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Mon, 17 May 2021
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Vader

Libya: Western leaders call for Nato to target Gaddafi

mccain
© Reuters

The calls came as Col Gaddafi was reported to have strengthened his grip on power by repatriating billions of dollars in overseas assets that should have been frozen by UN sanctions.

On Sunday, there was growing pressure on Coalition forces to directly target Col Gaddafi with military strikes.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said that the quickest way to end the emerging stalemate was to "cut the head of the snake off". He said: "The people around Gaddafi need to wake up every day wondering, 'Will this be my last?'

Senator John McCain, who visited Libya at the weekend, also said that the Libyan dictator should be targeted but argued that it was more important to increase American firepower over Libya. He said: "It's pretty obvious to me that the US has got to play a greater role on the air power side. Our Nato allies neither have the assets, nor frankly the will - there's only six countries of the 28 in Nato that are actively engaged in this situation."

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, also on Sunday refused to rule out using remote-controlled American drones to assassinate Col Gaddafi. Mr Hague said "who and what is a legitimate target depends on their behaviour." However, he denied that there was a stalemate in Libya and ruled out proposals to partition the country.

Chess

The Corporate State Wins Again

Image
© Common Dreams
When did our democracy die? When did it irrevocably transform itself into a lifeless farce and absurd political theater? When did the press, labor, universities and the Democratic Party - which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible - wither and atrophy? When did reform through electoral politics become a form of magical thinking? When did the dead hand of the corporate state become unassailable?

The body politic was mortally wounded during the long, slow strangulation of ideas and priorities during the Red Scare and the Cold War. Its bastard child, the war on terror, inherited the iconography and language of permanent war and fear. The battle against internal and external enemies became the excuse to funnel trillions in taxpayer funds and government resources to the war industry, curtail civil liberties and abandon social welfare. Skeptics, critics and dissenters were ridiculed and ignored. The FBI, Homeland Security and the CIA enforced ideological conformity. Debate over the expansion of empire became taboo. Secrecy, the anointing of specialized elites to run our affairs and the steady intrusion of the state into the private lives of citizens conditioned us to totalitarian practices. Sheldon Wolin points out in Democracy Incorporated that this configuration of corporate power, which he calls "inverted totalitarianism," is not like Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto,"the result of a premeditated plot. It grew, Wolin writes, from "a set of effects produced by actions or practices undertaken in ignorance of their lasting consequences."

MIB

Guantánamo Bay files: Al-Qaida assassin 'worked for MI6 and Canada's Secret Intelligence'

  • Leaked Guantánamo papers link UK to Algerian militant
  • At least 123 prisoners incriminated by one informer


  • al Jazairi
    © Unknown
    CIA believed Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili ‘withheld important information’ from British intelligence, the files reveal.
    An al-Qaida operative accused of bombing two Christian churches and a luxury hotel in Pakistan in 2002 was at the same time working for British intelligence, according to secret files on detainees who were shipped to the US military's Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

    Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili, an Algerian citizen described as a "facilitator, courier, kidnapper, and assassin for al-Qaida", was detained in Pakistan in 2003 and later sent to Guantánamo Bay.

    But according to Hamlili's Guantánamo "assessment" file, one of 759 individual dossiers obtained by the Guardian, US interrogators were convinced that he was simultaneously acting as an informer for British and Canadian intelligence.

    Comment: Are we supposed to believe that British and Canadian intelligence innocently received information from Hamlili without any awareness of his activities?

    The fact is that a man involved with terrorist groups - labeled 'al-Qaida' by western intelligence for purposes of propaganda and psy-ops - was also working for western intelligence. How more obvious can it get?

    Interestingly, according to the New York Times, the Guantánamo files were not obtained from WikiLeaks - which actually makes them more credible. WikiLeaks has a tendency to leak only items which happen to be convenient for Israeli interests, and to a lesser degree, US interests.


    Eye 1

    China warns against "interference" ahead of U.S. rights talks

    Image
    © Reuters
    Pro-democracy protesters carry portraits of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

    Beijing - The Chinese government warned on Tuesday against using human rights disputes as what it called a tool to meddle, ahead of talks with the United States that will focus on complaints about Beijing's crackdown on dissent.

    The two-day-long human rights dialogue, from Wednesday, with U.S. Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner and other Washington officials, will come at a sensitive time over the issue, long a sore point with Beijing.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said his government was willing to discuss rights issues with the United States as equals. But he warned against what Beijing sees as Western over-reaching.

    Eye 1

    Russia warns over new U.N. resolution on Libya

    moscow
    © Unknown

    Moscow - Russia said on Tuesday it will not support any United Nations Security Council resolutions on Libya which could escalate the conflict in the North African nation, local news agencies reported.

    "If a resolution leads to a further escalation of a civil war by any means, including outside intervention, we will not be able to support this," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

    Russia, a veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council member, abstained last month from the vote on a resolution authorizing force to protect civilians in Libya by enforcing a no-fly zone.

