Tag Archives: Media Disinformation

NED Ignores Saudi Barbarism

By Tony Cartalucci
July 15, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

435345111The Arabian Peninsula has been trapped in a time warp for nearly a century, thanks to the House of Saud and indomitable Western support.  Some may find it curious, browsing the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website, reviewing the unending lists of faux-NGOs special interests in the West have propped up across the planet to project influence and political meddling into every corner of the planet under the pretense of supporting “freedom and democracy,” to discover this meddling extends to nearly all nations except a select few.

One of these blind spots includes Saudi Arabia. In fact, under the category “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA), Saudi Arabia isn’t even listed. NED-funded NGOs attempt to leverage every noble cause conceived by human empathy, from representative governance, to the rights of women and children, from behind which to hide their true agenda of political meddling, undermining local institutions, and the overwriting of a nation’s sociocultural landscape. Yet, it would seem, even this farce has its limits, which begin at the borders of favored client-states including Saudi Arabia.

It would seem, were NED a genuine sponsor of such causes, Saudi Arabia would have attracted special attention. It is literally a nation where women do not exist as human beings legally or socially, unable to even drive, and were Saudi Arabia to have anything resembling actual elections, unable to vote as well. The lack of any semblance of representative governance is another aspect one might expect the National Endowment for Democracy to find issue with. Yet it doesn’t.

This transparent, obvious hypocrisy exposes the entirety of NED’s work for what it is – meddling behind an elaborate facade of defending freedom, democracy, and human rights.

But beyond this intentional blind spot the self-proclaimed arbiters of global freedom and democracy have created for the autocratic, brutal regime of Saudi Arabia to hide within, we find more than just silent approval, we find also active, even eager complicity.

The entirety of Saudi Arabia’s security apparatus, both internal and military, has been created and propped up by the West through billions upon billions of dollars in aid, weapon sales, and direct military cooperation and support. This includes the immense 60 billion USD arms deal signed between Riyadh and Washington, the largest arms deal in US history.

This says nothing of covert operations the West, including the United States and United Kingdom, have been carrying out throughout the MENA region with Saudi Arabia as the chief proxy and local facilitator.

Saudi Barbaria 

Saudi Arabia is ruled by an unelected, hereditary dictatorship. In fact, so autocratic is Saudi Arabia, the nation is literally named after the single family that has ruled it since it was created – the House of Saud – or “Saud’s Arabia.”

While Western NGOs fund to the tune of millions per year activists around the world agitating political instability in nations like Thailand, claiming that the constitutional monarchy there is some sort of impediment to “democracy,” the fact that a single family has ruled Saudi Arabia uninterrupted for decades, even naming the country after the family who rules it unopposed without even the semblance of elections or representative governance, seems to be more than acceptable.

To remain in power for decades, the House of Saud has instituted an extensive and barbaric punitive system which includes public beheadings for everyone from “witches and heretics” to enemies of the state. What is considered as intolerable barbarity in Syria or Iraq when Al Qaeda beheads prisoners of war or local civilians to impose their rule on seized territory, is just another day at “Chop-Chop Square” in Riyadh.

The International Business Tribune would report in its article, “Execution Central: Saudi Arabia’s Bloody Chop-Chop Square,” that:

In the capital Riyadh, public executions take place in the central Deera square, usually at 9am. The wide ochre square has been grimly dubbed “chop chop square” has seen dozens of condemned men and women put to death in recent years.

“When they [death row prisoners] get to the execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner’s head off,” al-Beshi said.

According to Human Rights Watch, from January to September 2012, at least 69 people were executed in Saudi Arabia. Another 10 beheadings have been reported in just the first six weeks of 2013.

Beheadings are imposed mainly for murder or drug offences, but cases of apostasy (renunciation of one’s faith), sorcery and witchcraft can also end up in Chop Chop square. Indeed a man named Muri’ al-‘Asiri was executed last year in the southern town of Najran, as punishment for being a sorcerer.

The parallels between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia are no coincidence. Al Qaeda and the subsequent “Islamic State” (ISIS) it has created, straddling Syria and Iraq and spreading across the rest of the MENA region in fact finds its genesis and chief patrons in Riyadh. The West props up Riyadh, and Riyadh props up a regional army of mercenaries waging relentless war on Washington and Wall Street’s enemies throughout MENA. A torrent of supplies brought in by literal convoys of trucks even streams into the war zone via NATO territory.

ISIS can in fact be considered a “colony” of Riyadh, and a reflection of the depravity actively encouraged by the West on the Arabian Peninsula for decades.

Saudi Barbarism Actively, Intentionally Enabled by West

A barbaric autocracy lopping the heads off its own citizens while creating colonies of terrorism across the globe through direct support of marching terrorist armies and a global network of madrases promoting the state-cult of Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, under the guise of Sunni Islam would seem like one of the West’s greatest threats.

Yet in most cases, particularly when these Saudi-sponsored madrases are established in Europe or North America, national intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the CIA, MI5, and MI6 actively participate in the cultivating, exploitation, and entrapment of radicals created within. Never is it attempted to expose and dismantle these networks, and instead, an intentional strategy of tension is created around these rat nests of extremism to promote hysteria, division, and further fan the flames of fear at home, while justifying perpetual war abroad.

Considering this, it is clear why Saudi Arabia is not only pardoned for its inhumanity and criminality, but encouraged and enabled by special interests in the West. These interests are able to manipulate and terrorize their population at home, justify the creation and enlargement of domestic surveillance networks, and justify the use of military force abroad in campaigns of hegemonic conquest predicated on “national defense” against “terrorism” they and their allies have themselves created to begin with.

When Saudi Arabia began airstrikes on neighboring Yemen, we saw once again not only the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union fail to protest the extraterritorial aggression, but the United Nations itself also failed to condemn or act in response. Furthermore, Western support for Saudi military aggression has continued unabated regardless of the atrocities and deaths unfolding in Yemen.

And while it can safely be said that Al Qaeda is a reflection of Saudi Arabia, it can also be safely stated that Saudi Arabia, its barbarism and regional crimes against humanity, its state-sponsorship of global terrorism, and even the ideology it actively promotes worldwide that serves as the foundation global terrorism is inspired from, is a reflection in turn of the depravity of the special interests ruling Wall Street, Washington and their Transatlantic counterparts in London and Brussels.

Understanding the special accommodations made by the West for perhaps the most barbaric nation on Earth, amid disingenuous bleating about “Iran,” “North Korea,” “Russia,” “China,” and other enemies of Western hegemony, exposes the emptiness of Western principles – or more accurately – the emptiness of those hiding behind them.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.  

My Congressman Is Wrong on Iran, Yours Might Be Too

By David Swanson
Global Research, July 15, 2015
Let’s Try Democracy, July 14, 2015

 

Trigger an "Accidental Confrontation" as a Pretext to Wage War on IranFor the United States to sit and talk and come to an agreement with a nation it has been antagonizing and demonizing since the dictator it installed in 1953 was overthrown in 1979 is historic and, I hope, precedent setting. Let’s seal this deal!

