Seymour Hersh has published a long account of the homicide of Osama bin Laden. He concludes that the Obama regime’s account of the killing of bin Laden is a total fabrication except for the fact that bin Laden was killed.
I do not believe Hersh’s story for three reasons.
One reason is that bin Laden was suffering from disease that no one can survive for a decade. His death was widely reported in 2001.
One reason is that even Hersh’s “true” account of “what really happened” is contradicted by eye witnesses and the initial Pakistani TV interviews of eye witnesses. One reason is that Hersh’s story is too convoluted for an assassination raid, a routine event.
He exposes lies within lies, indecision within decision, payoffs within payoffs, and reports such a huge number of people with advance knowledge of the raid that it cannot possibly have been kept a secret.
I could add a fourth reason–the US government’s lack of credibility.
Stop the Suits Tour: International Investment Agreements Threaten People and the Environment from El Salvador to Canada
by MiningInjustice.org In anticipation of an imminent ruling from a little known investor-state arbitration tribunal at the World Bank that could force El Salvador to pay Canadian-Australian mining firm OceanaGold US$301 million, a Salvadoran delegation will visit Canada next week to discuss how investor-state arbitration threatens democratic decision-making, public health and the environment here and beyond our borders.
From May 11 to 15, Yanira Cortez, Deputy Attorney for the Environment for El Salvador’s Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office and Marcos Gálvez, President of the Association for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES, a founding member of the National Roundtable against Metal Mining) will travel from Montreal to Ottawa-Gatineau and Toronto.
They will speak publicly and meet with Members of Parliament to request support for the Salvadoran people’s struggle and warn of dangers that Canadians face through investor provisions in existing and proposed free trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
US Still Seeks Jail for ‘Fighter’ Captured at 15 in Afghanistan: Child Soldier released from jail by Canadian court
by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening The good news is that an appellate judge in Canada has had the courage and good sense to uphold the release from jail on bail of Omar Khadr, a native of Canada who was captured as a child soldier at the age of 15 in Afghanistan by US forces back in 2002 and shipped off to Guantanamo, where he became one of the children held in captivity there illegally.
The bad news is that Khadr, who spent 13 years in captivity, most of them in America's Guantanamo hellhole, should never have been imprisoned in the first place. Brought along at the age of 14 to fight in Afghanistan by his father, a Canadian Muslim extremist who was killed in Afghanistan, the young Khadr should have, when captured, been treated under international law not as a combatant, illegal or otherwise. Under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty signed by the US and thus an integral part of US law, all children under the age of 18 captured while fighting in wars are to be offered “special protection” and treated as victims, not as combatants.
Instead, as Reuters reports, "Khadr claims that during at least 142 interrogations in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, he was beaten, chained in painful positions, forced to urinate on himself, terrorized by barking dogs, subjected to flashing lights and sleep deprivation and threatened with rape."
Under these circumstances, and fearing that he would never leave Guantanamo, Khadr in 2010, at the age of 23, agreed to plead guilty to the US military’s spurious murder charge, so that he could be sent to serve out his prison sentence in his home country of Canada. Now appealing his sentence, and renouncing his plea on the grounds that it was made under duress, he will be confined to the home of his attorney under the court’s order.
Illegitimate Government: News Blackout on London Protest
by Craig Murray The almost total blackout on broadcast media of the police attack on the popular protest by thousands outside Downing Street – with 30 injured and 17 arrests – is in stark contrast to the wall to wall coverage of the staged fake “riot” in Glasgow in which 6 people were slightly rude to Jim Murphy with no arrests and no injuries.
Thanks to the UK’s appalling electoral system, we now have a seriously right wing government with absolute power from an absolute parliamentary majority, but which 63% of voters voted against, and which was supported by only 23% of those eligible to vote. Many of the 38% who did not vote at all, were not apathetic but actively disgusted by a corrupt political system which offers little meaningful choice in most of the UK.
Legitimacy is a different question to legality. The government is undoubtedly legal under the current rotten system, but its legitimacy is a different question entirely.
Legitimacy lies on the popular consent of the governed. With an extreme government supported by only 23% of the population, actively planning to inflict actual harm on many more than 23% of the population, there are legitimate philosophical questions to be asked about the right of the government to rule.
US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared side by side with his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh Thursday and praised the monarchical oil regime for its role in the bloody nearly two-month-old war against Yemen, the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.
The Saudi royals were to be commended, he said, for their “initiative to bring about a peaceful resolution through the announcement of their intent to establish a full, five-day, renewable ceasefire and humanitarian pause.”
Kerry used the word “intent” advisedly.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
Even as he spoke, Saudi warplanes continued to pound Yemeni homes, schools and hospitals into rubble, carrying out at least seven airstrikes Thursday against the port city of Hudaydah and five against the northwestern provincial capital of Sa’ada, a stronghold of Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement that the Saudi regime is determined to crush.
Earlier, Saudi warships fired rockets into the town of Hajjah, striking the Maydi Hospital, and more than 100 airstrikes in other areas of the country left scores dead, many of them women and children.
When I think of America’s place in the world today, the image that comes to mind is of a very large animal, perhaps a huge bull elephant or even prehistoric mammoth, which long roamed as the unchallenged king of its domain but has become trapped by its own missteps, as caught in a tar pit or some quicksand, and it is violently flailing about, making a terrifying noises in its effort to free itself and re-establish its authority.