    Eye 1

    Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world's most controversial prison

  • Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts
  • Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held
  • 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release
  • Interactive guide to all 779 detainees

  • Clive Stafford Smith, legal director of Reprieve, discusses the 'extraordinarily thin' evidence used to hold prisoners and the 'nonsense' cooked up by a group of serial informers to get privileges Link to this video
    More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America's controversial prison camp in Cuba.

    The US military dossiers, obtained by the New York Times and the Guardian, reveal how, alongside the so-called "worst of the worst", many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment.

    The 759 Guantánamo files, classified "secret", cover almost every inmate since the camp was opened in 2002. More than two years after President Obama ordered the closure of the prison, 172 are still held there.

    The files depict a system often focused less on containing dangerous terrorists or enemy fighters, than on extracting intelligence. Among inmates who proved harmless were an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim.

    The old man was transported to Cuba to interrogate him about "suspicious phone numbers" found in his compound. The 14-year-old was shipped out merely because of "his possible knowledge of Taliban...local leaders"

    USA

    Will the 'Age of America' end in 2016?

    Image

    A house sits boarded up in Detroit where the population has declined 25% since 1910.

    Is the "Age of America" drawing to a close? According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its demise as the leading economic power is five years away and the next president of the United States will preside over an economy that plays second fiddle to China's.

    The lender posted data on its World Economic Outlook that puts 2016 as Year Zero for China as the world's dominant economic power -- the year when China's growth trajectory intersects the decline of the U.S.'s share of world gross domestic product in terms of purchasing price parity.

    According to the figures, the Chinese economy would grow from $11.2 trillion in 2011 to $19 trillion in 2016. Over the same period, the U.S. economy will rise from a dominant $15.2 trillion to a trailing $18.8 trillion.

    Battery

    USA: Washington State Proposes $100 Annual Fee for Gas-Dodging EV Owners

    Image
    © Unknown
    Nissan Leaf
    Owners of electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf (100-mile driving range) and the Tesla Roadster (211-mile driving range) have the advantage of traveling on America's roads without having to spend a penny on gasoline. And even though the Chevrolet Volt uses a gasoline engine when its battery pack is exhausted, some drivers have managed to average 1,000 miles between gas stops.

    The State of Washington, however, isn't too keen on EV drivers skirting the state's gas tax, which helps to maintain the roads that EV drivers travel on every day. According to the Associated Press, Washington has a $5 billion dollar deficit, and hitting the pockets of EV owners is just one way to help close the gap.

    Washington's gas excise tax is one of the highest in the nation at 49.4 cents per gallon [PDF] -- 31 cents of the total is from the state, while the federal tax is 18.4 cents. Assuming that the average driver travels about 12,000 miles per year, a Nissan Leaf driver (EPA rated 99 mpg) would only be skipping out on $38 of the state's portion of gasoline excise tax. For a Chevrolet Volt driver (EPA rated 93 mpg on battery power), the tax revenue lost by the state would amount to $40.

    Handcuffs

    Guantánamo Bay files: Children and senile old men among detainees

    Canadian Omar Khadr was 15 when captured and is still there after nearly nine years, while men as old as 89 have been held


    Footage from the interrogation of Omar Khadr, who was taken to Guantánamo Bay aged 15

    The Guantánamo files reveal the often fragile physical and mental condition of Guantánamo's oldest and youngest residents, who have included an 89-year-old man and boys as young as 14.

    In 2002 Guantánamo prisoners were described as "the worst of a very bad lot" by Dick Cheney, US vice-president. "They are very dangerous. They are devoted to killing millions of Americans, innocent Americans, if they can, and they are perfectly prepared to die in the effort."

    But the internal files on some prisoners paint a very different picture. A 2002 assessment of Guantánamo's oldest prisoner, Mohammed Sadiq, who was then 89, revealed dementia, depression and sickness. "His current medical issues include major depressive disorder, senile dementia and osteoarthritis, for which he receives prescribed treatment." The Afghan national was also being assessed for prostate cancer.

    Bad Guys

    A Government of Monsanto, by Monsanto, and for Monsanto

    Image
    © Activist Post
    With help from the FDA and USDA, the biotech industry is set to completely take over our food supply with genetically modified ingredients, irregardless of the wishes of "we the people." Through collusion, subterfuge, and a bit of back-door manipulation, Monsanto can write it's own ticket with the U.S. Federal Government's stamp of approval. If the rules get in the way, then change the rules, or at least their interpretation, to fit the situation.

    Monsanto is now ready to grow soybeans that are genetically modified to produce omega-3 fatty acids. The fact that the company is doing this comes as no surprise, but the important thing to note is the process that the FDA goes through to approve these types of substances as Generally Recognized as Safe, or GRAS, is to simply rubber-stamp the Monsanto application, no questions asked.
    The biotechnology firm Monsanto stands just one FDA approval away from growing soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce those omega-3 fatty acids that doctors are always recommending. (Forbes)