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Links 10/2/2013: Drones, War on Protest, Innovative Torture, and Politics of Leaks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • Civilian drone deaths triple in Afghanistan, UN agency finds

    Civilian drone deaths in Afghanistan tripled last year, according to a report by a UN agency. Forty-five civilians died in drone strikes in 2013.

  • Paki Wieland of Northampton gets jail time for New York drone protest

    Patricia “Paki” Wieland, Northampton, was among 12 people sentenced to jail on disorderly conduct charges during a 2012 protest at Hancock Air Base.

    Wieland, a retired professor at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H., and 15 other members of the Upstate New York Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct after being arrested in DeWitt, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2012. Members of the group were holding a rally at the gates of Hancock Air National Guard Base when they were arrested. Wieland and her group argue that by carrying out drone strikes, which sometimes kill civilians, the United States is violating international law.

  • Anti-drone activists sent to jail in US
  • US suspect possibly targeted for drone attack

    An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

  • A pathetic attempt to justify the use of drones and robots

    In closing, a defiant Jackson mocks his audience, saying: “Stop whining about drones”. I daresay the families of unintended drone victims around the world are unlikely to get behind him on this one.

  • US droning to fuel Yemenis’ sympathy for Al-Qaeda

    A drone-fired US missile struck a car southeast of here on a winter night last year, killing two alleged Al-Qaeda operatives who lived openly in their community. But it also killed two cousins who were giving the men a ride and who the Yemeni government later said were innocents in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    That incident, and other strikes that have followed, helped fuel anger here over civilian casualties from US drone attacks and what critics say is an even less scrutinized problem: The targeting of suspects who are within the reach of the law.

  • Drone strikes increasingly rely on NSA surveillance data, report suggests

    The CIA and U.S. military are increasingly relying on surveillance information from the NSA to locate then attack drone targets, with innocent people being killed as a result, according to allegations made in a new publication, The Intercept.

  • The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

    The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

  • Drone strikes kill innocents by targeting NSA phone data, not people: Greenwald

    The NSA’s surveillance programs are often used to help carry out drone strikes on targets, according to a new report. An anonymous former drone operator for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) told The Intercept — a new publication helmed by Glenn Greenwald, who broke the first of many NSA revelations last year — that the US military and CIA use the NSA’s metadata analysis and phone tracking abilities to identify airstrike targets without confirming their veracity on the ground. The claims were corroborated by documents provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

  • Obama Drone Campaign “Verges on Genocide” Legal Authority Says

    In an exclusive interview, Boyle points out that “Obama’s victims are Muslims” and Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention expressly defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group””

  • Surviving anti-Semitism smear, Walt and Mearsheimer seem to have influence in high places

    As for Mearsheimer, the National Interest has published an important piece by the realist scholar that takes on elitist liberal-interventionist ideas more forcefully than any article I’ve read. Called “America Unhinged,” the piece argues that the U.S. has no dog in the Syria fight and no ability to affect the outcome, and– this will be echoed by the left– the price of liberal interventionism has been the loss of civil liberties at home to a national security state and the destruction of American example abroad by the murderous drone attacks.


  • CIA torture techniques in Libya included prolonged diapering and use of insects

    Other approved torture techniques described included “the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap (insult slap), the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation beyond 72 hours … the use of harmless insects, the water board.”

  • How a CIA Whistleblower Survives Behind Bars

    It’s been one year since former CIA analyst and counterterrorism officer John Kiriakou was sentenced to prison for 30 months, the first American official to do time for the government’s torture policies during the Global War on Terror.

    This is what whistleblower advocates like to point out – and Kiriakou, 49, strongly believes himself – that he is not in jail for doing the torture or even promoting it, but being the first counterterrorism official to acknowledge the use of waterboarding, and then speak publicly against it.


  • Julian Assange Affidavit States ‘Rape Victim’ Sent Texts Denying Attack

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed that a woman he is alleged to have raped sent text messages admitting that he never assaulted her.

  • Swedish MPs urge end to Julian Assange impasse
  • Lawyer criticizes calls to end rape investigation of Assange

    A lawyer for one of the Swedish women accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape ripped calls by some public officials for an end to the investigation.

  • Text Messages from Victim of Alleged Rape, Molestation Prove Assange Innocent: Wikileak Affidavit

    Even as members of Sweden’s parliament have been stepping up pressure on prosecutors to question Julian Assange on the sexual allegations he faces in the country, Assange in a Wikileaks affidavit has claimed that text messages between the two alleged victims prove his innocence.

  • Former Swedish Prosecutor Urges Termination of Julian Assange Case

    A former Swedish prosecutor has written an op-ed for the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, where he suggests the country’s office i# charge of pursuing the case against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange terminate it entirely.

    Rolf Hillegren urges the Prosecutor General to reverse the decision to reopen the investigation, revoke the detention order and withdraw the arrest warrant.

    For three years, Sweden has been trying to have him extradited so he can be questioned on sexual allegations made by two women. He sought and obtained asylum from Ecuador and has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in the United Kingdom since June 2012.

  • New Wikileaks Revelation Exposes Big State Department Lie, This Time in Bahrain

    John Timoney has a face like a fist and a CV out of The Departed. He’s been a cop in New York, Miami and Philadelphia. And now he’s advising the Bahraini government on policing matters.

    That’s the Bahraini government, the one that gases, tortures and kills protesters as their preferred method of public order policing. And that’s Timoney, who’s been called “the worst cop in America” and faced hundreds of complaints over his violent approach to public order policing in the U.S.

  • WildLeaks Is the WikiLeaks for Wildlife Crimes

    As the illegal wildlife trade has boomed, it’s also become more sophisticated. High prices for ivory, rhino horn, pangolin, and everything else have attracted organized crime and militants, and despite regular busts, entrenched trafficking rings remain elusive. To aid law enforcement and gather intelligence, a group of wildlife organizations have launched WildLeaks, a secure whistleblower and tipping system modeled after WikiLeaks.

  • WildLeaks launched – the WikiLeaks for wildlife
  • WikiLeaks Gets Bulk of Donation Via Bitcoin and LiteCoin

    The organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources, revealed the information in a tweet. However, it did not mention the percentage of funding in digital currencies.


  • “F**k the EU”: Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition

    The tape (listen below) was released today, on the eve of Nuland’s second trip to meet with Ukrainian protestors and opposition leaders in the past two months — last time she passed out cookies to protestors.

    The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The “F**k the EU” part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.

  • U.S. Violates Nuclear Arms Treaty – Tests B-61 Nuke

    The “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” says that member States should be disarming their nuclear weapons, not restoring, rebuilding, arming, and testing them. This test seems to be in direct contradiction to the Treaty, at a time when the U.S. is engaged with measures to prevent Iran from enriching its uranium.

  • Cold War Geopolitics in Sochi. Western Media “Bashes” Vladimir Putin

    Western anti-Russian sentiment persists.

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