Monday, April 30, 2012

Domestic violence rises in sluggish economy, police report

Kevin Johnson

Police are encountering more domestic violence related to the sluggish economy, a national survey of law enforcement agencies finds. 

The review, part of a continuing examination of how economic conditions are affecting law enforcement by the Police Executive Research Forum, found that 56% of the 700 responding agencies reported that the poor economy is driving an increase in domestic conflict, up from 40% of agencies in a similar survey in 2010.

Domestic violence is not a separate category of crime tracked in the FBI's annual crime report, which has recorded a sustained decline in overall violence since the financial collapse in 2008. But the survey concludes that police are responding to more reports of domestic incidents, regardless of whether charges are filed.

In Camden, N.J., police responded to 9,100 domestic incidents in 2011, up from 7,500 calls in 2010.
Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson said it was "impossible'' to separate the economy from the domestic turmoil in the city where unemployment is 19%. 

Thomson said domestic-related aggravated assaults increased nearly 10% in 2011 from levels in 2010. The chief said the department has been tracking the calls closely because of the time and personnel they draw from a force that has been depleted in the past two years with layoffs of about 200 employees, another consequence of the poor economy.

"When stresses in the home increase because of unemployment and other hardships, domestic violence increases," Thomson said. "We see it on the street."

CIA Disrupts Ongoing US, Pakistan Negotiations With Drone Strike Just as Breakthrough Neared

Jim White

Despite no agreement being announced during Special Envoy Marc Grossman’s visit to Pakistan last week, Pakistan Today reports that negotiations between Pakistan and the US had continued, and an agreement on transportation of NATO supplies through Pakistan, along with the resumption of the flow of support funding for Pakistan, was to be announced as early as today. Those plans, and the prospects for finalizing an agreement, were disrupted Sunday when the CIA unilaterally restarted drone attacks inside Pakistan, striking a former girls’ school in which Uzbek and Tajik militants were said to be holed up.

Here is how Pakistan Today described the current situation:
Intense negotiations between US Special Envoy Marc Grossman and Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership have finally paved the way for the reopening of blocked NATO supplies and release of arrears under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) by Washington, and a breakthrough in this regard is likely in a day or two, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday.
This breakthrough is said to be planned for Monday (today) but Sunday’s drone strike in North Waziristan by CIA despite a clear ‘no’ to such attacks by Pakistani parliament has not gone down well with Pakistani authorities and it could impact the process of reconciliation between Islamabad and Washington.
“Ambassador Grossman has left Islamabad but around 10 American officials are still here finalizing a deal on NATO reopening and CSF arrears’ release,” the diplomat said.
A member of the federal cabinet, Sheikh Waqas Akram disclosed that Islamabad and Washington were very close to reaching a deal on NATO supplies and CSF dues’ release.
“Yes that is true, this breakthrough is imminent and it was revealed by Ambassador Grossman himself when he met me and some other parliamentarians in his recent visit to Islamabad,” Akram, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, said. He said that a breakthrough on NATO supplies and CSF arrears, according to his information was about to take place today (Monday) but the latest drone strike in North Waziristan could again sabotage the reconciliatory efforts.
Akram then placed blame for the drone strike on “hawkish elements” in the US and suggested it was intended to disrupt negotiations:
“It seems that the hawkish elements in US establishment and among the political circles there do not want the improvement of ties between Pakistan and the US,” Akram said.

Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

David K. Shipler

THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts. 

But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested. 

When an Oregon college student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, thought of using a car bomb to attack a festive Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps, a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel to make the van smell flammable. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving, with Mr. Mohamud in the passenger seat. To trigger the bomb the student punched a number into a cellphone and got no boom, only a bust. 

This is legal, but is it legitimate? Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones? Judging by their official answers, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department are sure of themselves — too sure, perhaps. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

House GOP still mulling Holder contempt

John Bresnahan

House Republicans are not ready to proceed with a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal, but there are clear signals that that GOP patience with the Justice Department is wearing thin.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday night that Speaker John Boehner had “given the green light” to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to pursue a contempt citation against Holder and the Justice Department for failing to comply with the panel’s probe into the hugely controversial program.

But GOP leadership aides and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee say no decision has been made to take such a dramatic step. They acknowledge, however, the possibility of bringing contempt proceedings has been discussed in leadership sessions.

“While there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action, no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders,” a senior GOP leadership aide said.
“The Justice Department has not fully cooperated with the investigation into gunwalking that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious. The House Oversight Committee continues to make necessary preparations to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt if the Justice Department refuses to change course and stop blocking access to critical documents,” a spokesman for Issa added.

Czechs rally in Prague to protest government austerity measures

Tens of thousands of Czechs have taken to the streets in the capital city of Prague in one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations since the fall of communism to protest against austerity measures.

Unions, pensioners, student associations and others infuriated by austerity cuts took part in a protest rally on Saturday, chanting “Enough is enough.”

The protesters demanded the government's resignation over reforms and budget cuts and called for early parliamentary elections as they blame the country's budget deficit on capitalism, the government and spending cuts.

Unions have promised more protests and civil disobedience to paralyze the government unless their legitimate demands are met.

"They promised budgetary responsibility but instead the government debt is growing. They promised to fight graft but corruption has gripped their parties and the entire society," Jaroslav Zavadil, the head of the Confederation of Trade Unions, told the crowd.

Meanwhile, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas says the austerity measures are needed to avoid falling in a “debt trap.”