Four months ago the Washington Post published an op-ed headlined ‘War With Iran Is Probably Our Best Option.’ It wasn’t. Defenders of war present war as a last resort, but when other options are tried the result is never war. We should carry this lesson over to several other parts of the world.

The time has come to remove the “missile defense” weaponry from Europe that was put there under the false pretense of protecting Europe from Iran. With that justification gone, U.S. aggression toward Russia will become damagingly apparent if this step is not taken. And the time has come for the nations that actually have nuclear weapons to join and/or comply with the nonproliferation treaty, which Iran was never actually in violation of.

In addition to the prevention of a massive bombing campaign in Syria that was prevented in 2013, a major recent success in war-lie-preparedness is the holding off, thus far, of a U.S. war on Iran — about which we’ve been told lies for decades now. The longer this debate goes on, the more it should become clear that there is no urgent emergency that might help justify mass killing. But the longer it goes on, the more some people may accept the idea that whether or not to gratuitously bomb a foreign nation is a perfectly legitimate policy question.

And the argument may also advance in the direction of favoring war for another reason: both sides of the debate promote most of the war lies. Yes, some peace groups are talking perfect sense on this issue as on most, but the debate between Democratic and Republican party loyalists and those in power is as follows. One side argues, quite illegally and barbarically, that because Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, Iran should be bombed. The other side argues, counterproductively if in a seemingly civilized manner, that because Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, a diplomatic agreement should be reached to put a stop to it. The trouble with both arguments is that they reinforce the false idea that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon. As Gareth Porter makes clear in his book Manufactured Crisis, there is no evidence for that.

Both arguments also reinforce the idea that there is something about Iranians that makes them unqualified to have the sort of weapon that it’s alright to voluntarily spread to other nations. Of course, I don’t actually think it’s alright for anyone to have nuclear weapons or nuclear energy, but my point is the bias implicit in these arguments. It feeds the idea that Iranians are not civilized enough to speak with, even as one-half of the debate pushes for just that: speaking with the Iranians.

On the plus side, much of the push for a war on Iran was devoted for years to demonizing Iran’s president until Iran, for its own reasons, elected a different president, which threw a real monkey wrench into the gears of that old standby. Perhaps nations will learn the lesson that changing rulers can help fend off an attack as well as building weapons can. Also on the plus side, the ludicrous idea that Iran is a threat to the United States is very similar to the idea that Iraq was such a threat in 2002-2003. But on the negative side, memory of the Iraq war lies is already fading. Keeping past war lies well-remembered can be our best protection against new wars. Also on the negative side, even if people oppose a war on Iran, several billionaire funders of election campaigns favor one.

Will Congressman Robert Hurt who claims to represent me, and who got Syria right in 2013, commit to taking no funding from those warmongers? Here’s what Hurt had to say on Tuesday:

The Threat of a Nuclear Iran Persists

Dear Friend,

“The long-running nuclear negotiations with Iran and the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom finally reached a head early this morning. Even with the deal reached, I am skeptical that Iran will keep their word, act in good faith, and abide by the terms of the deal.

The deal is an INSPECTION arrangement, not based in any way on anybody trusting anyone.

I remain committed to the goal of eliminating Iran’s nuclear capabilities because the prospect of Iran attaining the ability to produce a nuclear weapon is a grave threat to the world, and it is a very real possibility that this deal may only fuel Iran’s ability to expand its nuclear ambitions and facilitate its efforts to spread terror in the Middle East.

What nuclear ambitions? What terror? This from a Congressman who voted for pulling out U.S. forces on June 17th but has taken no further action and has funded the U.S. operation that is currently killing people in the Middle East?

Iranian leaders clearly remain focused on expanding their nuclear capabilities. They only want to do the bare minimum necessary to lift damaging international economic sanctions that have crippled their economy.

What mindreading feat is this based on? Where’s evidence? Haven’t we learned to demand it yet?

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.

Not according to any world source, but rather the U.S. government which defines terrorism to suit its ends. The world disagrees.

The regime makes no secret of its longstanding commitment to see the demise of the United States and Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

Then why don’t you point to a single scrap of evidence?

On Saturday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke about the need to continue to fight against the “arrogant” U.S. regardless of the outcome of these talks. Allowing Iran to achieve the nuclear capabilities it seeks would pose an existential threat to Israel and the world.

There’s nothing there about the demise of the United States or Israel or the slightest evidence of Iran pursuing or threatening to use any weapon. Expecting people to believe otherwise seems a bit — if you’ll excuse me — arrogant.

Given Iran’s nuclear ambitions and history, I remain unconvinced that Iran will act in good faith and adhere to any of the terms of a deal. Iran has been unwilling to make necessary compromises to meaningfully limit their nuclear program, and there is little reason to believe this will change. Reaching a deal just for the sake of doing so is not worth putting the safety and security of our allies and our country at risk; no deal is better than a dangerous deal.

Again, what ambitions? What history? Why the steady avoidance of documenting any claims? Iran is complying with restrictions not imposed on any other nation. How is that a refusal to compromise?

If this deal is in fact a bad one, the American people have a role to play in this process. In May, the President signed into law the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would require congressional review of any final nuclear agreement with Iran before the President can waive or suspend sanctions previously imposed by Congress. Now that an agreement has been reached, Congress has 60 days to review the agreement and pass a joint resolution to approve or disapprove of the deal. Should Congress disapprove the deal, the President would likely veto that measure, but Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote.

The American people, in case you hadn’t noticed, favor the deal, including a majority of Democrats and a plurality of Republicans.

It is my hope that Congress will carefully consider the consequences of a deal with Iran and maintain its focus on the ultimate goal of eliminating the threat of a nuclear Iran. I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enhance the necessary sanctions against the Iranian regime. We must do everything within our power to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities.

Is that a proposal for war?

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

Anyone can tell their rep and senators to support the deal here.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org andWarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

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Senator Pan recieved bribes equal to twice the average American income to push mandatory vaccination law

By J. D. Heyes
July 14, 2015
Natural News

 

newsOne of the primary sponsors of recently passed legislation in California mandating that nearly all children enrolled in public and private schools in the state be vaccinated received some of the millions in campaign donations showered on the bill’s supporters by Big Pharma.

Democratic Sen. Richard Pan, a physician, according to the table published below, was the top recipient of a share of more than $2 million in campaign contributions by large pharmaceutical companies as the measure, SB 277, was being “debated” in the California legislature.

As reported by the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Pan received $95,150 from pharmaceutical firms; the only other elected official receiving more than $90,000 was Assembly Speaker Toni Adkins ($90,205); the speaker decides what legislation will be taken up by the chamber.

