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Sat, 15 May 2021
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Bad Guys

Australia linked to Abu Ghraib abuses: documents

© Unknown
Australia's military conspired with US guards to deny the Red Cross access to prisoners held at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib jail, including a high-value detainee, said documents published Tuesday.

Its officials also misled the public on the legality of interrogations, before prisoner abuse was exposed in photographs that shocked the world in May 2004, a year after the US-led invasion, a Sydney-based legal lobby group said.

The declassified documents, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, showed a "disturbing response by Australian officials regarding detainee mistreatment" the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) said.

Bizarro Earth

Sri Lankan Atrocities Exposed: 'It's like Israel and Palestine'

© unknown
Tamils mourn the dead in Jaffna.
A British TV documentary and a United Nations-commissioned report have confirmed long-standing Tamil allegations that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) committed large-scale war crimes in the course of its May 2009 victory over the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Atrocities perpetrated by the army during and after its recapture of the rebel-held areas of Tamil Eelam (Tamil areas in the north and east of Sri Lanka) included shelling civilians, depriving civilians of access to food, water and medicine, executing and torturing prisoners of war, systematic rape and holding civilians in concentration camps.

The Channel 4 documentary, screened in Britain on June 14, catalogued how the army declared "no fire zones" ― areas behind rebel lines that they undertook not to attack if civilians gathered there ― and then bombed them relentlessly when they were overcrowded with displaced people.

Hospitals were targeted after Red Cross workers had supplied the army with their coordinates.

The program included gruesome "trophy footage" shot by Sri Lankan soldiers on their mobile phones. An edited version of some of this footage, showing the beating and shooting of bound, blindfolded prisoners ,was released by Channel 4 in December.

The government's response to the abuse of Tamils has been more muted, although foreign minister Kevin Rudd did tell ABC radio's PM on July 5: "No-one watching this program could emerge from that undisturbed and we don't either."

Bad Guys

Canada Opposes Palestinian Bid for Recognition of Statehood

Stephen Harper
© unknown
Canada is rejecting a Palestinian effort to win recognition at the United Nations as an independent state.

The move is not surprising given that the Harper government has forcefully highlighted its loyalty to Israel and the United States. Both oppose the Palestinian initiative.

The Palestinian Authority, which controls most of the West Bank, launched a campaign last month that will see it pursue a vote on statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in September - an effort borne out of its frustration over a peace process that is stalled.

The top Palestinian diplomat in Canada says her official delegation will still push hard for the support of Ottawa.

"On the conflict, we would like to see the Canadian government taking a neutral stand, supporting the creation of the state of Palestine, supporting the recognition of Palestine as a full member state in the UN in September," Linda Sobeh Ali, head of the Palestinian delegation, told The Canadian Press.

Sobeh Ali also said her delegation is pushing Canada to recognize Israel's pre-1967 borders - something Prime Minister Stephen Harper forcefully opposed, and managed to block from being part of the final communique of G8 leaders at their recent May summit in France.

Star of David

Israel Uses Facebook to Blacklist Pro-Palestinian Protesters

Israel used Facebook to compile a pro-Palestinian blacklist of hundreds of names. On Friday, the country's government then asked foreign airlines to keep those on the list off flights to Israel, prevented many activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioned dozens more upon arrival at its main airport, and denied entry to select individuals.

Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, said the list comprised of individuals identified as planning to create "provocations" upon arrival. "These people announced on their Internet sites that they planned to come here and cause disruptions, and told their friends. We were able to contact other foreign ministries and simply give them links." Barring entrance in such cases is "accepted practice in any country," he added.

Some 200 people were prevented from boarding their flights at European airports, according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. "The companies did not allow them on the airplanes because we told them clearly they wouldn't be able to enter Israel," said Rosenfeld.

Light Sabers

Anonymous boasts takedown of 74 Turkish government sites

Hacktivist group Anonymous has claimed the government of Turkey as its latest victim, taking down 74 web sites and releasing a collection of data said to be harvested from more than 100 Turkish government domains.

