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A BlackOps Phoenix: The Golden Age of Dark Arts

The Golden Age of Black Ops: Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015

In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight.
It was the second time in two weeks that elite U.S. Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed.

On December 6, 2014, approximately 36 of America’s top commandos, heavily armed, operating with intelligence from satellites, drones, and high-tech eavesdropping, outfitted with night vision goggles, and backed up by elite Yemeni troops, went toe-to-toe with about six militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
 
When it was over, Somers was dead, along with Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher due to be set free the next day. Eight civilians were also killed by the commandos, according to local reports. Most of the militants escaped.

That blood-soaked episode was, depending on your vantage point, an ignominious end to a year that saw U.S. Special Operations forces deployed at near record levels, or an inauspicious beginning to a new year already on track to reach similar heights, if not exceed them.
 
 

Rush to Cash In on BC Seaweed Leaves Beaches Bare

Cashing in on Seaweed
by Andy Sinats
A year and a half after the BC MoA issued the first licenses for seaweed removal on Vancouver Island, beginning with 5,000 tonnes of Mazaella Japonica at Deep Bay, Bowser, all the seaweed, that herring and sand lance rely upon for spawning, is gone. The beaches are empty.

There is no other herring spawning area historically as important on BC coast.

Why this "test-fishery" is being conducted exactly here begs the question if the MoA, which regulates aquaculture, simply has it in for wild fish? To take out the bottom of the food-chain, in the chief nursery for forage fish, upon which Chinook salmon and in turn Orcas rely is simply diabolical.
 
In a bizarre twist, Beaver Meadow Farm, an "ecologically-correct," pastured-cattle operation in Comox, has received Salmon-Safe-BC "eco-certification" from the Pacific Salmon Foundation to feed 300 tonnes of seaweed to its cows.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dave Lindorff, Ingmar Lee, Andy Worthington Jan 21, 2015

 
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
 
 
Though the Kouachi brothers, suspected of carrying out the January 7th Charlie Hebdo newspaper attack in Paris, are in the headlines now it is another attack by a pair of brothers that will get the front pages in coming weeks. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who along with his brother, Tamerlan is accused of placing bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is readying for trial. Separated by almost two years, and thousands of miles, the Boston and Paris cases share eerie similarities.
 
Dave Lindorff is an award-winning investigative reporter, long-time muckraker, and founder of the online news site, ThisCan'tBeHappening.net.
 
Listen. Hear.

He's also author of the books, 'This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy,' 'Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For Profit Hospital Chains,' 'Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal,' and co-authored with Barbara Olshansky 'The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush'.
 
Dave Lindorff in the first segment.
 
And; frequently perception trumps reality. This is just the case in British Columbia, where most of the province's environmentally concerned citizens believe the coast is protected from disasters like Alaska's Exxon Valdez oil spill by a moratorium on tanker traffic. Not so. Most are too unaware of a regularly scheduled route plied along the inside passage by the Nathan E. Stewart, a 10,000-ton pusher tug/tanker; that's oil tanker.
 
Ingmar Lee is a resident of BC's central coast. He's a long-time environmental defender from Vancouver Island who has taken on forestry practices, water safety issues in the Nanaimo watershed, and the oil extraction industry among other issues. He and a group of intrepids too maintained a tree-sit at Cathedral Grove for two years; the only thing standing between the ancient stand and Macmillan Bloedel's plan to make a parking lot of much of it.
 
Ingmar Lee and getting to the bottom of the Nathan E. Stewart before its cargo makes it into the Salish Sea in the second segment.
 
And; as he has since 2011, Andy Worthington again crossed the U.S. in 2015, marking another infamous anniversary of America's gulag at Guantánamo Bay with a speaking tour. A long-time justice advocate for the inmates of Guantánamo Bay, Worthington is also a journalist and author whose book titles include: 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,' and 'The Guantánamo Files: Stories of 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison.' He also co-directed the film, 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.'
 