In all, the SacBee reported, Big Pharma and its industry surrogates gave legislators in the 2013-2014 session more than $2 million:

Nine of the top 20 recipients are either legislative leaders or serve on either the Assembly or Senate health committees. Receiving more than $95,000, the top recipient of industry campaign cash is Sen. Richard Pan, a Sacramento Democrat and doctor who is carrying the vaccine bill.

Critics of the process noted that the campaign donations more than likely influenced how lawmakers voted – a charge proponents of the bill dismiss.

“We aren’t pushing this bill behind the scenes,” Priscilla VanderVeer, the senior director for communications for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, the industry’s main trade group, told the paper.

Pan historically has been supported by the Big Pharma vaccine industry

While PhRMA had never taken a public position on SB 277, the organization was widely known to have supported vaccinations as part of what it termed sound public health policy.

Still, the industry donated more than a half-million dollars to outside campaign spending groups that nevertheless assisted in getting some members elected last year, the SacBee reported.

“Leading pharmaceutical companies also spent nearly $3 million more during the 2013-2014 legislative session lobbying the Legislature, the governor, the state pharmacists’ board and other agencies, according to state filings,” the paper reported.

Tables (below) showing who gave, who received, and how much, were compiled by The Daily Sheeple news website.

NaturalNews has documented Pan’s financial connection to Big Pharma in the past. In this May report, we noted, citing TruthStream Media:

California’s bill to force vaccinations despite religious and philosophical beliefs — ostensibly guaranteed by the 1st Amendment – has been introduced by a pediatrician and state senator with ties to the vaccine industry.

Dr. Pan was among more than two-dozen California lawmakers who received campaign donations on record from Merck in the 2010 election cycle, ahead of supporting a 2011 law allowing girls as young as 12 years old to receive Gardasil vaccinations for HPV (manufactured by Merck) without parental consent.

Pan was a member of the state Assembly during the 2010 cycle; as documented by Health Impact News, he reportedly received $1,000 in campaign contributions from Merck.

Dr. Oz and the case of NO endorsement kickback

As NaturalNews editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported about a year ago elected officials on the national level have also been “paid” by Big Pharma to go after alternative healers and health advocates.

One such attack involved U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO., who launched broadsides at Dr. Oz for several health products he has endorsed. Come to find out, Adams reported, McCaskill had received some $146,000 in campaign donations from – you guessed it – Big Pharma.

“According to campaign contribution data published at OpenSecrets.org, prescription drug mega-retailer Express Scripts gave McCaskill over $109,000 in campaign contributions, most of which was routed through lobbyist groups or PACs,” Adams reported.

“Sen. McCaskill also accepted over $37,000 from Monsanto, widely regarded to be the most evil corporation in the world and an enemy of sustainable food production, heirloom seeds and traditional American farming methods,” he said.

Dr. Oz, by contrast, never got a cent from any company whose product he was pushing.

It seems when it comes to health public policy, it has become the best that money can buy.

Sources:

http://www.sacbee.com

http://www.thedailysheeple.com

http://healthimpactnews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.truthwiki.org/Vaccine_Fanaticism/

Paris Ramadan Stunt: A Comedian, a Propagandist, and the Social Engineers

By Tony Cartalucci
July 12, 2015
Land Destroyer Report

 

When tasteless alleged French comedian Yacine Hasnaoui decided to pose as a “Muslim,” shouting at Paris restaurant patrons for “eating during Ramadan,” before overturning tables and frightening by-standers, he probably realized shortly after just how un-funny his stunt was – which is precisely why he officially apologized for it on his Facebook page.

However, that the incident centered around a remorseful comedian, and not actually a Muslim, or even a brainwashed extremists posing as a Muslim, did not matter to what is essentially an industry built upon anti-Islamic propaganda serving not just the function of social engineering through elementary divide and conquer, but also serving as the rhetorical basis to continue waging war overseas, while stripping away the rights of citizens back home.

Leading the charge was career Neo-Conservative propagandist Robert Spencer, long-ago exposed at the center of other manufactured stunts including the “Ground Zero Mosque” and more recently, a shooting in Texas during a “Mohamed Drawing Contest.” Regarding Hasnaoui’s tasteless joke, Spencer’s website, “Jihad Watch,” shamelessly posted a headline reading, “Paris: Muslim overturns restaurant tables, shouts “People can’t eat, it’s Ramadan!”,” before concluding:

It’s simple: in Muslim countries, non-Muslims must conform their behavior to suit Muslim sensibilities. In non-Muslim countries, non-Muslims must conform their behavior to suit Muslim sensibilities.

The one thing Spencer gets right is the fact that it is indeed simple: people are easily manipulated, so much so that a comedian’s stunt which he has already apologized for, can still be used to inspire fear, terror, hatred, division, and obedience across what is apparently still a supremely ignorant and easily manipulated population. Spencer’s article was picked up across both Neo-Conservative circles and unfortunately, even in the alternative press where cognitive infiltration has been making steady headway.

It is clear that once again, that which provokes fear, hysteria, hatred, and outrage amongst the peoples of the West the most, is a stunt of their own creation, having nothing at all to do with the supposed enemy of “Islam.” And even that perceived enemy of “Islam” is owed to networks of militant extremists funded, armed, organized, and directed by Washington, London, Brussels, and their regional allies in Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, Tel Aviv, and Amman.Readers responded to Spencer’s allegations with predictable condemnation toward all Muslims and calls for genocide against all practitioners of Islam. In order to implement these easily provoked desires of war and genocide, the corporate-financier interests across the West have an array of ready-made legislation at home and wars abroad prepared – the same interests that fund Spencer’s otherwise unproductive, divisive, and apparently poorly researched work.

And in the battle against these extremists, were you to ask one of Spencer’s readers, they would tell you they and Mr. Spencer himself are at the forefront of the battle. In reality, tens of thousands of Muslims, alongside Christians, Druzes, and the secular, have shed their blood from North Africa to the Levant and beyond, fighting this scourge face-to-face on the battlefield and paying the ultimate price in the process.

Image: The Syrian Arab Army. Those that fight militant extremism the hardest are Muslims themselves. Dying in the tens of thousands, Syrians have fought bitterly to defeat the scourge of Al Qaeda, the so-called “Islamic State” and other Western-armed and backed groups laying waste to their nation disingenuously in the name of “Islam.” If Spencer was serious about defeating the threat he writes about daily, he would be shoulder-to-shoulder with these men,
not attempting to undermine them.

And while Hasnaoui may be condemned for his tasteless, divisive joke, he has in actuality provided us with an immensely valuable public service – he has exposed the irrational hysteria that seizes the minds of men and empowers the manipulators in controlling society at home to in turn, empower subjugation abroad. Spencer either didn’t know, or care about the truth behind the Paris stunt – it was simply another opportunity to fan the flames of conflict that fuel both is own personal ambitions and those who have allowed him pursue professional manipulation as a career instead of having to find a real, constructive occupation.

