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War Whore

Anti-drone activists could get 7 years for 'irritating' US air force colonel

Judge's signed protection order against peaceful protest called an 'escalation' and an 'absurd' threat to free speech

© (Ellen M. Blalock / The Post-Standard) Clare Grady (hands up) and her sister, Mary Anne Flores-Grady (on the left) are being arrested for protesting against drones, at the Thompson Road entrance to the New York Air National Guard.
A local judge in upstate New York has signed an order of protection for a US Air Force colonel that could make it a crime, punishable by up to seven years in prison, for anti-drone activists to continue their weekly peace vigil outside or near the gates of the Hancock Air National Guard base there.

How will they know if they've broken the rules of the order? Apparently, if one specific military officer at the base finds their protest or direct actions 'irritating' personally.

Specifically troubling to the activists is that Colonel Earl A Evans, a commander at the base who filed the request for the order, is someone the activists have not once targeted directly. Though the order 'bans them specifically from approaching the home, school or workplace' of Evans, none of the activists even seemed to know who he is.


The Humiliation of Bradley Manning

protester marching in support of Pvt. Bradley Manning
© bradleymanning.orgA protester marching in support of Pvt. Bradley Manning.
The pre-trial hearing on Pvt. Bradley Manning's court martial for leaking classified documents about U.S. government wrongdoing has turned up evidence that even Manning's Marine jailers were worried about the controversy over his degrading treatment in their custody, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while other military officers privately took note but did nothing.

That was one of the revelations at Manning's pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade, Maryland, on Tuesday, as Manning's defense counsel David Coombs used e-mail exchanges to show Marine officers grousing that the Marines had been left holding the bag on Manning's detention at their base in Quantico, Virginia, though he was an Army soldier.

At Quantico, Manning, who is accused of giving hundreds of thousands of pages of classified material to WikiLeaks, was subjected to harsh treatment. He was locked in a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell for 23 hours a day and was kept naked for long periods. His incarceration led the UN Rapporteur for Torture to complain that Manning was being subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


CIA faces lawsuit over scientist's 1950s death

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia
© Dennis Brack/EPA/CorbisCIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Bioweapons expert fell from hotel room window nine days after being given LSD in a drink without his knowledge

The family of a US government scientist who fell to his death from a New York hotel window six decades ago have launched a lawsuit for damages against the CIA, alleging the agency was involved in his murder and a subsequent cover-up.

In one of the most notorious cases in the organisation's history, bioweapons expert Frank Olson died in 1953, nine days after he was given LSD by agency officials without his knowledge.

In the lawsuit, filed in the US district court in Washington on Wednesday, Olson's sons Eric and Nils claim their father was murdered after he witnessed extreme interrogations in which the CIA killed suspects using the biological agents he had developed.

The CIA has long denied any foul play, though it was forced to admit in 1975, more than 20 years after the death, that the scientist had been given LSD in a spiked glass of Cointreau. The agency, which originally told the family the death was a result of job-induced stress, has since maintained that it was a drug-induced suicide.

Eye 2

Sec. of State hopeful Susan Rice reportedly holds 600k stake in Keystone XL decision

Susan E. Rice
© Bebeto Matthews / APSusan E. Rice may be the arbiter of the Keystone Pipeline decision, with a half million stake in the game.
The shoulders on which the Keystone Pipeline XL decision may fall happens to have a half-million dollar stake in the game. Secretary of State hopeful and current U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice reportedly owns between $300,000 and $600,000 of TransCanada stock.

The company is seeking a federal permit to transport Canadian tar sands 1,700 miles to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, crossing both fragile Midwest ecosystems and the largest freshwater aquifer in North America.

According to full disclosure reports, Rice - the potential arbiter of this grant - reportedly has a third of her significant net worth tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries.

