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Fri, 09 Dec 2022
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Israeli Airstrikes Injure 2 in Northern Gaza Strip

Image

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet
At least two Palestinians have been injured in Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, local medical sources say.


Israeli F-16 warplanes carried out the attacks on northern Gaza late on Friday night, Xinhua reported.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says Israel launched over 58 air and ground assaults on the Gaza Strip in June, which killed over a dozen Palestinians and injured many others.

The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, which is a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

USA

Surprise! US Acquits CIA of Killing and Torturing of Prisoners

CIA controla tráfico de drogas2
© Desconocido
The US Justice Department ended a four-year probe into the CIA's controversial, and at times brutal, treatment of detainees, closing two final homicide investigations without filing charges. The decision sparked outrage among human rights supporters.

­US Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that no charges will be filed in the cases of two terror suspects who died in CIA custody - one in Iraq in 2003 and another in Afghanistan in 2002. "The admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt," Holder said.

Gul Rahman died in 2002 at a secret prison in Afghanistan known as the 'Salt Pit' after being bound to a wall in near-freezing temperatures. Manadel al-Jamadi, also a suspected militant, died in 2003 in Iraq's Abu Ghraib, where his corpse was photographed, wrapped in plastic and packed in ice.

The two cases were the final verdicts in a widespread criminal probe by federal prosecutor John Durham into interrogation techniques used during the presidency of George W. Bush. Durham determined that a number of the detainees were never in CIA custody, and all the cases have now been closed without charges.

Durham examined the treatment of 101 detainees who were taken into custody by the US in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. The probe, which lasted more than four years, began in 2008 in the wake of an investigation into the CIA's destruction of videotapes of interrogations of terror suspects. The case was later expanded to include the deaths of the two prisoners.

Thursday's decision sparked outrage among human rights groups.

Light Sabers

Update: Navy SEAL Author Rejects the Pentagon's Legal Threat

No Easy Day
© LA Times
A book cover image released by Dutton shows No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer.
Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette is going to tell his version of events surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden, even if the Pentagon sues him for every last penny.

Last night, the Defense Department's top attorney wrote a letter to Bissonnette threatening to use "all remedies legally available" against him for the publication of No Easy Day, his firsthand account of the mission to kill bin Laden in Pakistan. "You are in material breach and violation of the nondisclosure agreements you signed," wrote Pentagon general counsel Jeh Charles Johnson. The letter hinted at a criminal prosecution of Bissonnete for disclosing classified information and threatened to seize the royalties from his book and go after his publisher Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group. In a written response, a lawyer representing Bissonnette denied his client breached his nondisclosure agreement in a letter to the Pentagon. (The letter, obtained by The Atlantic Wire, refers to Bissonnette under his pen name Mark Owen.)

"Mr. Owen sought legal advice about his responsibilities before agreeing to publish his book and scrupulously reviewed the work to ensure that it did not disclose any material that would breach his agreements or put his former comrades at risk," wrote Robert D. Luskin, an attorney at D.C. lobbying behemoth Patton Boggs. "Mr. Owen is proud of his service and respectful of his obligations. But he has earned the right to tell his story."

Airplane

US Drone Strike Kills 5 "Militants" in Pakistan

drones espías‎
© hispantv.com
Islamabad - Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed five militants in northwest Pakistan.

Two intelligence officials said at least seven missiles were fired from U.S. drones Saturday at a vehicle and a house in the village of Degan in the Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan near the Afghan border.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

They said the area is dominated by anti-American militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur. They did not know whether the killed men belong to his group.

The CIA-run drone program is controversial in Pakistan where many call it an infringement on the nation's sovereignty. The U.S. maintains it is necessary tool to combat militants.

Source: The Associated Press

Attention

Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts

The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out.

Bernanke
© The Silver Bear Cafe
Ben Bernanke (pictured to the right), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve's nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander's webpage earlier this morning.

What was revealed in the audit was startling:

$16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world's banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious - the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

Comment: It's not "socialism for the rich"; that's an oxymoron.

It's corporatism, i.e. fascism, as defined by Benito Mussolini.


Attention

Pentagon Warns Navy SEAL Author on Bin Laden Book

No Easy Day
© LA Times
A book cover image released by Dutton shows No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer.
Washington -- The Pentagon formally warned a former Navy SEAL who has written a first-person account of the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden that he has violated his signed agreement not to divulge classified information, and threatened him with legal action.

"In the judgment of the Department of Defense, you are in material breach and violation of the non-disclosure agreements you signed," Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson said Thursday in a letter addressed to Mark Owen, the pen name of author Matt Bissonnette.

The letter says the Pentagon is considering "all legal remedies available to us." Officials said they could include a lawsuit aimed at claiming profit from Bissonnette's book, No Easy Day. Due to be released next week, it is already on bestseller lists.

Bissonnette did not submit the book to the Pentagon to undergo a review for classified information, even though the requirement to do so was contained in a non-disclosure agreement he signed in 2007, Johnson said in the letter.

The account is the first by a member of SEAL Team Six, which carried out the stealthy nighttime assault on Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Black Cat

Psychopathic, Long and Lawless Ride of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

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© Peter Yang
Joe Arpaio with detainees at his Tent City, which has been slapped with a federal lawsuit.
Locking up the innocent. Arresting his critics. Racial profiling. Meet America's meanest and most corrupt politician.

Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!


Joe Arpaio, the 80-year-old lawman who brands himself "America's toughest sheriff," is smiling like a delighted gnome. Nineteen floors above the blazing Arizona desert, the Phoenix sprawl ripples in the heat as Arpaio cues up the Rolling Stones to welcome a reporter "from that marijuana magazine."

Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!

The guided tour of Arpaio's legend has officially begun. Here, next to his desk, is the hand-painted sign of draconian rules for Tent City, the infamous jail he set up 20 years ago, in which some 2,000 inmates live under canvas tarps in the desert, forced to wear pink underwear beneath their black-and-white-striped uniforms while cracking rocks in the stifling heat. HARD LABOR, the sign reads. NO GIRLIE MAGAZINES!

From behind his desk, Arpaio pulls out a stack of news clips about himself, dozens of them, featuring the gruff, no-frills enforcer of Maricopa County, whose officers regularly round up illegal immigrants in late-night raids, his 60th made only a few days ago, at a local furniture store. "Everything I did, all over the world," he crows, flipping through the stories. "You can see this week: national magazine of Russia... BBC... Some people call me a publicity hound."

"My people said, 'You're stupid to do an interview with that magazine,'" says Arpaio, talking about Rolling Stone, "but hey, controversy - well, it hasn't hurt me in 50 years."

Arpaio is an unabashed carnival barker. And his antics might be amusing if he weren't also notorious for being not just the toughest but the most corrupt and abusive sheriff in America. As Arizona has become center stage for the debate over illegal immigration and the civil rights of Latinos, Arpaio has sold himself as the symbol of nativist defiance, a modern-day Bull Connor bucking the federal government over immigration policy. As such, he's become the go-to media prop for conservative politicians, from state legislators to presidential candidates, who want to be seen as immigration hard-liners. "I had Michele Bachmann sitting right there," says Arpaio, pointing to my chair. "All these presidential guys coming to see me!"

As Arpaio has faced allegations of rampant racial profiling in Arizona, he's declared war on President Barack Obama, accusing him of watering down federal immigration law to court the Latino vote - while Arpaio himself continues to investigate the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate, the favored conspiracy of his far-right constituents. "I'm not going to get into everything else we got about the president," he brags to a conservative radio interviewer while I'm sitting in his office. "I could write 9 million books."

Comment: For more background on the antics of Arpaio and his minions read:
'Toughest sheriff in America' under fire for warrantless arrests of critics in the middle of the night
Arizona, US: DOJ Uncovers Rampant Lawbreaking By Sheriff Joe Arpaio Despite His Stonewalling
US Police Brutality: Video Shows Joe Arpaio's Officer Used Taser On Latino Vet Who Later Died
Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona Sheriff
US, Arizona: Critics: 'Tough' sheriff botched sex-crime cases


Bad Guys

Karl Rove Jokes About Murdering Todd Akin

Karl Rove
© Fox News
At a Thursday morning fundraiser for his super PAC, former Bush political strategist Karl Rove told an audience of billionaires and influential investors that a chance for Republican control of the Senate is in jeopardy, then made a joke about Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) being "mysteriously murdered."

"We should sink Todd Akin," he said, according to Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Sheelah Kolhatkar. "If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts!"

Rove added that there are "five people" interested in challenging Akin, potentially through a write-in campaign. "We don't care who the nominee is, other than to get Akin out," he reportedly said.

Rove has led a chorus of Republicans who want the embattled Missouri Senate candidate to pull out of the race after Akin told a reporter that women have some kind of biological defense against pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."

Info

Soldiers suspected of plotting to kill Obama face death penalty

soldiers
Three serving soldiers who allegedly set up a militia group within the US army, which plotted to overthrow the government and assassinate President Obama, face the death penalty after they were arraigned on murder charges.

Prosecutors in Georgia announced on Thursday they would seek death sentences in one of the most startling and potentially serious cases of an anti-government militia to be brought before the courts in recent years. They alleged that the soldiers stockpiled almost $90,000 worth of guns and bomb-making equipment which they planned to use to kill the president and carry out a range of other violent acts.

The three accused - Isaac Aguigui, fellow private Christopher Salmon and sergeant Anthony Peden - are all on active duty at Fort Stewart in Georgia, home of the army's 3rd infantry division. They are accused of having killed in execution style their former army comrade, Michael Roark, 19, and his 17-year-old girlfriend Tiffany York.

Earlier this week another serving soldier, private Michael Burnett, who was allegedly part of the militia, cut a deal with the prosecution in which he pleaded guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and gang activity in return for turning prosecution witness. He gave evidence in which he said he was present at the murder of the couple on 4 December.

He said he and the soldiers lured the pair into the woods near the army post on pretence they were going for gun target practice. Burnett said he saw Peden shoot York twice in the head while she was getting out of their car, and then witnessed Salmon force Roark to fall onto his knees before shooting him similarly: twice in the head.

USA

Think You're Free? Guess Again - 10 Rights You May Not Have Much Longer

Our struggle for liberty is a fight against concentrated wealth.

Our most fundamental rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are under assault. But the adversary is Big Wealth, not Big Government as conservatives like to claim. Consider:

Life? The differences in life expectancy between wealthier and lower-income Americans are increasing, not decreasing.

Liberty? Digital corporations are assaulting our privacy, while banks trap us in indebtedness that approaches indentured servitude. The shrunken ranks of working Americans are being robbed of their essential liberties - including the right to use the bathroom.

The pursuit of happiness? Social mobility in the United States is dead. Career choices are increasingly limited. As for working hard and earning more, consider this: Between 1969 and 2008 the average US income went up by $11,684. How much of that went to the top 10? All of it. Income for the remaining 90 percent actually went down.