Any observer immediately knows the animal ultimately cannot succeed but certainly is frightened by the noise and crashing that it can sustain for a considerable time.
I think that is the pretty accurate metaphor for the situation of the United States today, still a terribly large and powerful society but one finding itself trapped after a long series of its own blunders and errors, a society certain ultimately to become diminished in its prestige and relative power with all the difficulties which that will entail for an arrogant people having a blind faith in their own rightness.
America simply cannot accept its mistakes or that it was ever wrong, for Americanism much resembles a fundamentalist religion whose members are incapable of recognizing or admitting they ever followed anything but the divine plan.
Some of the worst nights of my life have taken place in early May — Margaret Thatcher’s first election victory on May 3, 1979 (when I was too young to even vote), and the 2010 election, on May 6, 2010, which brought a Tory-led coalition government, led by David Cameron, to power.
There were other dreadful nights, on or around May — the Tory victories on June 9, 1983, June 11, 1987 and April 9, 1992 — and after the anti-Tory euphoria of Tony Blair’s victory wore off, following New Labour’s landslide victory on May 1, 1997, the reality of a New Labour Britain was of course a huge disappointment, as the party embarked on its own neo-liberal trajectory, and the country became host to a housing price casino that was a poor substitute for an actual functioning economy — and, in 2003, also became the home of an illegal warmonger.
"Roiling, Broiling, Scheming, and Dreaming"
(Right to Left, UK federal politicos, and Boris)
As a result, the rest of New Labour’s victories — on June 7, 2001 and May 5, 2005 — were also disappointing, as the party failed to remember what it was supposed to be, and continued, instead, as a general betrayer of its founding values. On those occasions, however, the disappointment in a Labour victory was, pragmatically, offset by slim gratitude that at least the Tories weren’t back in.
by Sharmine Narwani - RT This needs to be spelled out: The biggest threat to Middle East stability today is a Sunni one - and it comes not from its largely downtrodden population, but from the epicenter of current Sunni political and religious leadership.
The Shiites have their leadership. So too do Arab Christians, the Druze, Kurds and countless other sects, ethnic groups and tribes in the broader Middle East.
But who looks after the Sunni masses? What major Sunni leader speaks representatively on behalf of these tens of millions of constituents? Who ensures Sunni access to social mobility gives them a voice at the table and champions their key economic and political grievances?
Amnesty International has issued four reports on the Massacre in Gaza in 2014 . Given the scale of the destruction and the number of fatalities, any attempt to document the crimes committed should be welcomed.
But these reports are problematic, and raise questions about this organization , including why they were written at all. It also raises questions about the broader human rights industry that are worth considering.
July 2014 marked the onset of the Israeli massacre in Gaza (I will dispense with the Israeli sugar-coated operation names). The Israeli army trained for this attack for several months before finding a pretext to attack Gaza, shattering an existing ceasefire; this was the third such post-“disengagement” (2004) attack, and possibly the worst so far. At least 2,215 were killed and 10,000+ wounded, most of them civilians.
The scale of destruction was staggering: tens of thousands of houses rendered uninhabitable; several high-rise buildings struck by huge American-supplied bombs; schools and hospitals targeted; 61 mosques totally destroyed; water purification and sewage treatment plants damaged; Gaza’s main flour mill bombed; all chicken farms ravaged; an incalculable devastation .
Andrew Weaver, M.L.A. Oak Bay-Gordon Head Constituency Office: 219 - 3930 Shelbourne Street Victoria, BC V8P 5P6 Phone: 250 472-8528 Fax: 250 472-6123 e-mail: Andrew.Weaver.MLA@ leg.bc.ca
Province of British Columbia Legislative Assembly Legislative Office: Room 027 Parliament Buildings Victoria, BC V8V 1X4 7 May 2015
Dear Mr. Lynn, I was contacted today by a constituent who was profoundly troubled by the nature of the advertising displayed on a billboard that I understand your company leases on the Pat Bay Highway between Mount Newton Cross Road and Island View Road.
I share my constituent’s concerns and I attach a picture of the billboard below.
UPDATE: I’m delighted to report that Justice Myra Bielby has granted Omar’s bail. “Mr. Khadr, you are free to go,” she said at the hearing today in the appeals court in Edmonton. The Toronto Star reported that Omar “broke into a big, wide smile when the decision was read. His supporters in the courtroom erupted in cheers.”
As the Guardian described it, however, “Khadr’s legal ordeal is far from over. The government has given notice that it intends to challenge the bail order itself.”
Nevertheless, I believe the government needs to accept that its vindictive demonization of Omar has run its course. On June 25, Omar will go before a parole board, providing another opportunity for him to be granted his freedom.
Omar’s long-established attorney Dennis Edney, with whom he will be living, told reporters, “I intend to drive him straight home,” and added, as the Guardian put it, that “he had squeezed [his] finger and said: ‘We did it.'” His other longtime attorney, Nathan Whitling, said, “Whatever anyone may think of Mr. Khadr, he’s now served his time.”
The updated logo for the Free Omar Khadr Now campaign
Edney added that “he expects to hold a press conference on Friday so Khadr can address the public for the first time,” as the Guardian described it. “I look forward to Omar Khadr letting the Canadian public see who he really is, to challenge the lies of this government, who have not allowed him to be seen or to speak to you media,” Edney said. He also said, “Mr. Harper is a bigot. Mr. Harper doesn’t like Muslims. He wants to prove he’s tough on crime so who does he pick on? A 15-year-old boy.”