Wall Street

Associated Press believes it found evidence of Iran's work on nuclear weapons

A primitive graph provided by 'a country critical of Iran's atomic program' indicts the news outlet more than Tehran
© KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex FeaturesEgyptian President Mohamed Morsi talks with Iranian officials at the 16th Non-aligned Movement summit in Tehran.

Uncritical, fear-mongering media propaganda is far too common to take note of each time it appears, but sometimes, what is produced is so ludicrous that its illustrative value should not be ignored. Such is the case with a highly trumpeted Associated Press "exclusive" from Tuesday which claims in its red headline to have discovered evidence of "Iran Working on Bomb".

What is this newly discovered, scary evidence? It is a "graph" which AP says was "leaked" to it by "officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon" (how mysterious: the globe is gripped with befuddlement as it tries to guess which country that might be). Here's how AP presents the graph in all its incriminating, frightening glory:

Comment: Iran denies any interest in such a weapon and has accused the United States and Israel of fabricating evidence that suggests it is trying to build a bomb.


Iran equips navy with new hovercrafts

© Majid Jamshidi/Fars News AgencyThe hovercrafts BH7 which had been overhauled by local experts joined the Navy's fleets in Iran's Southern waters.
Iran equipped its Navy fleets with two new hovercrafts Wednesday morning, one of which enjoys missile launching capabilities.

In a ceremony attended by Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari in Iran's Southern port city of Bandar Abbas, hovercrafts BH7 which had been overhauled by local experts and SRNX whose Iranian name is Tondar (Thunderbolt) and has been manufactured through indigenized technology joined the Navy's fleets in Iran's Southern waters.

Iran unveiled the highly advanced home-made Tondar which can launch missiles and serve as a launch pad for drones in a ceremony earlier this month.

Addressing a ceremony to unveil the hovercraft at the time, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that the hovercraft has been designed and developed by Iranian experts in two models for combat and transportation missions, and that the combat model is called 'Tondar'.

Vahidi further announced that Tondar can be equipped with different types of weapons produced by the Iranian defense industries, including rockets, guns and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

The minister said that Tondar can be used for "coastal patrolling, as a command vessel, offensive reconnaissance operations, mid-range amphibious missions, asymmetric defense, as a personnel and equipment carrier for logistical support for islands and coastal areas or as a sea ambulance for relief and rescue missions".

He further added that the new hovercraft will increase the combat and reconnaissance capabilities as well as the mobility of the Iranian Armed Forces.


Organic farmers slam GMO-friendly USDA report

© MillionsAgainstMonsanto"The AC21 report takes responsibility for GE contamination prevention out of the hands of USDA and the biotech industry where it belongs and puts it squarely on the backs of organic and non-GE farmers,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director at Center for Food Safety and a NOC member.
Report leaves burden of GMO contamination with 'victim;' 'fails to address the root cause of the problem - transgenic contamination,' say groups

Organic farmers and allies have slammed a USDA committee report for kowtowing to the interests of genetically modified crop growers and the biotechnology industry.

The goal of the USDA-appointed committee, the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), was to address contamination by genetically modified (also known as genetically engineered, or GE) crops to organic and non-GE crops, and to look at compensation mechanisms for that contamination.

Reuters reports that "a majority of AC21 members did not agree on any type of compensation mechanism" for the non-GE growers in their report, leaving the responsibility with "the victim," not the perpetrator of the contamination.

The National Organic Coalition (NOC), an alliance of organizations involved in organic agriculture, condemned the report for "abdicat[ing] responsibility for preventing GE contamination, while making the victim of GE pollution pay for damages resulting from transgenic contamination."

Arrow Down

European Union rejects study linking genetically modified corn to cancer

© Raw Story
The EU's food safety agency definitively rejected Wednesday a bombshell French report linking genetically modified corn to cancer, saying it failed to meet "acceptable scientific standards."

"Serious defects in the design and methodology of a paper by Seralini et al. mean it does not meet acceptable scientific standards," the European Food Safety Authority said in a statement.

