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The Unclassified Zelikow Torture Memo as Evidence of Crimes

Top secret graphic
© n/a
"My colleagues were entitled to ignore my views," he [Zelikow] continued. "They did more than that: The [2006] White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo. I expect that one or two are still at least in the State Department's archives." Phillip D. Zelikow, State Department Counselor, 2005-2007, to Congress, May 13, 2009

Former legal counsel to the Department of State, Phillip Zelikow, produced a convincing and elegant argument for the immediate cessation of anything that looked like torture in February 2006. The government declassified the memo last week and National Security Archive released it on April 3.

The failure to follow Zelikow's clear statement of the law, withholding the memo without justification, and the failure to prosecute those responsible for the previous acts represent evidence of crimes.

Zelikow's memo

Phillip Zelikow is the ultimate establishment insider. He took leave from his academic appointments at the University of Virginia to assist in the 2001 presidential transition. He helped Condoleezza Rice develop the doctrine of preemptive war after 9/11, and served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission. In that role, Zelikow shielded the Bush administration from responsibility for their epic failures associated with the attack.

When it came to blatant violations of laws that any rational person could understand, Zelikow had finally reached his limit.

Bad Guys

EPA Approves 'Agent Orange' Pesticide

grapefruit is sprayed by a worker
© Reuters/Joe Skipper
A grove of star ruby grapefruit is sprayed by a worker in a grove in Vero Beach, Florida.
The Environmental Protection Agency has refused a petition that aimed to ban the sale of a powerful pesticide linked with cancer - and while already available, a surge in sales is expected as scientists ready a new crop resistant to the chemical.

Not only has the EPA rejected a petition that sought to prohibit the domestic sale of the dangerous 2,4-D pesticide - a key ingredient in Agent Orange - but the main manufacturer of the chemical predicts that sales will skyrocket in the coming months. The reason, it would seem, is that Dow Chemicals is awaiting federal approval of a genetically engineered crop they've created that will be resistant to 2,4-D.

If approved, farmers will be able to plant the frankencrop corn variant and douse their fields with the pesticide to eliminate unwanted weeds with greater success. Although 2,4-D isn't currently used to a large degree on corn fields, all that could soon change for the country's most successful crop. Opponents argue, though, that the potential side effects of the pesticide are enough to push for a ban on 2,4-D altogether.

Bad Guys

Obama to Iran: Surrender Now or We'll Bomb You Later

Iran war graphic
© policymic.com
Former United States president George W Bush issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein before bombing and invading Iraq.

Nine years later, US President Barack Obama has issued an ultimatum to the leadership in Tehran before ... setting optimal conditions for an "all options on the table" exercise.

Obama has made an offer to Tehran to "negotiate" its nuclear program - ahead of long-delayed talks between the "Iran Six" (P5+1 - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and France - plus Germany) and Iran scheduled for Istanbul on Saturday.

For starters, it's not an offer; it's a list of demands - even before any negotiation takes place. And these "near term" concessions are packaged - according to the president's own rhetoric - as a "last chance".

In modern times, this used to be known as an ultimatum. In the post-everything era, it passes for "international diplomacy".

Bomb

Libya: So it was all about oil after all!

Zawiya oil refinery
© Reuters/Ismail Zitouny
A view of Zawiya oil refinery is pictured in Zawiya 57km (35 miles) west of Tripoli April 11, 2012
Last year NATO countries bombed Libya, demanding "democracy" in the
country. But now it's clear it was all about oil and it's not like the
Americans and Brits are going to be democratic about it, and share those
spoils equally with France and Italy.

So... oil giants Total from
France and ENI from Italy are just going to have to wait in the
sidelines while the hungry American and British big boys take their
juicy oil slices first... ExxonMobil, Chevron, Texaco, BP, Shell...

It's
no surprise then to read in The Wall Street Journal that the US
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), together with the puppet
Libyan "authorities" are launching "investigations" into both companies'
"financial irregularities" in their shady dealings during the forty-two
years of Gaddafi's power. Now who would have imagined this! An
Italian oil company involved in kick-backs? Corruption at the highest
echelons of the French oil industry?!? Tsk, tsk!!! Unheard of...!
The US and UK would never do something like that!! Just ask Enron, ask
Halliburton, ask BP...

Beaker

Explosive: Monsanto 'Knowingly Poisoned Workers' Causing Devastating Birth Defects

Image
© unk
In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused "devastating birth defects" in their children.

The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto's herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies "wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects."

Nuke

United States Circumvented Laws To Help Japan Accumulate Tons of Plutonium

Monju Nuclear Power Plant
© n/a
Monju Nuclear Power Plant
The United States deliberately allowed Japan access to the United States' most secret nuclear weapons facilities while it transferred tens of billions of dollars worth of American tax paid research that has allowed Japan to amass 70 tons of weapons grade plutonium since the 1980s, a National Security News Service investigation reveals. These activities repeatedly violated U.S. laws regarding controls of sensitive nuclear materials that could be diverted to weapons programs in Japan. The NSNS investigation found that the United States has known about a secret nuclear weapons program in Japan since the 1960s, according to CIA reports.

