountable Crooks

    epo.org has been turned into a non-stop propaganda machine of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because the EPO routinely breaks the law; it’s rather tasteless that while Ukrainians are dying the EPO’s mob exploits Ukraine for PR purposes

  4. [Meme] EPO Applicants Unwittingly Fund the War on Ukraine

    As we’ve just shown, António Campinos is desperately trying to hide a massive EPO scandal

  5. EPO Virtue-Signalling on the Ukrainian Front

    António Campinos persists in attention-shifting dross and photo ops; none of that can change the verifiable facts about the EPO’s connections to Lukashenko’s 'science park' in Minsk

  6. Links 19/05/2022: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 and Plasma 5.25 Beta

    Links for the day

  7. A Libera.Chat Anniversary and Happy Birthday (Maybe the Last) to 'Leenode'

    What became known as the so-called ‘Leenode’ is a cautionary tale, but maybe it is also a blessing in disguise because IRC as a whole seem to have become a lot more decentralised (as everything should be)

  8. Links 19/05/2022: The Gradual Fall of Netflix/DRM

    Links for the day

  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 18, 2022

  10. Links 18/05/2022: Qt Company Loses Chief; OpenSUSE Leap Micro 5.2 and RHEL 9 Final

    Links for the day

  11. Jim Zemlin's Wife is Funded by Puppies (Microsoft)

    Jim Zemlin — like his wife — is bagging millions from Microsoft, but that’s clearly a conflict of interest for the Linux Foundation

  12. Links 18/05/2022: More Defections From WordPress to Gemini

    Links for the day

  13. Links 18/05/2022: PikaScript and cURL's Annual User Survey

    Links for the day

  14. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  15. Phoronix: Microsoft and Phoronix Sponsor (and Close Microsoft Partner) AMD All Over the Place

    When you’re taking massive 'gifts' from AMD (and also some from Microsoft) maybe it’s not surprising that editorial decisions change somewhat…

  16. EPO Has No F-ing Oversight

    Earlier today SUEPO mentioned this new article demonstrating that EPO President António Campinos can very obviously and blatantly violate the Code of Conduct of the Office without facing any consequences; there are translations too, so the report is now available in four languages

  17. [Meme] Linux-Rejecting Foundation

    The Linux Foundation never really leads by example; by default, it uses proprietary software

  18. Linux Foundation Almost Never Uses Open Source

    The Linux Foundation uses proprietary software (look where they hire and take money from) and be sure they're probably not even aware of it

  19. Links 17/05/2022: Many More Games on GNU/Linux, YaST Development Report

    Links for the day

  20. Links 17/05/2022: Rocky Linux 8.6 and Budgie Desktop in Fedora

    Links for the day

  21. Patent Examiners Rising Up Against EPO Abuse

    Unhappy with the law-breaking autocracy (the EPO‘s management breaks the law as a matter of routine), fast-deteriorating working conditions and rapidly-decreasing quality of work (or lack of compliance with the law), workers have escalated further, topping off strikes and industrial actions with a large-scale petition

  22. [Meme] What Managers (Really) Mean by Acting Professionally

    The myth of 'professionalism' needs to die along with the façade of conformity as prerequisite for employment (Linus Torvalds can work just fine in a bathrobe in his own home)

  23. Internal Poll: 93% of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers Are Unhappy With the EPO

    On top of strike/s and industrial action/s there are now also petitions; at the EPO, almost all staff is "disgruntled" because of utterly corrupt and defunct leadership

  24. Links 17/05/2022: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Release Candidate

    Links for the day

  25. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, May 16, 2022

  26. Links 16/05/2022: FreeBSD 13.1 and Inkscape 1.2 Released

    Links for the day

  27. Archiving Latest Posts in Geminispace (Like a Dated Web Directory But for Gemini)

    Earlier today we saw several more people crossing over from the World Wide Web to Gemini; we're trying to make a decent aggregator and archive for the rapidly-expanding Geminispace, which will soon have 2,500 capsules that are known to Lupa alone

  28. Microsoft Vidal Does Not Want to Listen (USPTO is Just for Megacorporations)

    Microsoft Vidal knows her real bosses. They’re international corporations (multinationals like Microsoft), not American people.

  29. Links 16/05/2022: China Advances on GNU/Linux and Maui 2.1.2 is Out

    Links for the day

  30. Jim Zemlin: Chief Revenue Officer in 'Linux' Seat-Selling Foundation

    Board seats in the Linux Foundation are basically a product on sale, based internal documents

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