"Consequently it is not possible to draw valid conclusions about the occurrence of tumours in the rats tested," the agency said.

EFSA, which reviews the use and authorisation of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), added that it "finds there is no need to re-examine its previous safety evaluations of NK603," the genetically modified maize developed by US agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Comment: Scientist: Many pro-GMO corporate biologists own GMO patents, in bed with Monsanto
Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini, a French scientists who has been under assault from Monsanto and pro-GMO scientists, was responsible for perhaps the largest awakening over the dangers of Monsanto's GMO foods that we have ever seen. Not only did the public begin to further recognize the existence and threat of GMOs thanks to his research, but numerous countries like Russia and others actually enacted a suspension on the import of genetically modified maize due to public health concerns.

Previous Peer-Reviewed Evidence Highlighting GMO Danger Ignored by 'Scientists'

It's important to remember that Séralini's work may be the most popular within the media, but it's not the only research linking GMOs and Roundup to serious health effects. Monsanto and fellow goons failed to mention this truth, especially the fact that Monsanto's Roundup has been associated with over 29 negative health conditions according to peer-reviewed studies available on PubMed. And these conditions are nothing minor. Health effects linked to Roundup include:
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson's
  • DNA damage
  • Low testosterone
  • Liver damage
  • Infertility
  • Endocrine disease
These are serious disorders that result from the very Roundup that is used on crops by farmers worldwide before hitting your dinner table. In fact an increased amount of usage is now needed thanks to ineffective GMO crops that are now being eaten by mutated superbugs that have developed a resistance to Monsanto's built-in GMO pesticides. Roundup covered crops that eventually land on dinner tables worldwide.

Eye 2

Walmart's annual Hunger Games

walmart black friday2
© George Artwood / flickrBlack Friday at Walmart, November 24, 2011.
Every year after Thanksgiving, the nation's wealthy elite, still fat-bellied from turkey and cornbread stuffing, tune in to their local news outlets and observe what has become an annual tradition of bloodletting and frenzied consumerism.

We call it "Black Friday." But to those like the Walmart heirs who together own more wealth than the bottom 40% of the nation combined, it might as well be called their very own "Hunger Games."

It's their stores, after all, that play host to this one-day battle - waged by poor and working class people - to get discounted appliances, clothes, and toys for their kids.

Like Suzanne Collins' dystopic future portrayed in The Hunger Games, in which impoverished teenagers battle each other to the death once a year for the amusement of Panem's wealth elite, Black Friday "Battle Royales" often end in death as well. In just the last few years, we've seen shoppers and retail workers shot to death, trampled to death, pepper-sprayed, bitten, punched, and kicked, all in their pursuit for Black Friday shopping deals.

This year was no different. Two people were shot outside a Walmart in Tallahassee, Florida. Another two people were run down by a car in a Walmart parking lot in Covington, Washington. And at a Sears store in San Antonio, Texas, one man punched his way to the front of the line only to have a gun pulled on him by another man.

Every year around this time the phrase, "clean up on aisle five," takes on a much more disturbing meaning.

All while the wealthy elite look down on the spectacle before them with amusement and the knowledge that the entire spectacle is fattening their bank accounts.

Eye 2

Dead British MP Cyril Smith raped boys, Manchester police confirm

Police find 'overwhelming evidence' former Rochdale MP attacked vulnerable boys and CPS criticises 1970s decision not to prosecute

Police have acknowledged that the late MP Sir Cyril Smith repeatedly physically and sexually abused children at a Rochdale care home but escaped answering the allegations after prosecutors declined to put him on trial.

Smith, the Liberal and subsequently Liberal Democrat MP for the town, who died in 2010, was the subject of police investigations dating back to the 1960s.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said there was "overwhelming evidence" that he attacked boys, six at the Cambridge House children's home in Rochdale, and two others.

Smith was secretary of the Rochdale Hostel for Boys Association, where he was accused of abusing vulnerable youngsters by spanking and touching them.