For those that find themselves regularly repeating Spencer’s propaganda and that of those who circle in his orbit, they must take this most recent incident to heart as a warning that the only thing they will accomplish is the division of society, the further empowerment of the establishment, and the complete and utter annihilation of their credibility.

How Monsanto Silences Scientific Critics

By Christina Sarich
July 10, 2015
Collective Evolution

 

monsPicture courtesy of deesillustration.com

A new survey from Pew Research Center states that  two-thirds of Americans don’t believe biotech scientists. Why is this exactly?

Recommended reading:Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.” 

“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will stand as a landmark. It should be required reading in every university biology course.” – Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Western University, London, OntarioBiotech Infiltration of Academia

Many already suspect that Monsanto and other biotech companies have bought out universities who conduct studies on GM crops with healthy endowments and even donations, which go towards building entire departments within the campuses of higher learning. When Iowa State University faculty and students called GM banana trials into question for being heavily invested in biotechnology, for example, the mainstream media simply brushed it aside.

Biotech Infiltration of Industry Journals

When a controversial study from a research group led by Gilles-Eric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen, France, was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, it was later retracted due to industry pressure, even though it showed “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data.” Séralini’s study showed that rats developed “colossal” cancerous tumors after eating GM corn. Only after fellow researchers went to bat for Séralini was his paper republished. (source) (source)

An Entire Department Dedicated to Debunking Critics

More recently, when Dr. William Moar was speaking at a public event for Monsanto, perhaps forgetting that he was indeed speaking to the community at large (and not a bunch of biotech industry tycoons), he revealed that Monsanto has “an entire department” dedicated to debunking science which disagrees with that of the company’s.

As Stephanie Hampton writes for the Daily Kos, “…this is the first time that a Monsanto functionary has publicly admitted that they have such an entity which brings their immense political and financial weight to bear on scientists who dare to publish against them. The Discredit Bureau will not be found on their official website.” (source)

Get the Whole Story

Now, James Corbett makes things even more crystal clear in a video showing just how Monsanto discredits any professional who tries to “out” the faulty claims backing up genetically modified organisms. Have a listen. It’s more than enlightening.


 

Document Shows CIA Reaction to Finding No WMD in Iraq

By David Swanson, teleSUR
July 10, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

unnamedThe National Security Archive has posted several newly available documents, one of them an account by Charles Duelfer of the search he led in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, with a staff of 1,700 and the resources of the U.S. military.

Duelfer was appointed by CIA Director George Tenet to lead a massive search after an earlier massive search led by David Kay had determined that there were no WMD stockpiles in Iraq. Duelfer went to work in January 2004, to find nothing for a second time, on behalf of people who had launched a war knowing full well that their own statements about WMDs were not true.

The fact that Duelfer states quite clearly that he found none of the alleged WMD stockpiles cannot be repeated enough, with 42% of Americans (and 51 percent of Republicans) still believing the opposite.

A New York Times story last October about the remnants of a long-abandoned chemical weapons program has been misused and abused to advance misunderstanding. A search of Iraq today would find U.S. cluster bombs that were dropped a decade back, without of course finding evidence of a current operation.

Duelfer is also clear that Saddam Hussein’s government had accurately denied having WMD, contrary to a popular U.S. myth that Hussein had pretended to have what he did not.

The fact that President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and their team knowingly lied cannot be overemphasized. This group took the testimony of Hussein Kamel regarding weapons he’d said had been destroyed years ago, and used it as if he’d said they currently existed. This team used forged documents to allege a uranium purchase. They used claims about aluminum tubes that had been rejected by all of their own usual experts. They “summarized” a National Intelligence Estimate that said Iraq was unlikely to attack unless attacked to say nearly the opposite in a “white paper” released to the public. Colin Powell took claims to the U.N. that had been rejected by his own staff, and touched them up with fabricated dialogue.

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller concluded that, “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even nonexistent.”

On January 31, 2003, Bush suggested to Blair that they could paint an airplane with U.N. colors, fly it low to get it shot at, and thereby start the war. Then the two of them walked out to a press conference at which they said they would avoid war if at all possible. Troop deployments and bombing missions were already underway.

When Diane Sawyer asked Bush on television why he had made the claims he had about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction, he replied: “What’s the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger.”

Duelfer’s newly released internal report on his hunt, and that of Kay before him, for the figments of propagandists’ imagination refers to “Saddam Hussein’s WMD program,” which Duelfer treats as an on-again, off-again institution, as if the 2003 invasion had just caught it in one of its naturally cyclical low tides of non-existence. Duelfer also describes the nonexistent program as “an international security problem that vexed the world for three decades,” — except perhaps for the part of the world engaged in the largest public demonstrations in history, which rejected the U.S. case for war.

Duelfer openly states that his goal was to rebuild “confidence in intelligence projections of threat.” Of course, having found no WMDs, he can’t alter the inaccuracy of the “projections of threat.” Or can he? What Duelfer did publicly at the time and does again here is to claim, without providing any evidence for it, that “Saddam was directing resources to sustain the capacity to recommence producing WMD once U.N. sanctions and international scrutiny collapsed.”

Duelfer claims that former Saddam yes men, rigorously conditioned to say whatever would most please their questioner, had assured him that Saddam harbored these secret intentions to start rebuilding WMD someday. But, Duelfer admits, “there is no documentation of this objective. And analysts should not expect to find any.”

So, in Duelfer’s rehabilitation of the “intelligence community” that may soon be trying to sell you another “projection of threat” (a phrase that perfectly fits what a Freudian would say they were doing), the U.S. government invaded Iraq, devastated a society, killed upwards of a million people by best estimates, wounded, traumatized, and made homeless millions more, generated hatred for the United States, drained the U.S. economy, stripped away civil liberties back home, and laid the groundwork for the creation of ISIS, as a matter not of “preempting” an “imminent threat” but of preempting a secret plan to possibly begin constructing a future threat should circumstances totally change.

This conception of “preemptive defense” is identical to two other concepts. It’s identical to the justifications we’ve been offered recently for drone strikes. And it’s identical to aggression. Once “defense” has been stretched to include defense against theoretical future threats, it ceases to credibly distinguish itself from aggression. And yet Duelfer seems to believe he succeeded in his assignment.

The BBC’s Shameful Film: “Children of the Gaza War”. Coverup of Israel’s Orchestrated Massacre

By John Hilley
Global Research, July 10, 2015
Zenpolitics, July 9, 2015

 

gaza-children-rubleA truly disgraceful piece of distortion from the BBC’s Lyse Doucet.

The title of this film is a clear hint of the propaganda to come, based, as ever, on the fatuous ‘two sides’ narrative. There was no ‘war’, only another orchestrated massacre, a campaign of civil terror, in order to maintain Israel’s wicked, illegal siege. From the first minute of this shoddy film, one just wants to urge Doucet: tell the truth, give the context!

Yes, children suffer and die, but why is this happening?

Why have so many Palestinians been murdered? Why have over 500 children been slaughtered?