The government has pledged to reduce the country's budget deficit to below 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GPD) in 2013 from 3.5 percent expected this year.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, triggering incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European Countries.

Talk - Jim Douglass - JFK and the Unspeakable

Data Harvesting at Google Not a Rogue Act, Report Finds

New York Times
Dave Streitfield

SAN FRANCISCO — Google’s harvesting of e-mails, passwords and other sensitive personal information from unsuspecting households in the United States and around the world was neither a mistake nor the work of a rogue engineer, as the company long maintained, but a program that supervisors knew about, according to new details from the full text of a regulatory report.

The report, prepared by the Federal Communications Commission after a 17-month investigation of Google’s Street View project, was released, heavily redacted, two weeks ago. Although it found that Google had not violated any laws, the agency said Google had obstructed the inquiry and fined the company $25,000. 

On Saturday, Google released a version of the report with only employees’ names redacted.
The full version draws a portrait of a company where an engineer can easily embark on a project to gather personal e-mails and Web searches of potentially hundreds of millions of people as part of his or her unscheduled work time, and where privacy concerns are shrugged off. 

The so-called payload data was secretly collected between 2007 and 2010 as part of Street View, a project to photograph streetscapes over much of the civilized world. When the program was being designed, the report says, it included the following “to do” item: “Discuss privacy considerations with Product Counsel.” 

“That never occurred,” the report says. 

Google says the data collection was legal. But when regulators asked to see what had been collected, Google refused, the report says, saying it might break privacy and wiretapping laws if it shared the material. 

A Google spokeswoman said Saturday that the company had much stricter privacy controls than it used to, in part because of the Street View controversy. She expressed the hope that with the release of the full report, “we can now put this matter behind us.” 

Ever since information about the secret data collection first began to emerge two years ago, Google has portrayed it as the mistakes of an unauthorized engineer operating on his own and stressed that the data was never used in any Google product. 

‘US, Israel behind terrorism and social unrest in Syria’


Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including members of the security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.

Damascus blames armed terrorist groups for the country’s year-long unrest, asserting that violent acts are being orchestrated from abroad.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Paul Sheldon Foote, professor at the California State University, Irvine, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Professor, how would you explain Russia’s stance and position towards Syria?

Foote: I think it’s time that someone started telling the truth about it. It’s very obvious that America, Israel and some Arab countries are behind this terrorism in Syria.

A big lie for a long time, that America’s been at war with terrorism while they continually support terrorism in the region. It’s outrageous what they’re doing.

Gaddafi put up 50M euro for Sarkozy’s presidential bid – report

Russia Today

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had agreed to fund French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign – to the tune of 50 million euro, a new report says.

The Paris-based investigative website Mediapart published “documentary evidence” that Gaddafi was ready to stump up tens of millions of dollars to help Sarkozy win the French presidential race.

Mediapart claimed Saturday that the 2006 document was provided by "former senior [Libyan] officials, who are now in hiding."  They further claim the document came “from the archives of the secret service,” and was signed by Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief and later foreign minister, Moussa Koussa.

In it, Koussa noted “an agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to 50 million euro."

Sarkozy attempted to deflect the allegations when confronted by a TF1 presenter, saying, "If [Gaddafi] had financed it, I wasn't very grateful." Sarkozy’s sarcastic comeback was in reference to France’s lead role in the NATO campaign that led to Gaddafi’s brutal demise.

'It's obviously an attempt to draw away attention after Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back on stage,' Nicolas Sarkozy told the French media.

On Friday the former IMF-chief, who was once tipped to win France's presidential vote, but dropped out of the race after a sex scandal, claimed Sarkozy and other political rivals orchestrated his downfall.

'This only plays into Socialists' hands as they don't want to be reminded that they were going to make him the next French president,' Sarkozy added.

You Are All Suspects Now. What Are You Going to Do About It?

John Pilger

You are all potential terrorists. It matters not that you live in Britain, the United States, Australia or the Middle East. Citizenship is effectively abolished. Turn on your computer and the US Department of Homeland Security's National Operations Center may monitor whether you are typing not merely "al-Qaeda," but "exercise," "drill," "wave," "initiative" and "organization": all proscribed words. The British government's announcement that it intends to spy on every email and phone call is old hat. The satellite vacuum cleaner known as Echelon has been doing this for years. What has changed is that a state of permanent war has been launched by the United States and a police state is consuming Western democracy.

What are you going to do about it?

In Britain, on instructions from the CIA, secret courts are to deal with "terror suspects." Habeas Corpus is dying. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that five men, including three British citizens, can be extradited to the US even though none except one has been charged with a crime. All have been imprisoned for years under the 2003 US/UK Extradition Treaty which was signed one month after the criminal invasion of Iraq. The European Court had condemned the treaty as likely to lead to "cruel and unusual punishment." One of the men, Babar Ahmad, was awarded 63,000 pounds compensation for 73 recorded injuries he sustained in the custody of the Metropolitan Police. Sexual abuse, the signature of fascism, was high on the list. Another man is a schizophrenic, who has suffered a complete mental collapse and is in Broadmoor secure hospital; another is a suicide risk. To the Land of the Free they go - along with young Richard O'Dwyer, who faces ten years in shackles and an orange jump suit because he allegedly infringed US copyright on the Internet.

As the law is politicized and Americanized, these travesties are not untypical. In upholding the conviction of a London university student, Mohammed Gul, for disseminating "terrorism" on the Internet, appeal court judges in London ruled that "acts ... against the armed forces of a state anywhere in the world which sought to influence a government and were made for political purposes" were now crimes. Call to the dock Thomas Paine, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela.