The data in the torrent file, dubbed 'Turkish Takedown Thursday', is said to have been obtained covertly, and the hacking group claimed that the sites' administrators were unaware of the attacks until the sites were taken down.

"Our vessel recently encountered a Turkish Government frigate, a chance we could not let pass," Anonymous said in the posting.

"So we simply boarded their vessel (no need to fire any cannons, mind you, they never found out what happened until just now) and collected some booty."

Card - MC

Portuguese hackers strike back at Moody's downgrade

Sub prime dishonour

Portuguese hackers responded to a negative assessment of the country's ability to repay loans by defacing the website of credit reference agency Moody's.

The defacement restores the rating of the debt-crippled nation to the highest (A++) mark, while simultaneously attacking Moody's website security and business practices.

One message posted by the hackers on the site read: "Here at Moody's we are paid to say what our $ friends want. We are powerful. We sell some hunches and everyone believes them. It's the mood of the day.

"Yet, we have trivial security vulnerabilities on our website.

Bizarro Earth

Deepening Israel-Greece Ties Keeps Gaza-Bound Flotilla Anchored

Greece's move to prevent a flotilla from departing its ports and challenging Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip highlights the deepening ties between the once antagonistic countries.

After a previous attempt ended in violence last year, pro- Palestinian activists planned a second, bigger convoy this month to undermine the blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza by delivering aid without permission. The effort fizzled as Greece stopped seven ships from sailing, saying they lack proper safety equipment.

Greece only established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1990, one of the last European states to do so. Its strengthening rapport with Israel, spurred in recent years by the Jewish state's worsening relationship with Turkey, has led to increased military cooperation and the prospect of greater economic integration, including natural gas sales.

"The relationship with Israel is multidimensional; it's economics, tourism, military exercises, and part of the equation is natural gas," said Aristotle Tziampiris, associate professor of international relations at Greece's University of Piraeus. "It was the deterioration of the relationship between Turkey and Israel that provided an opening."

The impediments thrown up by Greece may have averted a repeat of last year's confrontation at sea, when Israeli naval commandos dropped from helicopters onto the deck of one ship in a six-vessel convoy. Israel says people on board shot first and attacked with iron bars, an allegation the passengers denied. Nine Turks were killed.

Greece instead offered to send the aid "through existing channels, as requested by the UN Secretary General," according to a July 3 statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Bad Guys

Panetta to Push Iraq on US Military Presence

Defence secretary's first visit comes as a new diplomatic push is made with the opening of a consulate in Irbil.

After arriving in Iraq on his first trip there as US defence secretary, Leon Panetta has said he will press his hosts on the fate of American military presence.

His unannounced arrival on Sunday came as a new diplomatic push was being made with the opening of another US consulate, in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.

The US embassy in Baghdad - already the world's largest - has been expanding as the US transitions from a military to a civilian-led mission in Iraq.

The US is scheduled to withdraw all its remaining 46,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year, under the terms of a bilateral security pact.

Panetta told the US congress last month that Iraq's government might eventually ask some US forces to remain beyond 2011.


Boiling Frog Alert: U.S. Congress Wants Automatic Wage Deductions to Pay Down the Debt

© gravitoncreations.com
Folks... you just can't make this stuff up.

On July 6th, just two days ago, at least a dozen busybody Congressmen sponsored the introduction of HR 2411, the "Reduce America's Debt Now Act of 2011." They always come up with fantastic names for these pieces of legislation... and rest assured, the better/more patriotic the name, the more ominous the bill. This one follows the pattern.

HR 2411 states that every worker in America should be able to voluntarily have a portion of his/her wages automatically withheld and sent directly to the Treasury Department for the purposes of paying down the federal debt.
"Every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages any amounts so elected, and shall pay such amounts over to the Secretary of the Treasury..."


The NIST WTC 7 Report is False

This presentation describes some of the ways in which the 2008 WTC 7 report from the National Institute of Standard and Technology is false an unscientific.