Why are an entire population, notably the children, so deeply traumatised? Tell the truth, provide the context!

Israel is the aggressor force. Gaza is the key target. It lies in ruins. Yet, this truly despicable film affects to argue that Sderot is part of the same ‘war zone’.

Continual reference is made to Israel targeting populated areas from where, it’s claimed, Hamas were launching rockets, just part of the loaded message that Hamas are largely responsible for the carnage.

A key section of the film is given over to Hamas fighters, youth camp training and wielded weaponry. But there’s not a single frame of an Israeli soldier, or the mass military operation engaged in the attempted annihilation of Gaza’s people. There’s no questioning, either, of how Israel has socialised so much of its youth to hate and fear Palestinians.

Standing at a Hamas training camp, Doucet laments: “For the outside world it’s hard to comprehend why parents would put children in situations like this.” But there’s no exploration of how Israel as a militarist, occupying state has conditioned so much of its own population to join in the historic oppression and mass murder of Palestinians. Indeed, the word ‘occupation’ is never used.

At one point, Doucet sits with the smiling Gazan kids and asks one of them: ‘Why do you want to be a journalist?’ The child replies in lovely innocence: ‘So I can tell people what’s going on in wars like this one’. If only Doucet could aspire to that same basic aim. One might ask Doucet, in turn: Why do you want to be a stenographer rather than a journalist?

We see more pictures of Gaza’s ruins. Doucet says: “The donors promise a lot. But politics on all sides gets in the way.” This is the extent of her ‘explanation’ of the carnage Israel has caused, the devastation it’s unleashed, its refusal to help rebuild.

Doucet’s grating commentary, over inappropriately lilting music, continues, with affected questions on whether the hate and suspicion can ever be overcome.

A scene of more families coming to settle in Israel’s border locale raises not a word of comment on the nature of Israel’s land appropriation, historic displacement of people and enduring occupation. The indoctrination of Israeli children in defending this is never mentioned, nor is the stark privilege of Israeli kids against the appalling conditions and despair of the children in Gaza. Doucet just smiles and says nothing of the staggering disparities.

I hope the families that Doucet interviewed in Gaza get to see how they’ve been used and exploited in this shabby, deceitful film.

An end credit announces that both Israel and Hamas could be indicted for war crimes, and that: ‘In May and June there were more rounds of rockets fired from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes’, the clear inference, as throughout this deeply-loaded film, that Israel is always ‘responding’ to provocative weaponry.

This is one of the worst examples of ’two sides’ reportage ever shown. Israel couldn’t have hoped for a greater piece of mitigating hasbara. Doucet’s film is one of the most shameful pieces of ‘war journalism’ ever put out by the BBC.

She doesn’t lack human empathy for the suffering Palestinian kids, such as little Syed, still haunted by the murder of his brother and three cousins on Gaza’s beach. What she lacks, much more profoundly, is a sense of compassionate duty to say why these appalling things happened, and are still happening, to name the principal perpetrators, to be a witness for truth and justice.

Doucet’s film is an abuse of journalism, and, in its pretentious evasions, an abuse of Gaza’s suffering children.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b061vbdj/children-of-the-gaza-war

– See more at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-bbcs-shameful-film-children-of-the-gaza-war-coverup-of-israels-orchestrated-massacre/5461466#sthash.N1r1o6OT.dpuf

This Might Make You Think Twice About Injecting Your Child With Gardasil

By Arjun Walia
July 9, 2015
Collective Evolution

 

gardBelow is a clip from Dr. Harper, one of a select few specialists in OB/GYN who helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. The clip is from a documentary titled “One More Girl,” a documentary that questions the safety of the Gardasil vaccine (Human Papillomavirus [HPV] vaccine that supposedly helps protect against 4 types of HPV), and vaccines in general.

One very important point to acknowledge is the fact that she has appeared in multiple “anti-vaccine” films, and multiple radio shows emphasizing how the HPV vaccines are neither safe nor effective. She has mentioned that the tested length of the efficacy of the vaccines in preventing HPV infection is not long enough to prevent cervical cancer, which, as she states in the video, can take decades to develop. She has also stated that vaccination will not decrease the number of cervical cancer cases, but a routine of regular pap smears will. (source)

There are only about 50 HPV experts in the world, and Dr. Harper is one of them. Again, she has stressed that there is absolutely zero proof that these vaccines work, and that they are safe and effective.

She is clearly against administering these vaccines to young girls, and for good reason.

“It is a vaccine that’s been highly marketed, the benefits are over-hyped, and the dangers are underestimated.” –  (Taken from the One More Girl Documentary) – Dr. Chris Shaw, Professor at the University of British Columbia, in the department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, and Visual Sciences.

See what Shaw has to say about aluminum in vaccines HERE.

Dr. Bernard Dalbergue, a former pharmaceutical industry physician with Gardasil manufacturer Merck who has also started to raise his voice against the HPV vaccine, has said:

The full extent of the Gardasil scandal needs to be assessed: everyone knew when this vaccine was released on the American market that it would prove to be worthless.  Diane Harper, a major opinion leader in the United States, was one of the first to blow the whistle, pointing out the fraud and scam of it all. I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers. Gardasil is useless and costs a fortune!  In addition, decision-makers at all levels are aware of it! Cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, paralysis of the lower limbs, vaccine-induced MS and vaccine-induced encephalitis can be found, whatever the vaccine. (source)(I’ve had the source translated, I apologize for not being able to find an english translation online) (Here is another video of him speaking in French for those who can understand and/or are able to have it translated by someone)

For another CE article regarding the Gardasil vaccine, please click HERE.

Related CE Article (heavily sourced):

The Top 6 Reasons Why Parents Are Choosing Not To Vaccinate Their Kids

A Measles Death, Vaccines, and the Media’s Failure to Inform

There is a discussion to be had about public vaccine policy. The media ought to start having it.

By Jeremy R. Hammond
Global Research, July 09, 2015
Foreign Policy Journal, July 5, 2015

 

Universal-Flu-Vaccine1Last week, it was widely reported in the mainstream media that the autopsy of a woman who died of pneumonia earlier this year in the state of Washington found that she had been infected with measles, making this the first confirmed case of measles-related death in the US since 2003. Playing its usual role, the mainstream media is up in arms, blaming the death on parents who choose not to vaccinate their children and telling parents that to not vaccinate is irresponsible. Rather than journalists doing their job by asking hard questions about public policy and seeking out the answers, they choose to act as nothing more than a mouthpiece for government health departments and dutifully tow the official line on vaccine policy.

The woman who died was not among the unvaccinated. On the contrary, she not only had been vaccinated, but reportedly was tested and found to have a protective antibody titer. She nevertheless became infected with measles while seeking medical attention in a clinic. She died from pneumonia, which can be caused by any number of other bacterial or viral infections besides measles, including the common cold and flu. The reason her immune system couldn’t handle the infection was because doctors had her on immunosuppressive drugs. Hence, medical intervention was a contributing factor in her death.