What are you going to do about it?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Keep guessing: US deploying fighter jets to the Gulf?

Russia Today

The US says it has deployed a number of its most modern jet fighters to an air base in Southwest Asia. The announcement alarmed many, who suspect the base is actually in the United Arab Emirates just 200 hundred miles from Iran.

­The Air Force did not specify the exact number or location of the recently-deployed F-22 Raptors, but confirmed that they had been sent to a base in Southwest Asia, a region that includes the UAE.

“Such deployments strengthen military-to-military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures,” said Air Force spokesman Capt. Phil Ventura.
Numerous reports assert that the planes have been deployed in the United Arab Emirates, just 200 miles from Iran's mainland.

The move is viewed by many as a precautionary measure ahead of crucial nuclear talks with Iran.

Washington, however, says it is a scheduled deployment and not a threat to Tehran.
Iran agreed earlier this month to discuss its nuclear program without preconditions, but refused to have private bilateral talks with a US delegation. The next round of talks is scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad.

To Joliet Jail for NATO offenders?

Fran Speilman

Joliet and State Police and state
maintance men leave the Joliet Correctional
Center on May 14, 2010
Mothballed for a decade, the Joliet Correctional Center could be temporarily reopened to serve as a detention facility for those arrested for serious offenses during the May 20-21 NATO summit.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his first choice was to use Division 3 at Cook County Jail before the once-empty division had to be filled with detainees over the last two months. 

A less desirable alternative was to put up tents in the yard at Cook County Jail.

But, Dart said the solution that makes the most sense is Joliet, the hulk of a prison facility mothballed in 2002.

“They shut down Joliet prison. It’s sitting there empty. Could I turn the key and open it up? Does the water still work? Does the electricity work? If that’s a question, I might just look at the yard and whether to put up tents with some cots and utilize that setting at Joliet,” Dart said. 

“It’s empty and it will be empty. There are no issues with that. If it’s functional, it wouldn’t take a lot of manpower to monitor. Transportation would be a straight shot down I-55. Across the street is Stateville [Correctional Center] We’re going there anyway.”

Fukushima: Hanging by a Thread

Dr. Sicus's Blog
Dr. Mark Sircus

After writing my essay Radioactive Hell on Earth”—actually I wanted to change that title to “Fukushima on Steroids”—I see Christina Consolo’s essay Fukushima is Falling Apart”:

Are you ready—it is becoming clear that we, our children and our entire civilization is hanging by a thread. It is a very sorry thing to report that we have literally shot ourselves in the foot with a big nuclear shotgun full of radioactive particles of the worst conceivable kind.

It has taken a year but finally “a U.S. Senator finally got off his ass and went to Japan to see what is going on over there. What he saw was horrific. Reactor No. 4 building is on the verge of collapsing.
Seismicity standards rate the building at a zero, meaning even a small earthquake could send it into a heap of rubble. And sitting at the top of the building, in a pool that is cracked, leaking, and precarious even without an earthquake, are 1,565 fuel rods.”

If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire that could wipe out most of the northern hemisphere; certainly it would be a massive civilization-breaking event.

After an onsite tour of what remains of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facilities, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, sent a letter to Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki saying, “The scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what I expected.

The precarious status of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear units and the risk presented by the enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all and a focus of greater international support and assistance.”

1,565 fuel rods translates into 460 tons of nuclear fuel stored in pool in a barely intact building on its third and fourth floors. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode.

The worst-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but also the disintegration of spent-fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors.
The wall of the south side is falling apart at reactor No. 4 and Dr. Helen Caldicott said she would evacuate her family from Boston if it did.

Operation Cast Lead: It's Zionese for Burning People

Charles E. Carlson

"Zionese" is the unofficial spoken language of the State of Israel. Most Israelis learn and use the Zionese language, but one need not be Jewish to speak it; today it is also the language that’s spoken in many Judeo-Christian and Messianic churches in America, often without church leaders realizing it.

 The first cab driver I rode with in Israel pointedly called the Philistines "animals" in the course of polite conversation...that’s Zionese. He was cautioning me to keep away from Palestinians while in Israel. "They will kill you in there," he told me, when he learned I was going into Gaza. More Zionese.

Zionese is not a language of letter, syllable, and punctuation. It is the delivery of a few so-called "truths" that must be learned and repeated forcefully without reservation. The trick is in the delivery. Zionese is the art of telling a story that most will reject, and repeating it as if most believe it.

The teller must not worry about being thought a liar by most, so long as there are listeners who will believe because they think others believe. Common Zionese statements are "our warfare is self-defense", "they hit us first (usually with “rockets"), "they are animals," and "Israelis are holocaust survivors." Zionese paints all Arabs as inferior. It is a language of racist superiority, and it is no stretch to call it verbal brutality.

Reality Check: The Truth About Delegate Numbers In Iowa and Minnesota

Friday, April 27, 2012

White House vows veto, but will CISPA be signed?

'United States seeks excuse to stay in Afghanistan'


US President Barack Obama has approved a new policy which allows the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen.

According to US officials, Obama has approved the use of "signature strikes", which will allow the CIA to launch strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed.

The move comes as the number of US assassination drone strikes in Yemen has already hit a record.