The diversion of U.S. classified technology began during the Reagan administration after it allowed a $10 billion reactor sale to China. Japan protested that sensitive technology was being sold to a potential nuclear adversary. The Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations permitted sensitive technology and nuclear materials to be transferred to Japan despite laws and treaties preventing such transfers. Highly sensitive technology on plutonium separation from the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site and Hanford nuclear weapons complex, as well as tens of billions of dollars worth of breeder reactor research was turned over to Japan with almost no safeguards against proliferation. Japanese scientist and technicians were given access to both Hanford and Savannah River as part of the transfer process.

While Japan has refrained from deploying nuclear weapons and remains under an umbrella of U.S. nuclear protection, NSNS has learned that the country has used its electrical utility companies as a cover to allow the country to amass enough nuclear weapons materials to build a nuclear arsenal larger than China, India and Pakistan combined.

This deliberate proliferation by the United States fuels arguments by countries like Iran that the original nuclear powers engage in proliferation despite treaty and internal legal obligations. Russia, France, Great Britain as well as the United States created civilian nuclear power industries around the world from their weapons complexes that amount to government-owned or subsidized industries. Israel, like Japan, has been a major beneficiary and, like Japan, has had nuclear weapons capabilities since the 1960s.

Bad Guys

Perverts in Power: The Torture-Lovers Who Rule Us

'Extraordinary Rendition' (2006)
© Chris Holden
'Extraordinary Rendition' (2006)
I.

The ordeal of Fatima Bouchar, detailed by Ian Cobain in the Guardian, exemplifies the vile essence of the 'Terror War' being conducted by United States and its abject satellite, Great Britain, against large swathes of the world's population (including, increasingly, their own people). It is a case of brutal torture against an innocent, defenseless pregnant woman, whose only "crime" was to be married to a man who belonged to an organization which had long been supported by the US and UK -- until the geopolitics of oil made the group expendable. It is a tale of cowardice and cruelty, of hypocrisy and corruption, of deliberate atrocity that exacerbates the extremism it purports to combat. It is the emblem of an evil system ordered, countenanced, championed and protected at the very highest levels of the two governments -- a system that is very much still in operation today.

Bouchar was married to Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a member of a group seeking to overthrow Moamar Gadafy in Libya. For 10 years, members of the group had been given asylum in Britain and other countries. According to credible reports, they were being supported by British intelligence in their efforts to oust the Libyan dictator. Then Gadafy began negotiating his deal with George W. Bush and Tony Blair to open up Libyan oil fields to the West. Suddenly, his enemies became enemies of the West; as in Afghanistan, stalwart "freedom fighters" were transformed into "terrorists" overnight, when the agenda of the West's corporate overlords demanded it. (The same process would be reversed in 2011, after Gadafy had proved less servile than expected.)

At that point, Bouchar and her husband suddenly became bargaining chips in the backroom deal being greased in Washington, London and Tripoli. As proved by secret files and messages unearthed in Libya after Gadafy's fall, Bouchar and Belhaj were offered to Gadafy as a gift from the British, a sweetener to pave the way for his first meeting with Tony Blair -- and for the oil deals that swiftly followed.

Star of David

Group leaks EU report on Israeli settler violence suppressed by Dutch government

israeli settlers
A European Union report on Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians, that was suppressed at the insistence of Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal, has been published today by a nongovernmental group.

The Rights Forum, an organization headed by outspoken former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt, released the EU report on its website.

The documents made available by The Rights Forum include a "Cover Note" from the EU Heads of Mission in Israeli-occupied Ramallah and an "EU Note on Settler Violence" dated February 2012.

Eye 1

Why No Sympathy for the Palestinians? The Disgusting Attacks on Gunter Grass

Gunter Grass
© AFP
The German writer Gunter Grass (The Tin Drum) had already predicted the response to his poem in SdZ. There is no reason to be surprised, but there is every reason to be disgusted. Within Germany both the elite and a layer of the population by their words and actions appear to have accepted the disgraceful Goldhagen thesis whereby all German were guilty for the crimes of the Third Reich. This thesis has now been developed further: all Germans are guilty for eternity for the crimes of the Third Reich.

Coffee

U.S. Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings

Journalist Seymour Hersh has revealed that the Bush administration secretly trained an Iranian opposition group on the State Department's list of foreign terrorists. Hersh reports the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command trained operatives from Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK, at a secret site in Nevada beginning in 2005. According to Hersh, MEK members were trained in intercepting communications, cryptography, weaponry and small unit tactics at the Nevada site up until President Obama took office.