The media, as ever, is pushing the theory of herd immunity to encourage vaccination. Everyone needs to be vaccinated to protect infants and the immunocompromised, we are being told. The argument implies that the individual from whom the deceased caught the measles was unvaccinated, but that is pure speculation; for all we know, the person she contracted the measles virus from had been vaccinated, too.

It is quite possible for fully vaccinated individuals to get measles. It is well understood that some people just don’t respond to the vaccine as intended; their immune systems do not produce a great enough amount of antibodies to be considered protective. This is true of about 5 percent of the population, and it’s the reason a second dose, or “booster” shot, is recommended. That second shot is likely unnecessary for most children who did respond to the first, yet it’s given routinely to everyone anyway, even though the purpose is to target the few non-responders. Even after a second dose, however, 3 percent or so of the population still won’t respond.

Moreover, the vaccine-induced immunity, unlike the more robust immunity gained from natural infection, wanes over time. In fact, the CDCconsiders birth before 1957 to be “evidence of immunity” to measles for the simple reason that pretty much everyone back then was infected with it as a child and gained lifelong immunity as a result.

Also, the measles vaccine is a live-virus vaccine, and individuals can potentially get the disease from the vaccine as well as shed the virus. Vaccine-strain attenuated live viruses can replicate and revert back into virulent form (which is why they don’t vaccinate immunocompromised individuals) or recombine with other viruses to create novel virulent strains. This means that individuals who have received a live-virus vaccine can potentially catch the disease, as well as transmit the virus to others. This is why the live oral poliovirus vaccine was withdrawn from the market in the US, for example; every single domestic case of polio since 1979 was caused by the vaccine.

The theory of vaccine-induced herd immunity also overlooks natural herd immunity. Measles is a particularly useful example to illustrate the concept. This is what the measles mortality rate looked like before the introduction of the vaccine:

The vaccine was introduced in 1963, after the latest year shown in the above graph from the US Department of Health. Note that the above graph shows deaths from measles, not incidence of measles, which remained high until the introduction of the vaccine:

In fact, as already noted, it used to be that nearly everyone was exposed to the virus, usually in childhood, and gained lifelong immunity as a result. The virus was still around, but it was becoming less deadly to the US population due to an improving standard of living, better sanitation and hygiene, better nutrition (e.g., vitamin A is important for reducing measles mortality and decreasing morbidity), advances in health care, and so on.

What the declining mortality rate indicates is that the US population was developing natural herd immunity. We were learning to live in symbiosis with the virus, natural exposure to which not only confers permanent immunity to measles itself, but may help prime the immune system of children to protect against other diseasesas well.

But then along came the vaccine and destroyed that natural herd immunity.

While parents today are trained to have a hysterical fear of measles, back in the 1960s, when the vaccine was introduced, it was recognized as a generally mild disease with infrequent complications. In fact, in the era before the vaccine was introduced, it was accepted doctrine that the population would adapt to live in symbiosis with the virus—a respect for the balance of nature that was quickly discarded with the development of the vaccine.

The concept of “herd immunity” today is universally associated with the use of vaccines, but this is an application of the concept in fact borrowed from the observance of natural herd immunity to disease. In the case of measles, researchers in the 1930s—long before the vaccine existed—observed that epidemics in Baltimore occurred in predictable cycles and only when the level of immunity in affected communities was less than 55 percent (far below the 95 percent or so level of vaccination hypothesized to provide herd immunity with vaccination).

Now since nearly everyone is vaccinated at an early age, they don’t become infected with the disease in childhood and hence don’t develop the more robust permanent immunity conferred by natural infection.

The kind of immunity conferred by vaccines is not the same as that conferred by natural infection. Vaccines favor an antibody response while actually suppressing what is known as cell-mediated immunity. For example, while the flu vaccine offers protection against specific strains of the influenza virus, it works by inducing an antibody response while preventing the cell-mediated immunity that would otherwise offer protection not only against those specific strains of the virus, but other strains as well. Hence, getting an annual flu shot can actually increase the risk of getting the flu. (There areover 200 strains of viruses that cause influenza or flu-like symptoms, the vaccine only targets a handful of them, and public health officials guess each year which ones they think will be in circulation in order to manufacture seasonal vaccines for those specific strains.

While vaccine theory is premised on the idea of inducing humoral immunity, which involves an antibody response, scientists have learned the production of antibodies is neither always sufficient nor even necessary for the development of immunity.

Since the vaccine-induced immunity from the measles wanes over time, in the event of an outbreak, individuals are at greater risk of developing the disease in their adulthood, when it poses a higher risk of serious complications.

The government and media, of course, blame every outbreak on parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. This was true of the Disney outbreak earlier this year, even though the majority of cases were in adults.

Measles outbreaks can and do occur in highly vaccinated populations. Even if there was a 100 percent vaccination rate, outbreaks could still occur for the reasons already noted: some individuals do not respond to the vaccine, and the immunity of those who do wanes over time.

Moreover, because of public vaccine policy, mothers today who were never infected during their childhood and hence never developed robust permanent immunity are unable to protect their newborn babies from the disease in the event of an outbreak.

Without the vaccine, women would be infected as children and develop a permanent, robust cell-mediated immunity while continuing to be frequently exposed to the virus, thus also providing a harmless natural boost to their antibody levels. When they become mothers, they would then confer protection to their infants by passing on antibodies through their breastmilk.

But now, since women were vaccinated as children, they likely have a waning antibody titer by the time they start having children. Because the vaccine has quite successfully reduced transmission of the disease, they have not received the beneficial natural boosting of antibodies. Hence, they aren’t able to pass on that antibody protection to their infants.

Public vaccine policy has thus shifted the risk burden away from those in whom the disease is generally well-tolerated and onto those in whom it poses a higher risk of serious complications: adults and the most vulnerable members of society—infants.

Such long-term population-level negative consequences of vaccines simply don’t receive any consideration in the mainstream discussion.

In reports about the measles-related death in Washington, while amplifying public health officials’ recommendation that everyone make sure they and their children have been vaccinated for measles, the media has also failed to even approach the question of the more immediate individual risk associated with the vaccine. When the question of risks does come up, the media tends to treat it as though nonexistent. In the wake of the Disney measles outbreak earlier this year, for instance, theNew York Times insisted that there was “no evidence” that vaccines can cause harm and accused anyone who suggests otherwise of being “anti-science”.

This is a puzzling denial, indeed, in light of the fact that, back in the 1980s, the vaccine industry was granted legal immunity by the government because manufacturers were facing so many lawsuits for vaccine injuries that they were going out of business. This in turn threatened public health policy, which prompted the government to step in and bail out the vaccine manufactures by barring consumers from suing them for damages under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

Under the law, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was also established to shift the financial burden of compensation for vaccine injuries from Big Pharma to the consumers. The program is funded by a $0.75 tax on every antigen dose of vaccines (so every time an MMR shot is given, being a combination vaccine, $2.25 is taxed for the purpose of contributing to the national vaccine injury fund).