Critics of drone campaign believe that more innocent people will be killed if US strikes are expanded in Yemen.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Conn Hallinan, from Foreign Policy in Focus, to share his opinion on this issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: President Obama who is a noble lawyer has approved expanding targeted assassinations in Yemen through drone strikes even when the identity of the victims are not known and it does not take a rocket signs to figure that increased airstrikes will raise the numbers of civilian casualties which then leads to destabilizing Yemen even further. Why is Obama expanding this illegal drone war there?

Hallinan: I think it is a very good question. I think what it is, is that they are calling a situation in Yemen where they had made the issue sort of al-Qaeda, in other words we are fighting al-Qaeda.
In fact the situation in South Yemen is much more complex of that. There is a very strong native grown independence movement that always opposed the unification with North Yemen.

There are lots of different tribes there, there are lots of different political faction etc. and we were induced to down to this question of al-Qaeda which means that I think this is what is happening is that we mean why we are doing this, we are taking sides on the growing civil war in Yemen and that we are using the drones there to support the government in Sana and I think the fact of that is that we are now suddenly a participant in this civil war.

Palestine solidarity on trial

Socialist Alternative

Palestine solidarity campaigners on 1 July last year.
On 1 May 19 Melbourne activists will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent-setting case, these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalise dissent in Baillieu’s Victoria and intimidate supporters of Palestine in Australia.

On 1 July 2011, Victoria Police attacked a peaceful demonstration in Melbourne’s CBD. In one of the largest political arrests in a decade, 19 activists were detained during a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) action against the Max Brenner store. The chocolateria is owned by Israeli conglomerate the Strabdsuss Group, a company that provides “care rations” for the Israeli military, including the Golani and the Givati brigades. These were two of the key Israeli military brigades involved in Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 that killed more than 1300 Palestinians. In more recent times the Golani brigade has been noted for its brutal enforcement of Israeli colonisation of Palestinian Hebron in the West Bank.

After a series of peaceful demonstrations against Max Brenner, the 1 July action was kettled by police before activists were individually targeted in an unprovoked attack by the riot squad. The police used pressure point tactics on some of the demonstrators; others reported bruising and rough treatment. One woman had her shoulder dislocated.

Damian Ridgwell, one of the arrested protesters told Electronic Intifada about his experience:
I was dragged behind police lines. Once they grabbed me and started dragging me, I went limp and dropped to the ground… As I was being carried through the corridors of the loading dock, I lost consciousness because one of the police had me in a choke hold. I am not sure how long I was out, probably a few minutes. I woke up on the loading dock floor and heard the police saying I was “out”.
The majority of those arrested were charged with trespass in a public place (yes that is apparently a crime) and besetting (an archaic law that means “to surround a building”); a small number were also charged with behaving in a “riotous manner”.

After attending another protest, four of these nineteen protesters were again arrested (for breaking their bail conditions) in dawn raids on their homes. These anti-democratic conditions stipulated that activists may not return within fifty metres of Max Brenner stores in the Melbourne CBD. Three were released from jail on a bail of $2,000 each. One of the more prominent campaigners, Vashti Kenway, was made to pay a $10,000 bail or face prison. All up the activists are facing fines of around $30,000.

America's Mad Cow Crisis

John Stauber

Americans might remember that when the first mad cow was confirmed in the United States in December, 2003, it was major news. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been petitioned for years by lawyers from farm and consumer groups I worked with to stop the cannibal feeding practices that transmit this horrible, always fatal, human and animal dementia. When the first cow was found in Washington state, the government said it would stop such feeding, and the media went away. But once the cameras were off and the reporters were gone nothing substantial changed.

In the United States, dairy calves are still taken from their mothers and fed the blood and fat of dead cattle. This is no doubt a way to infect them with the mad cow disease that has now been incubating here for decades, spread through such animal feeding practices. No one knows how the latest dairy cow was infected, the fourth confirmed in the United States. Maybe it was nursed on cow's blood. Perhaps it was fed feed containing cattle fat with traces of cattle protein. Or perhaps there is a mad cow disease in pigs in the United States, which simply has not been found yet, because pigs are not tested for it at all, even though pigs are fed both pig and cattle byproducts, and then the blood, fat and other waste parts of these pigs are fed to cattle.

All these U.S. cattle feeding methods are long banned and illegal in other countries that suffered through but eventually dealt properly with mad cow disease. Here, rather than stopping the transmission of the disease by stopping the cannibal feeding, mad cow is simply covered up with inadequate testing and very adequate public relations. US cattle are still fed mammalian blood, fat and protein, risking human deaths and threatening the long term safety of human blood products, simply to provide the U.S. livestock industry with a cheap protein source and a cheap way to get rid of dead animal waste.

I began researching this issue around 1989, long before the disease was confirmed to have jumped from cattle to the people eating them, as announced by the British government in 1996. In 1997, I co-authored Mad Cow USA, warning that the disease was likely already here and spreading, since the animal cannibalism that caused its outbreak in Britain and spread it to other countries was actually more widespread in the United States than anywhere.

Police who lie: False testimony often goes unpunished

The Star
Jesse McLean and David Bruser

A justice accused Niagara Region police
chief Wendy Southall of failing to act
after learning senior officers lied about a tip
that led to one of the largest drug busts
in Ontario history.
The first time Toronto police Det. Scott Aikman deceived the court, a judge denounced his “misleading” testimony and threw out a cocaine charge against a man.

The second time, Det. Aikman’s story explaining why he and his partner searched a minivan led to the acquittal of four suspects.

accused of masterminding an international credit-card data-theft ring.

