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04.12.14

Political News: Protests Face a Ban, Covert Actions Continue, Cold War Era Imperialism, Privacy, and War on Justice

Posted in News Roundup at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spain

Venezuela

Other Covert Actions

  • German Minister: ‘US Operating Without any Kind of Boundaries’

    In an interview, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, 60, warns that American spying has become “boundless” and expresses sorrow that approval ratings for the United States have plummeted in Germany.

  • America’s Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

    Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide’s lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami. He began his talk with a riddle: “Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?” The answer: “Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C.” This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

  • The murderous history of USAID, the US Government agency behind Cuba’s fake Twitter clone

    Not that this is news to PandoDaily readers, of course: Earlier this year, we broke the story about USAID co-investing with Omidyar Network in Ukraine NGOs that organized and led the Maidan revolution in Kiev, resulting in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych. That revolution hasn’t turned out so well — thanks to the “success” of the USAID-Omidyar-funded revolution, there’s talk of the West going to war with nuclear-armed Russia, Ukraine is losing entire chunks of territory like the proverbial leper on a waterslide, Kiev is run by a coalition of costume-party fascists and a handful of billionaire Mafia dons—and Vladimir Putin has never been more popular, or more tyrannical.

    [...]

    The truth is, USAID’s role in a covert ops and subversion should be common knowledge—it’s not like the record is that hard to find. Either USAID has developed those Men In Black memory-zappers, or else—maybe we don’t want to remember.

    This selective amnesia doesn’t do anyone else any good however, so I figured it might be useful to offer a brief look back at some of USAID’s darkest, ugliest moments. It’s important to note that not everything USAID does is patently evil — in fact, there are many programs that could even be described as good. But USAID, as with any agency of American power, is fully capable of and will continue to be an instrument of geopolitical and corporate force.

    As Big Tech becomes increasingly intertwined with USAID’s missions around the world — particularly as USAID’s programs and language merge with the lexicon and interests of Silicon Valley (such as “Global Development Lab,” USAID’s new “DARPA-like” research arm) — now’s a good time to refresh our memories about USAID’s dark past.

  • Reality check: How costly wars overwhelmed the US empire beyond salvation

    In Syria, Libya, Egypt, the Ukraine, and most recently in Palestine and Israel, too many calamitous scenarios have exposed the fault lines of US foreign policy.

Syria

Ukraine

  • When Is a Putsch a Putsch? (The US False Narrative about Ukraine Continues)
  • News of a Russian arms buildup next to Ukraine is part of the propaganda war

    Any report about Ukraine these torrid days needs to come with a political health warning, even if that report originates from what might be called “our own” side. This includes the latest revelation from Nato about Russian troop deployments on the borders of eastern Ukraine.

    Over the past six months, but especially since the collapse of Viktor Yanukovych’s government in February and his circuitous flight from Kiev, there has been as much of a propaganda war as – potentially – a real war between Russia and the west. Two distinct, and for the most part mutually exclusive, versions of the truth have been put about, and have found receptive audiences on either side.

  • US pays $8 million a month to have its private armies deployed in Ukraine – British press
  • Reflections on Ukraine and Regime Change

    This disruption is something we have seen in numerous other countries—at this very time from Venezuela to Thailand. The goal of these western-financed attacks has been to make the world safe for the 1%, the global super rich. Ukraine citizens who think they are fighting for democracy will eventually discover that they are really serving the western plutocracy. They will be left with a new government filled with old intentions. Ukrainians will end up with nothing to show for their efforts except a still more depressed and more corrupt economy, an enormous IMF debt, a worsening of social services, and an empty “democracy,” led by corrupt opportunists like Tymoshenko.

Journalism

European Privacy

  • Back to the coalition agreement: data retention laws should not be revived

    In 2010, the coalition announced that they would roll back the surveillance state including the “Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason”. The coalition is on the threshold of fulfilling that pledge – at least in relation to data held by ISPs. ISPs meanwhile need to clarify what they are doing now that the law is gone.

NSA PRISM

Torture

  • After 16 years, CIA declassifies new portions of “KUBARK” interrogation manual

    While President Obama forbid via executive order the use of torture techniques such as waterboarding, or confinement in a small box or coffin, the same executive order cemented the use of isolation, forms of sensory deprivation, use of drugs, and sleep deprivation in the Department of Defense’s Army Field Manual 2-22.3, which is now the U.S. standard for interrogation. In that sense, irrespective of the controversies over waterboarding and the post-9/11 “enhanced interrogation” program approved by John Yoo and other Bush-era government attorneys, much of what was KUBARK lives on.

Rights

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