The Supreme Court has upheld legal immunity for vaccine manufacturers on the grounds that certain adverse reactions are “unavoidable” and “design defects” are “not a basis for liability.” Justice Antonin Scalia described this special accommodation for Big Pharma as a “societal bargain”.

The line from the New York Times and other mainstream media that vaccines are harmless is hard to reconcile with the fact that corporations like Merck have been granted legal immunity by the government on the grounds that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe.

As a further illustration of how utterly ignorant and irresponsible such dismissals of the risks associated with vaccines are, one need look no further than the vaccine manufacturers’ product inserts. Merck’s product insert for its measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine states that “Unnecessary doses of a vaccine are best avoided….” Surely, there must be a reason? It happens there are many.

For mothers, contraindications to vaccination include pregnancy, as “the possible effects of the vaccine on fetal development are unknown” since there are “no adequate studies” into that question. “However,” Merck appropriately adds, “it would be prudent to assume that the vaccine strain of virus is also capable of inducing adverse fetal effects.” The vaccine-strain mumps virus “has been shown to infect the placenta and fetus”. Studies have shown that the vaccine-strain of rubella virus can be transmitted to infants through the breast milk. Whether this is also true of the measles and mumps viruses “is not known”. Merck advises that “pregnancy should be avoided for 3 months following vaccination” and that “Caution should be exercised when M-M-R II is administered to a nursing woman.” The vaccine also “has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or potential to impair fertility.” Among those who should not receive it are children who are hypersensitive to any of the vaccine’s components, including gelatin and eggs, the latter because the live viruses are propagated in chick embryo cell cultures. The rubella portion of the vaccine is propagated in “human diploid lung fibroblasts”; specifically, WI-38 (ATCC® CCL-75TM), which contaminates the vaccine with human DNA from an aborted female fetus. (This has raised some concern over “ethical problems” at the Vatican; specifically about “cooperation in evil” and the “unjust” practice of forcing parents “to act against their conscience”.) Another ingredient is “fetal bovine serum”. Another is “recombinant human albumin”; specifically, Recombumin® Prime, a product of Novozyems Biopharma US Inc. This is a genetically engineered protein (“recombinant” means it was made by dicing and splicing genetic material). The product was developed because of concerns that using the blood protein albumin from humans or cattle carries the risk of blood-borne contaminants like mycoplasma, prions, or viruses. (This has happened. In March 2010, the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, was found to have been contaminatedwith a pig virus after it was injected into a million children.) Possible adverse reactions to the vaccine include:

  • Fever
  • Snycope (fainting)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vasculitis (a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the blood vessels, causing inflammation that can lead to serious problems, including aneurysms)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas that occurs when the digestive enzymes it produces begin digesting the pancreas itself)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Parotitis (inflammation of the parotid glands)
  • Nausea
  • Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
  • Thrombocytopenia (a disorder in which there is an abnormally low amount of platelets, which help blood to clot)
  • Anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause cardiac and respiratory arrest)
  • Arthritis (joint inflammation)
  • Arthralgia (joint pain)
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain, which can cause permanent brain damage or death)
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system, which can result in paralysis or death)
  • Febrile seizures (convulsions brought on by fever)
  • Afebrile seizures (convulsions without fever, which may indicate epilepsy)
  • Pneumonia
  • Measles-like rash
  • Death
It is perhaps not too surprising that many of these adverse reactions are the same as the symptoms or complications of wild-type measles itself, including: fever; headache; diarrhea; vomiting; encephalitis; seizures; pneumonia; rash; and, of course, death.Of course, Merck and public health officials maintain that serious adverse events are rare, less than the risk of developing the same complications from the disease. But, then, the recent case in Washington is the first confirmed case of measles-related death since 2003, while there have been 65 deaths since 2003 reported to the nation Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following vaccination with MMR.Furthermore, the possible adverse reactions listed in the product insert are just a list of known reactions from short-term studies—(and the vaccine manufacturers conduct their own studies to get FDA licensure)—and postmarketing surveillance. The long-term effects of vaccination and its interference in the natural development of an individual’s immune system haven’t been well studied, such as whether vaccination has contributed to the alarming increases in asthmaallergies, and autoimmune diseases.

The continued use of mercury as a preservative in flu vaccines and the use of aluminum as an adjuvant in numerous other childhood vaccines are particularly worrisome practices. Both are known neurotoxins that can pass the placental and blood-brain barriers.There has never been a study of long-term health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. As much as the media likes to say that science has shown that there is no risk of developing autism from vaccines, there has never been a study comparing autism rates of individuals who’ve received the CDC’s recommended schedule and unvaccinated individuals.

Moreover, it is known that vaccinations can modify gene expression, and certain individuals may be genetically predisposed to having adverse reactions or long-term negative health consequence of being vaccinated; yet public policy treats vaccination as a one-size-fits-allsolution—thus playing Russian roulette with our children.

This is all just scratching the surface. The point is that the media treat the subject of vaccines as though there wasn’t even a discussion to be had—just fall in line and get your damn shots! This is dishonest and anti-intellectual. The popular accusation that anyone who questions public vaccine policy is “anti-science” is a particularly hypocritical creed reflective of the intellectual dishonesty and sheer laziness of mainstream journalists who bow to the altar of the state religion and preach official dogma rather than doing their jobs.

Notwithstanding the pretense to the contrary from public health officials and the mainstream media, there is a discussion to be had about public vaccine policy. We ought to start having it.

Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst and a recipient of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He is the founding editor ofForeign Policy Journal and the author of Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian economics in the financial crisis and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict. His forthcoming book is Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He blogs atJeremyRHammond.comClick here to sign up for his free newsletter

The U.S. Still Tortures with Impunity

By Robert Abele
July 09, 2015
Global Research

 

torture USA 2Here we go again. More disturbing news arises about the depth of the U.S. torture program; a few politicians express their disgust at it; the U.S. media complex becomes complicit in the continuation of the program either by their adumbration of torture (Fair.org reported extensively on this in December and January), or by their silence; and the torture program itself continues and deepens, until the next report, when the cycle will repeat again.

So once again, with the latest news of U.S. torture policies, we must raise the salient issues concerning torture, and rekindle the anti-torture movement until others can see not only the degree to which our own government conducts its confinement policies with such sadistic brutality, but to realize that the same degree of brutality which the government is willing to inflict on “foreigners” is the degree of brutality to which we become susceptible from our own domestic jailers, as well as from those who confront U.S. intervention abroad.