Aikman “either fabricated or concealed evidence” to justify the van search, the judge said. The four suspects, charged with a total of 321 offences, walked free.

Was Aikman disciplined for his conduct in court?

“No. Of course not,” said Aikman, explaining to the Star that he had done nothing wrong.

A coast-to-coast Toronto Star investigation found more than 120 police officers have been accused by judges of outright lying, misleading the court or fabricating evidence since 2005. Many of the officers have gone unpunished.

Police who lie: How officers thwart justice with false testimony

There is so little oversight of the problem that in some jurisdictions police forces did not know judges found that their officers misled the court. Internal investigations into four cases — three in Peel, one in York — were started after the Star brought the courtroom misconduct to the departments’ attention.
Compounding the lack of oversight is a lack of accountability to the public.

Big-city forces, including Montreal and Calgary, refused to say whether their officers were disciplined.
At the Toronto Police Service, where at least 34 officers have come under fire from judges for being untruthful in court in recent years, there is little indication Chief Bill Blair considers the judges’ findings a call for change.

The chair of the civilian oversight Toronto Police Services Board, Alok Mukherjee, told the Star he is troubled by this “serious issue” and wants something done to stop the lies from eroding the public’s trust in his police force.

“If we say a police officer takes an oath of office to uphold the law, if we require that they must be of good moral character and integrity …then someone who is found to have lied or falsified their notes, can they be said to be upholding their oath? Can they be said to have demonstrated integrity?” he said. “My simple, non-legal mind says: That’s misconduct.”

The Star sent letters to police forces across the country asking how they responded to the judicial findings questioning their officers’ credibility. The reactions ranged from receptive to unaware to dismissive.

A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform

Carl Zimmer

PLEA Dr. Ferric Fang argues that science has changed in worrying ways.
In the fall of 2010, Dr. Ferric C. Fang made an unsettling discovery. Dr. Fang, who is editor in chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, found that one of his authors had doctored several papers. 

It was a new experience for him. “Prior to that time,” he said in an interview, “Infection and Immunity had only retracted nine articles over a 40-year period.” 

The journal wound up retracting six of the papers from the author, Naoki Mori of the University of the Ryukyus in Japan. And it soon became clear that Infection and Immunity was hardly the only victim of Dr. Mori’s misconduct. Since then, other scientific journals have retracted two dozen of his papers, according to the watchdog blog Retraction Watch

“Nobody had noticed the whole thing was rotten,” said Dr. Fang, who is a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

Dr. Fang became curious how far the rot extended. To find out, he teamed up with a fellow editor at the journal, Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. And before long they reached a troubling conclusion: not only that retractions were rising at an alarming rate, but that retractions were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem — “a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate,” as Dr. Fang put it. 

Dr. Casadevall, now editor in chief of the journal mBio, said he feared that science had turned into a winner-take-all game with perverse incentives that lead scientists to cut corners and, in some cases, commit acts of misconduct. 

“This is a tremendous threat,” he said. 

Private Prison Corporations Are Slave Traders

Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.”
The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this month sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full. Plus, the corporate jailers demand a 20-year management contract, on top of the profits they expect to extract by spending less money per prisoner.
For the last two years, the number of inmates held in state prisons has declined slightly, largely because the states are short on money. Crime, of course, has declined dramatically in the last 20 years, but that has never dampened the states’ appetites for warehousing ever more Black and brown bodies, and the federal prison system is still growing. However, the Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.
The attempted prison grab is also defensive in nature. If private companies can gain both ownership and management of enough prisons, they can set the prices without open-bid competition for prison services, creating a guaranteed cost-plus monopoly like that which exists between the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex.
If private companies are allowed to own the deeds to prisons, they are a big step closer to owning the people inside them.”
But, for a better analogy, we must go back to the American slave system, a thoroughly capitalist enterprise that reduced human beings to units of labor and sale. The Corrections Corporation of America’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission read very much like the documents of a slave-trader. Investors are warned that profits would go down if the demand for prisoners declines. That is, if the world’s largest police state shrinks, so does the corporate bottom line. Dangers to profitability include “relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws." The corporation spells it out: “any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them." At the Corrections Corporation of America, human freedom is a dirty word.
But, there is something even more horrifying than the moral turpitude of the prison capitalists. If private companies are allowed to own the deeds to prisons, they are a big step closer to owning the people inside them. Many of the same politicians that created the system of mass Black incarceration over the past 40 years, would gladly hand over to private parties all responsibility for the human rights of inmates. The question of inmates' rights is hardly raised in the debate over prison privatization. This is a dialogue steeped in slavery and racial oppression. Just as the old slave markets were abolished, so must the Black American Gulag be dismantled – with no compensation to those who traffic in human beings.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

City of Chicago and the Secret Service Tell Milwaukee Red Cross to Prepare To Evacuate Chicago During NATO Summit

Alex Thomas

Andy Thayer, center, joins other activists outside the
City of Chicago Central Hearing Facility
Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in Chicago, as they appeal
a city denial of their request to hold a march during the
upcoming NATO Summit. Delegations for dozens
of world leaders visiting Chicago for the NATO Summit
will test city resources, a city transportation official testified
during the hearing. Organizers had promised to file
a lawsuit if the city ruled against them.
An email leaked to CBS2 News details a possible plan by the city of Chicago and the Secret Service to evacuate residents of Chicago during the upcoming NATO Summit.

The email, sent to Milwaukee Red Cross volunteers, noted that the NATO Summit could create unrest or another national security incident.