Andy Worthington advocating for the release of all Camp X-Ray's remaining prisoners in the final segment.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus, Janine Bandcroft is away on business so won't join us today. So first up, Dave Lindorff and the strange case of the Tsarnaev brothers.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.ca . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Now You Know, Don't Turn Away: Witness Against Torture

Inside the Uniform, Under the Hood, Longing for Change
by Kathy Kelly  - VCNV.org
 
January 20, 2015
 
From January 4 – 12, 2015, Witness Against Torture (WAT) activists assembled in Washington D.C. for an annual time of fasting and public witness to end the United States' use of torture and indefinite detention and to demand the closure, with immediate freedom for those long cleared for release, of the illegal U.S. prison at Guantanamo.
 
Participants in our eight day fast started each day with a time of reflection. This year, asked to briefly describe who or what we had left behind and yet might still carry in our thoughts that morning, I said that I’d left behind an imagined WWI soldier, Leonce Boudreau.
 
I was thinking of Nicole de’Entremont’s story of World War I, A Generation of Leaves, which I had just finished reading. Initial chapters focus on a Canadian family of Acadian descent. Their beloved oldest son, Leonce, enlists with Canada’s military because he wants to experience life beyond the confines of a small town and he feels stirred by a call to defend innocent European people from advancing “Hun” warriors.
 
He soon finds himself mired in the horrid slaughter of trench warfare near Ypres, Belgium.
 

As Good As Guilty: Obama Silence on MH-17 Shootdown Culprits Implicates Ukraine Allies

The Danger of an MH-17 ‘Cold Case’
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

Now more than six months after the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, the refusal of the Obama administration to make public what intelligence evidence it has about who was responsible has created fertile ground for conspiracy theories to take root while reducing hopes for holding the guilty parties accountable.
 
Given the U.S. government’s surveillance capabilities – from satellite and aerial photographs to telephonic and electronic intercepts to human sources – American intelligence surely has a good idea what happened on July 17, 2014, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people onboard.
 Malaysia Airways’ Boeing 777 like the one that
crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.
(Photo: Aero Icarus, Zürich, Switzerland)
 
I’m told that President Barack Obama has received briefings on what this evidence shows and what U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded about the likely guilty parties — and that Obama may have shared some of those confidential findings with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when they met on Dec. 24 in Hawaii.
 
But the U.S. government has gone largely silent on the subject after its initial rush to judgment pointing fingers at ethnic Russian rebels for allegedly firing the missile and at the Russian government for supposedly supplying a sophisticated Buk anti-aircraft battery capable of bringing down the aircraft at 33,000 feet.
 

Rights Group Brings Constitutional Challenge to Solitary Confinement

BREAKING: We're taking on solitary confinement

by BCCLA

Just moments ago, the BC Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada launched a constitutional challenge to solitary confinement in Canadian prisons.
 
Solitary confinement, also known as “segregation”, is the practice of confining a prisoner to a cell and depriving him or her of Meaningful human contact for up to 23 hours a day, sometimes for months or years at a time.

Indefinite solitary confinement is torture


 The negative effects of long-term solitary confinement are well-documented. These effects include psychosis, hallucinations, insomnia and confusion. Solitary confinement can create mental illness where none previously existed, or worsen pre-existing illness.

At a time when the rest of the world is scaling back the use of solitary confinement, Canada remains steadfast in its reliance on a broken and dangerous system.
https://bccla.org/our-work/solitary-confinement/ 

It’s time to end the abuse of solitary confinement


The Canadian government has ignored repeated calls to reform its use of solitary confinement for decades. We’re suing the Government of Canada to ensure that out of sight is not out of mind, and that the constitutional rights of prisoners are protected.

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Wilderness Committee Faces Down Taseko "SLAPP" Suit

Wilderness Committee to appear in court to answer Taseko's defamation charge
by Wilderness Committee
 Courthouse gathering to show support for the right to comment without fear of prosecution.

VANCOUVER - The Wilderness Committee will appear in court starting today to defend against a defamation suit brought by Taseko Mines Ltd.

The lawsuit stems from comments made by the Wilderness Committee in 2012, during a public comment period for Taseko's proposed New Prosperity Mine.
 
The mine proposal, which risked harming Fish Lake ("Teztan Biny"), has since been turned down by the Government of Canada because of unacceptable risks to the environment and Aboriginal rights. The defamation hearing is expected to continue for two weeks.
 
