Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 24 Jun 2021
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Heart - Black

Sgt. Robert Bales describes killing 16 Afghans

Image
© AP
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, stands before military judge Col. Jeffery Nance Wednesday in this court sketch.
The American soldier charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids on two villages last year pleaded guilty Wednesday then described shooting each victim, telling a military judge there is "not a good reason in this world" for what he did.

To avoid the death penalty, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to multiple counts of murder at the hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle. He then read from a statement in a clear and steady voice, describing his actions for each killing in the same terms.

Bales, 39, said he left the remote base where he was posted in southern Afghanistan in March 2012, and went to the nearby villages of mud-walled compounds. Once inside, he said he "formed the intent" of killing the victims, then shot each one.

"This act was without legal justification, sir," Bales told the judge while seated at a defense table, his handles folded in front of him.

Most of the victims were women and children, and some of the bodies were burned. Relatives have told The Associated Press they are irate at the notion Bales will escape execution for one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war.

USA

When fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in patriotism

paul ryan
© Unknown
There is a quote (often misattributed to Sinclair Lewis) that states, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." While the actual quote seems to be a condensed meme of a collection of prognostications from the 1930′s as Hitler came to power, it is very true of where we find ourselves headed in the 21st century here in the United States.

The word "fascist" is thrown around a lot these days and it's usually by people who have no clue what it really means. They bleat about "Big Brother" and an authoritarian government, even as they ironically vote for the politicians who support the very same things. Even though we won the war against fascism in Germany, it seems as if we brought that back with us like a parasite that would lay dormant for a few decades.

In a nutshell, fascism is basically an authoritarian government for corporations, by corporations. Extreme nationalism, the loss of individual liberties, and collectivism that benefits corporations rather than people. Basically, corporate protection and welfare. This is where the dollar is placed above the individual, where human beings are just cogs in the wheel. Have you ever heard your boss say "you're an asset to the company"? That's it, you are an asset just like the office printer - and just like that printer, you'll be thrown away once your usefulness has run its course.

Stormtrooper

Man charged with DUI despite blowing .000 during breathalyzer test

File photo of an electronic breathalyzer
© Unknown
File photo of an electronic breathalyzer
Arizona authorities charge a man for driving under the influence despite him blowing a .000 on a breathalyzer test.

KNXV-TV reports that 64-year-old Jessie Thornton - a native of Ohio - was recently pulled over by Surprise police after he recently left an LA Fitness gym. Thornton then says the officer accused him of driving drunk.

"He walked up and he said 'I can tell you're driving DUI by looking in your eyes,'" Thornton told KNXV.

Thornton was then given a sobriety test.

"I take my glasses off and he says, 'You've got bloodshot eyes.' I said, 'I've been swimming at LA Fitness,' and he says, 'I think you're DUI,'" said Thornton. "He goes, 'Well we're going to do a sobriety test.' I said, 'OK, but I got bad knees and a bad hip with surgery in two days.'"

Cow Skull

UK's Hidden hungry: More than half a million people forced to use food banks as families seek emergency help to stave off hunger

Food bank
© PA
Rise: Shocking figures have revealed that more than half a million people across Britain are now forced to use food banks
Shocking figures have revealed that more than half a million people across Britain are now forced to use food banks to stave off hunger, the government was warned today.

Up to half of those seeking help were doing so as a direct result of having benefit payments delayed, reduced or withdrawn, a report by Church Action On Poverty and Oxfam said.

Other factors behind the increase on those using emergency help - the 'hidden hungry' - include rising food prices, unemployment and energy costs.

The charities accused the Government of failing to properly monitor the numbers now resorting to emergency help.

Arrow Up

German inflation spiked higher in May as food prices surge

Food
© Flickr.com/yanyanyanyanyan/cc-by-nc
Annual German inflation grew faster than forecast in May, rising to 1.5 per cent, the statistics office said Wednesday.

The cost of living in Europe's biggest economy slumped to a two-and-a-half year low of 1.2 per cent in April.

The May rise was fueled by a 5.3-per-cent surge in food prices, which came after prolonged winter weather helped to drive up the cost of fruit and vegetables.

The cost of energy and services also accelerated in May, the statistics office said.

Eye 1

Mass surveillance in America

Image
© pasadenaweekly.com
It shouldn't surprise. It's longstanding policy. Post-9/11, it escalated. Previous articles said Big Brother is real. It's no longer fiction.

Mass surveillance is official US policy. It's not for national security. It's not about discovering terror or other threats. None whatever exist. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash. Big Lies substitute for vital truths.

What's ongoing reflects unchecked power. It's for unchallenged global dominance. It's secret with no oversight for good reason. It's unconstitutional. Societies governed this way are lawless. People living in them aren't free.

America never was a democracy. It wasn't created to be one. It's not one now. Freedom is verboten. It's vanishing in plain sight. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. Police state terror targets non-believers.

Pistol

Medics: 28 dead as protesters attack ex-Libya rebel HQ

At least 28 people were killed and 60 were wounded on Saturday when demonstrators attacked the headquarters in Benghazi of former rebels who had fought to oust Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, a hospital official said.

"We have so far identified 28 people dead and some 60 injured," a doctor at the Al-Jala hospital in the eastern city told AFP, more than doubling an earlier toll.

Fighting erupted after dozens of demonstrators, some of them armed, tried to dislodge the powerful "Shield of Libya" brigade from its barracks in Benghazi, said an AFP correspondent at the scene.

They encircled the headquarters and called on regular security forces to step in.

Libya's post-Kadhafi authorities, who have still not managed to form a professional new army and police corps, often call on the "Shield of Libya" to intervene in the various tribal conflicts that trouble the country.

Adel Tarhuni, spokesman for the Shield of Libya group, said one member of the brigade had died and another seven were wounded. Tarhuni also defended the "legitimacy" of the brigade, saying it officially came under the umbrella of the defence ministry.

He reported that a peaceful demonstration in front of the brigade's headquarters had been infiltrated by armed aggressors.

Bad Guys

"It isn't just the BBC" - Bill Maloney and Ben Fellows attack the paedophile dens


Comment: Forget Savile, pedophiles are everywhere in the British entertainment industry


Red Flag

New York Times quietly edits editorial to make it less damning of Obama

Image
The New York Times edited its damning editorial condemning the Obama administration for collecting phone call data from Americans to make it less stinging shortly after the editorial was published online Thursday afternoon.

The editorial originally declared that the Obama "administration has lost all credibility" as a result of the recently revealed news that the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been secretly collecting call data from American users of Verizon under the authority of the Patriot Act.

But hours later the stinging sentence had been modified to read the Obama "administration has now lost all credibility on this issue." [Emphasis added]

According to NewsDiffs.com, a website which tracks changes to online articles, at 3:34 p.m. ET the editorial damned the Obama administration generally and by 7:09 p.m. ET it had been edited to damn the Obama administration more narrowly over its collection of call data.

NewsDiffs also showed that several other modifications had been made to the editorial, but none as significant as its change to the originally broad condemnation of the Obama administration.

The new version of the article contains no indication that it has been changed.

Comment: Perhaps some NYT editors became worried about a possible loss of "access". As Glenn Greenwald says in the article below, "The overwhelming, driving bias of the US media is subservience to power, whoever happens to be wielding it. "
'Freedom' of the press: Journalism in the Obama age shows the real media bias


Whistle

NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made'

snowden nsa whistleblower
© The Guardian
Snowden is a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA
The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations - the NSA.


Comment: Snowden's reply to why he become a whistleblower: "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things ... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."