The Red Cross chapter spokesman went on to claim that the City of Chicago and the Secret Service were the ones that issued the directive.
CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of a Red Cross e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.

It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”

According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.
“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.
The report went on to quote various leaders who moved to significantly downplay these revelations when the reality is that various police agencies are planning for full scale riots and a mini martial law type scenario.

An article by Steve Watson on the the leaked email pointed towards various other contingency plans that have taken place in the lead up to this years NATO Summit.
Two weeks ago residents were startled by urban warfare drills conducted in downtown Chicago on the authority of the OMEC. Huge black hawk helicopters were seen flying low and in between buildings for hours. It now appears that these exercises may be linked to the secret preparations.

In addition, earlier this week a number of Chicago area residents revealed that they have been asked to leave their homes in preparation for major rioting.

The residents received letters from management that read:

“We are STRONGLY recommending that all residents find places to stay during the conference from May 18 through May 21.”

“In the event of a riot or the potential of one near the building, all access doors will be locked including the garage door,” the letter continues. “For everyone’s safety, we will be instructing anyone in the building to stay in his or her unit.”

The fact that, “The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago,” dovetails with reports earlier this year that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) put out a request for contractors to construct temporary emergency camps inside the United States which can be ready for occupancy within a 72 hour time period and used to house emergency responders as well as “displaced citizens.”
Clearly there has been a significant number of suspicious and alarming drills, operational plans, and orders leading up to this meeting of globalist would be world controllers.

The major question that remains is are the police planning to implement agent provocateurs to turn what has been planned to be peaceful into full scale hell?

You can watch a video report on the leaked email from CBS2 News below:

Eugenics: An American Tragedy

ExpPats Post

“There is one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States.” ~Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Not long ago I sat down and turned on the TV to catch up on the latest in politics. What I saw instead was a riveting interview by CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper with professor and author, Paul A. Lombardo, who discussed his 2008 book, Three Generations: No Imbeciles. While I make no claims to being an intellectual, I have a college degree and have done some post-graduate work. Not once had I read, nor been instructed in my classes about the practice of eugenics or social engineering in America and its subsequent influence on practices of the Hitler regime.

Paul A. Lombardo stated in the interview that forced sterilization was practiced in the United States from 1907 to well into the 1970’s. Appalled and aghast, I had to find more information. Has this been another chapter in American history books that has been conveniently tossed aside along with details of our internment of Japanese Americans, true accounts of slave and child labor, or a novel such as The Catcher in the Rye? What I will give you here is a cursory glimpse into the accounting of Paul A. Lombardo from his book. My hope is that it will spur you, as it did me, to read more of this horrific time.

According to Lombardo, legally-mandated sterilization was supported by a eugenics movement in the United States. The impetus behind this was to approve sterilization of the “socially inadequate.” Lombardo states, “Indiana enacted the first law allowing sterilization on eugenic grounds in 1907, with Connecticut following soon after. Despite these early statutes, sterilization did not gain widespread popular approval until the late 1920’s.” It then spread to at least thirty states. From what I have read so far, the grounds were rather arbitrary and were to be adopted as a cost-saving strategy “to relieve the tax burden in states where public facilities for the insane and feebleminded had experienced rapid growth.”

Pakistan’s Supreme Court Finds Prime Minister Gilani Guilty of Contempt; Appeal Planned; Opposition Calls for Resignation

Jim White

Yousuf Raza Gilani
In a case that has been simmering for months, Pakistan’s Supreme Court today found Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani guilty of contempt of court for failing to carry through with investigation of corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani’s “sentence” was brief, lasting only about 30 seconds until the court adjourned. Dawn’s description of what is likely to come next suggests that appeals of various sorts will take months to play out, but the largest opposing political parties are calling for Gilani’s immediate resignation.

From the Express Tribune:

The bench found Gilani guilty of contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against the president, but gave him only a symbolic sentence of a few minutes’ detention in the courtroom, while he did not receive any jail term.

“For reasons to be recorded later, the prime minister is found guilty of contempt for wilfully flouting the direction of the Supreme Court,” said Justice Nasirul Mulk.

A seven-member bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk announced the verdict and convicted him for violating Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 section 5 and the charges framed against him were for willfully disobeying the court’s orders and ridiculing it.

The court cited article 63 (1) (g) of the Constitution and observed that the premier might face consequences under it.

The long process ahead for appeals is described in Dawn:

Senator (R) Iqbal Haider said, “The fact remains that the PM has been found guilty of contempt of court and was sentenced under Article 63 (1) (g) of the Constitution of Pakistan. His sentence, no matter how short it was, has serious repercussions. The prime minister has been labelled as a convict.”

So Many Military Veterans Are Going To Jail This Georgia Town Built A Vets Only Wing


There are over one million veterans sitting in jails and prisons throughout America, but in towns close to military bases home to combat units, the ratio of discharged soldiers having a brush with the law is even greater.

Troops get home from combat and wartime duty eager to get out of the military and start a new life, but once they're discharged many have a hard time finding a place in the community they left behind.

The problem is so extreme that many judicial systems have set up separate trial proceedings for veterans. Philadelphia launched their separate Veterans Court nearly two years ago, and now a first-of-its kind veterans only jail dorm is open in Georgia.

Sara Pauff at the Ledger-Enquirer reports the Muscogee County Jail opened the new dormitory with the goal of providing vets treatment and services they need to transition back to civilian life: PTSD treatment, a veterans only court, mental health counseling, and even housing assistance.