Specifically, by the end of June, we learned two new crucial things about the U.S. torture program that, once again, the corporate media ignored almost in entirety. First, we learned through a report from the Center for Constitutional Rights, that Guantanamo prisoner Majid Khan testified that he had been subjected to torture that was far more brutal than the U.S. Senate report on torture made public last year. Khan testified that, among other tortures, he had been waterboarded, raped, sexually abused, subjected to solitary confinement in total darkness, and hung by his wrists for days at a time from ceiling beams. Every one of these actions is a direct violation of international law and of our deepest and most humane ethical convictions. Any one of these treatments, by themselves, would constitute an international crime against humanity. Taken together, the obvious conclusion is that the U.S. torture program is not only alive and well (unlike its prisoners), but is a program that is itself flaunting international conventions and basic ethical behavior.

The second—and more horrifying—thing we learned in June was that the CIA crafted its own internal regulations that permitted the agency’s director to override all international law in its torture practices, and to go the furthest ends of sadism: experimentation on human beings. Again ignored by the U.S. media, it took the Guardian from London to publish the document “AR 2-2, Law and Policy Governing the Conduct of Intelligence Activities.”

Don’t feel bad if you had not heard of these developments. Most people haven’t, thanks to our enabling media complex.

But now that the information has become public through non-mainstream media channels, we can respond to such deliberate and culpable media ignorance by continuing to underscore four issues in public discourse and protest: the definition of torture, international laws on torture, reminders of what substantive ethical arguments condemning torture should say, and understanding the final purpose of torture: control over people.

1) Defining Torture

The internationally accepted definition of torture comes from the U.N. Convention against Torture (UNCAT, which came into force in June, 1987): “the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering for purposes such as obtaining information or a confession, or punishing, intimidating or coercing someone.”  Treating civilians in such fashion would be illegal, according to this convention.

2) International Law and Treaties on Torture

That torture is heartily disapproved by nations worldwide may be seen by examining some international laws concerning torture. For example,

–The U.N. Convention against Torture (UNCAT): Article 1, Section 2: If a nation has signed the treaty without reservations, then there are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever where a nation can use torture; and Article 3: “No State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.”

–The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

–The Third Convention: Article 3; Part III, Section I; Article 87 (“Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishment, imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any form of torture or cruelty, are forbidden”); Article 130: (condemns “torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health”)

–The Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 3; Article 32 (“This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishments, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents”); and Article 147.

–The Geneva Conventions Additional Protocol I, Article 75

–The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7: Torture and abusive treatment are “crimes against humanity” and Article 8: Torture is a war crime

–The European Convention on Human Rights, Article 3: “Prohibition of torture:” “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

The United States has ratified and signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and UNCAT.

Furthermore, U.S. Federal law specifically defines and prohibits torture (U.S. Code, Chapter 113C, 2340): “torture means… [inflicting] severe physical or mental pain or suffering,” including the administering of mind-altering substances,…threats of death, [and/or] threats of severe physical pain.”

3) An ethical argument against torture

Premise #1: As a general moral principle, most people intuitively reject torture as abusive to persons physically and psychologically

Premise #2: International Law consistently condemns abusive treatment of detainees (dealt with above).

Premise #3: Torturing a “suspect” is immoral and illegal as well. “Suspect” means “innocent,” both legally and morally. Thus, if torturing a morally innocent person is immoral, so is the torturing a suspect.

Premise #4: Empirical givens. First, Torture almost never accomplishes the stated goal of information-gathering (see Alfred McCoy, A Question of Torture). Second, once torture starts, even with low level actions such as face-slapping, there is no stopping it, both in method or in regular use.

Premise #5: Normative premises:

a) Using a person as a means to an end is immoral, according to the normative argument used in Terrorism, above.

b) International Law forbidding all torture is based on a moral conception of human rights.

c) Human rights is based on notions of human dignity and autonomy. Thus, any justification for torture must include a rejection of: i) conception of common human nature; ii) universal human rights.

d) There is no “moral ought” to torture. But if torture is in fact taken in this way, then anything is permitted, since torture is the final crossing point between civilized behavior and barbarity.

Compare these five premises to U.S. history. The U.S. has a long history of ignoring any law that does not suit its own self-interest. Torture is no different. (See Alfred W. McCoy, A Question of Torture). For example, from 1950-1962, the CIA conducted massive, secret research into coercion and the malleability of human consciousness which, by the late 1950’s, was costing a billion dollars a year.  This research produced a new method of torture, “no-touch” torture. Additionally, by 1967, the CIA was operating 40 interrogation centers in South Vietnam that killed over 20,000 Viet Cong suspects. Finally, this practice was the same one used in Kabul on Al Qaeda suspects in 2002, and seen in Abu Ghraib. Now, here we are once again confronted in June and July of 2015, with powerful instances in which the U.S. has not only ignored its international law obligations, but has sought to flout them completely.

The standard objection to my argument against torture is, of course, to appeal to cases of one-off instances, such as the ticking-bomb scenario (i.e. a bomb is going to explode in a heavily-populated area, and under routine questioning, the suspect will not provide information as to its location). There are several replies to such concocted scenarios.

First, it is important to note that the empirical evidence shows not only that the torture will not merit the intended goal of information, but that even if it does result in getting information, tests show that in 60 out of 100 instances, interrogators could not distinguish between the truth or falsity of the information they got.

Further, there are several false assumptions about the ticking-bomb dilemma. First, the objection assumes that the evidentiary requirements for police to act to defuse the bomb or vacate people cannot and would not be met in real-time. It assumes further that there is no other way to obtain information regarding the bomb than to torture a suspect; that the suspect has all the knowledge the detainers need to get to and defuse the bomb; that the suspect will surrender all this knowledge without leaving any pertinent detail out, prior to the bomb exploding, etc. Second, these types of scenarios all presume that our legal and governmental institutions can make the necessary determinations about when torture is called for a permissible. Third, they all presume that our legal and governmental institutions can control when and how torture is used, and to what extent.

4) The ultimate purpose of torture

The most important thing to keep in mind in discussing torture is that it is the complete denial of the humanity of the tortured, and simultaneously the total control over another person, reducing them to the moral status of an inanimate object. Presumably, that is precisely what those who torture, such as our own CIA and some local police departments in the U.S., want: not information, but total control over people. On the other hand, if a state and its people are willing to embrace or willfully ignore their own government’s torture practices, the only form of government that is possible for that society is totalitarianism: complete control of people, with no limitation.

It is a truism because it has been repeatedly demonstrated, that any government that is willing to inflict such extreme violence on the hated “other,” the “foreigner,” will be willing to inflict it on their citizens as well, in order to maintain and control them and to enhance its own power. U.S. citizens, especially minorities, have testified to such torture being used against them in our own domestic prisons. Thus, to fight it before it becomes entrenched as an instrument of local as well as federal government policy to control its citizens is not only a practical imperative, it is a moral imperative as well.

Dr. Robert Abele holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University and M.A. degrees in Theology and Divinity. He is a professor of philosophy at Diablo Valley College, located in Pleasant Hill, California in the San Francisco Bay area, and is the author of five books and numerous articles. His new book, Rationality and Justice, will be out in 2016.