"We say that this court action by Taseko Mines is meant to put a chill on public opposition. Like many others, we want to see the Fish Lake area protected and the company's mine plans abandoned forever," said Joe Foy, National Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee.

"Lawsuits like these eat away at the very foundations of democracy and free speech, which form the basis of our society. We intend to stand our ground," said Foy.
 

Turning Over the Rocks on L'Affair Charlie Hebdo

Je ne suis pas Charlie: The extremely dark and unexamined underside of the Charlie Hebdo affair
by John Chuckman - Intrepid Report
We hear much about bloody events in Paris being an attack upon Western traditions and freedom of the press, and I am sorry but such claims are close to laughable, even though there is nothing remotely funny about mass murder. It certainly is not part of the best Western tradition to insult the revered figures of major religions. You are, of course, technically free to do so in many Western countries—always remembering that in many of them, a wrong target for your satire will get you a prison term for “hate crimes”—but it does represent little more than poor judgment and extremely bad taste to exercise that particular freedom.
 
What Charlie Hebdo does is not journalism, it is sophomoric jokes and thinly disguised propaganda. Hebdo’s general tone and themes place it completely outside the mythic tableau of heroic defender of free speech or daring journalism, it being very much a vehicle for the interests of American imperialism through NATO.
 
Of course, the best Western traditions don’t outlaw what garments or symbols people may wear for their beliefs, as France has done.
 

ICC War Crimes Investigation in Palestine Announced/Denounced

ICC Prosecutor Opens Probe into War Crimes against Palestinians
by Agencies and Ma’an
The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor on Friday opened an initial probe to see if war crimes have been committed against Palestinians, including during last year’s Gaza war.
 
“Today the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine,” her office said in a statement, adding it may lead to a full-blown investigation.

Bensouda said her office would conduct its “analysis in full independence and impartiality.”
 
“A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with a (full) investigation,” Bensouda said.

Depending on her findings, Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch or quash the investigation, based on the initial probe.
 

Pilger on Press, Propaganda, and New Cold War Film Project

John Pilger Speaks on Censorship and the New Cold War
Four weeks ago on December 20, filmmaker and award winning journalist John Pilger spoke for 20 minutes with Afshin Rattansi, host of Russia Today‘s program Going Underground.

They talked about the headdline events of the year, notably the revelations of the torture regime that is operated by the CIA and the U.S. government, the crisis in Ukraine and the growing economic, political and military offensive agaisnt Russia and China.

John Pilger with Afshin Rattansi Dec 20, 2014

The interview followed by several weeks the speech delivered by Pilger to the inaugural, annual conference of the Center for Investigative Journalism., on December 5. He was the featured speaker at the conference’s Logan Symposium. You can view or read that speech here on New Cold War.org.




John Pilger is crowdfunding for his new documentary film project, ‘‘The Coming War between America and China’, about the perceived threat to the US from China’. Read more about the film and the crowfunding appeal here on John Pilger’s website.
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Europe's Reichstag Fire: Spain Joins Post-Charlie Anti-Democratic Swell

Spanish government uses Paris terror attack to clamp down on democratic rights
by Alejandro López - WSWS
 
Reichstag FireLast Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy participated along with other heads of government in the official march in Paris in defence of “freedom of speech” following the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo.

His attendance was the height of hypocrisy. As minister of justice under Prime Minister José María Aznar (1996-2004) Rajoy closed down two Basque newspapers. He now leads a right-wing Popular Party (PP) government that is using every opportunity to clamp down on democratic rights.

The PP has used the latest attack on Charlie Hebdo to introduce new amendments to two pieces of legislation going through congress: the Citizens Security Law and the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). Rajoy has summoned a “highest level” meeting with the Socialist Party (PSOE), the main opposition party, to reach an agreement on the changes.

An amendment to Article 573 of the CPC aims at punishing “with imprisonment of between one to eight years those who on a daily or regular basis access online communication services or acquire or are in possession of documents which target, or because of their content, result in inciting others to decide to join a terrorist organization or group.”

In other words, anyone who accesses web sites deemed to be supporting terrorism could find themselves in prison.