County Sheriff John Darr told Pauff the dorm can hold 16 inmates, is the only one of its kind in a county jail, and is funded solely by community resources.

From the Ledger-Enquirer:

The Veterans Court offers legal help to incarcerated veterans diagnosed with a mental illness. Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen said they've found that some of the inmates they see don't identify as veterans and that sometimes, their problems can be traced back to their military service.
"There ought to be a place in our city that provides a facility where veterans can stay for a period of time while being treated, physically and mentally," Ret. Col. Roy Plummer said. Veterans typically stay in the house for three to six months, until they can manage their own affairs.

Muscogee County is home to the city of Columbus, where "The Home of the Infantry"— Fort Benning— lives and breathes.

Benning serves more than 120,000 military members and their dependents and hosts more than 15 Army infantry units as well as many specialized schools like the Army Sniper School, Jump School, and the Armor School.

Wilbert Cox, who is now in jail on theft and trespassing charges, was in the Army for 10 years and told the Ledger "This is the first time I've been in jail ... [and now] we're not just thrown into the wolves' den. There is something available to us for our service to our country."

AP: U.S. Soldiers Promised Massacre, Including Children, Days Before Bales' Alleged Rampage

War is a Crime
Ralph Lopez

Anatomy of a Massacre - Afghanistan

This article is an update to previous "MSNBC: Evidence of Multiple Shooters, Night Raid in Sgt. Bales Case"

In a striking omission to mainstream coverage of the Afghan massacre which took the lives of 17 Afghans including many children, one as young as two, the AP has reported that US soldiers came to their villages after a roadside bombing two days before and promised retaliation.   The Pentagon has denied that any bombing took place, putting it in direct contradiction to the attorney for Sgt. Robert Bales, who alone is being accused of the rampage.
AP said on March 23d:
"KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Several Afghans near the villages where an American soldier is alleged to have killed 16 civilians say U.S. troops lined them up against a wall after a roadside bombing and told them that they, and even their children, would pay a price for the attack."
The Pentagon updated the number of dead to 17 after initial statements.  The attorney for Bales has long said that before Bales' alleged one-man rampage, he was upset over a close friend having lost a leg to a roadside bomb on March 9th.  The massacre was in the early morning hours of March 11th.
From KKTV Southern Colorado:
"Staff Sgt. Robert Bales met with his attorney, John Henry Browne, for the first time Monday. The meeting, which Browne described as one of the most emotional of his life, lasted three and a half hours....During the meeting, Browne said Bales confirmed a story first recounted by Bales' family, that a friend's leg had been blown off by a roadside bomb. Bales' clarified that it happened two days prior to the Afghan shootings."
AP writes on March 23d:
"One Mokhoyan resident, Ahmad Shah Khan, told The Associated Press that after the bombing, U.S. soldiers and their Afghan army counterparts arrived in his village and made many of the male villagers stand against a wall.

"It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid," Khan said. "Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge."

Neighbors of Khan gave similar accounts to the AP, and several Afghan officials, including Kandahar lawmaker Abdul Rahim Ayubi, said people in the two villages that were attacked told them the same story.

Mohammad Sarwar Usmani, one of several lawmakers who went to the area, said the Afghan National Army had confirmed to him that an explosion occurred near Mokhoyan on March 8.

On March 13, Afghan soldier Abdul Salam showed an AP reporter the site of a blast that made a large crater in the road in Panjwai district of Kandahar province, where the shootings occurred. The soldier said the explosion occurred March 8. Salam said he helped gather men in the village, and that troops spoke to them, but he was not close enough to hear what they said.
Ghulam Rasool, a tribal elder from Panjwai district of Kandahar province, where the shootings occurred, gave an account of the bombing at a March 16 meeting in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai.

"After the incident, they took the wreckage of their destroyed tank and their wounded people from the area," Rasool said. "After that, they came back to the village nearby the explosion site.

"The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque," he said.

"The Americans told the villagers, 'A bomb exploded on our vehicle. ... We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people,""
The reason for the discrepancy between the date given by the soldier and the one given by Bales' attorney for the bombing is not clear.

Romney Nomination in doubt – Brokered Convention likely

Whiteout Press

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) appears to be
piling up enough delegates to force
a brokered convention.
April 24, 2012. Des Moines. Two networks yesterday, CNBC and MSNBC, broadcast a little known fact – Ron Paul appears to be winning the Republican nomination for President. When the popular Texas Congressman repeatedly assured supporters that the race was about delegates, not beauty contests, he apparently knew what he was talking about. Now, after three more states locked in delegates to the GOP nominating convention – CO, MN and IA – indicators point to a brokered convention with a possible, even probable, Ron Paul victory.

Mitt Romney in a panic

The only report announcing the news of another Paul victory yesterday was the Doug Wead Blog. That write-up, which included the headline, ‘Romney in a Panic’, was picked-up and reprinted by a number of independent news outlets like RT News and The Daily Paul. Wead’s conclusion is based on a number of factors. First and foremost, Ron Paul continues to win more delegates than Mitt Romney during each state’s respective slating processes. Additionally, the writer points to drastic, last-minute changes to GOP procedure showing an attempt to limit the Paul vote. Some measures include a new poll tax in Washington and robo-calls in New York telling Republican voters that only Mitt Romney remains in the race.

What has the GOP power-brokers and their candidate in such a panic? In three short words – Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa.

Keep in mind that every major US news outlet continues to show Texas Congressman Ron Paul in last place for the GOP nomination and with only 75 delegates. View Politico's delegate tracker as an example. They show Rep. Paul winning 3 delegates in Colorado, 17 in Minnesota and 1 in Iowa. Those networks however, have based their numbers on which candidate each state’s delegates are pledged or likely to vote for. The more important number is who they actually do vote for. And in that race, the only race that matters, Ron Paul is shocking the political world.


As reported by this author last week in the article, ‘Colo, Minn, GOP Delegates chosen – Paul Strategy Working’, the local Colorado Ron Paul campaign teamed up with the remnants of former candidate Rick Santorum’s supporters. Together, they created a fusion slate of delegates to take on front-runner Mitt Romney and throw their collective voting power behind the last challenger remaining, Ron Paul.
Last week, the Paul campaign sent out a press release quoting the Denver Post’s headline proclaiming,

‘Stunning Upset’. The Post was referring to Congressman Paul’s delegate haul in the state party’s selection process. More importantly, the Colorado selection was the first to be conducted since former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, leaving it to the final two men standing – Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Romney campaign spent $18.50 per vote


Well, it's over. Mitt Romney has amassed a nearly insurmountable delegate lead, and is on track to become his party's nominee for president.

The road to victory hasn't been easy for the former Massachusetts governor. The primary campaign stretched on for months, and at least 10 different candidates topped the national polls at some point.

So how much did victory cost?

Romney spent a total of $76.6 million, far more than any other campaign. That total is, for example, more than the combined spending of Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

Now, money isn't everything in politics -- but it sure doesn't hurt. And in this field, Romney dominated.

"The Romney team was putting a lot of money out there," one Santorum adviser told CNN when the former Pennsylvania senator called it quits earlier this month. "The budget was a factor."

At the end of March, the Romney camp had captured 607 delegates and 4.1 million votes. That means the candidate, who has cultivated a reputation as a penny-pincher, spent $18.50 per vote, and $126,000 per delegate.

The money was used to cover various expenses like hotels, food, equipment, accounting services, rental cars, air travel, event consultants and online advertisers.

For instance, in March, the campaign spent $871 on Poland Spring water, $1,966 on office supplies from Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), more than $50 at Applebee's, $48 at Arby's, $9.57 at Panda Express, $11,000 in payments to the Waldorf Astoria hotel and $70,165 at law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs.
But at least two of Romney's contenders had a better votes-to-expenditure ratio.

U.S. Drones Can Now Kill Joe Schmoe Militants in Yemen

Noah Shachtman

In September, American-born militant Anwar al-Awlaki and his son were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. In the seven months since, the al-Qaida affiliate there has only grown in power, influence, and lethality. The American solution? Authorize more drone attacks — and not just against well-known extremists like Awlaki, but against faceless, nameless low-level terrorists, as well.

A relentless campaign of unmanned airstrikes has significantly weakened al-Qaida’s central leadership in Pakistan, American policymakers say. There, militants were chosen for robotic elimination based solely on their intelligence “signatures” — their behavior, as captured by wiretaps, overhead surveillance, and local informants. A similar approach might not work in this case, however. “Every Yemeni is armed,” one unnamed U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal. “So how can they differentiate between suspected militants and armed Yemenis?”

What’s more, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula — the Yemeni affiliate of the terror collective — “is joined at the hip” with an insurgency largely focused on toppling the local government, another official told the Washington Post last week. So there’s a very real risk of America being “perceived as taking sides in a civil war.”

Message of Ron Paul Candidacy Resonates with Spain

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Occupy Movement : URGENT WARNING: Look out for Police Provocateurs

The US Sent $2.6 Billion In Aid To Pakistan, But It Has Very Little To Show For It

Christian Science Monitor
Taha Siddiqui

Anti-US sentiments and foreign policy squabbles are thwarting good US public relations from reaching turbulent, poor border regions of Pakistan.

Khalil Afridi recently survived a fatal attack by militants when a hand grenade was hurled at him.

 “They want me to quit development work, because of my association with Western donors,” he says.  

He has been a social worker in Khyber Agency, an area bordering Afghanistan through which supply routes run, for the past eight years and is currently working on water projects with the US Agency for International Development (USAID). But he says it’s too dangerous to tell this to locals. Instead, he says, “We tell people it’s the Pakistani government funding these projects.”

Anti-US sentiments and foreign policy squabbles are thwarting good US public relations from reaching turbulent, poor border regions of Pakistan. They are also putting the lives of aid workers there at risk.

Like Mr. Afridi and many others, Shahzad Afridi (not related) has also worked for projects funded by USAID in Khyber Agency and is careful about making sure he does not mention USAID. “The militants think we are spies for the West, and they have threatened me to stop,” he explains.
USAID does not have any offices in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) but operates out of Peshawar, a settled area adjacent to the tribal areas. Officials here recognize the threats and say security is one of the biggest challenges to their aid work, so they've found a small way to work around it.

“It is the requirement of US government to brand its aid, but we are giving waivers to projects undertaken in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, because if they put up our logos etc, it can be life threatening,” says Mehdi Ali Khan, the communication specialist for USAID here.

Another official says USAID in Pakistan would prefer to be more transparent. Not only would it help to show that money is being put to good use, but it could build good will toward the US.

“We [would] like to get credit but it’s a complex situation. There is a war in Afghanistan. There are areas under conflict in Pakistan.... This is the reality,” he says wishing not to be named since he is not authorized to speak to the media. The official said USAID was putting up signboards that say the project is USAID funded in areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in northwest Pakistan, but in areas like FATA, it just wasn’t possible.