“We are pleased that the Court has acquitted Pastor Stephens on the charges of not complying with a public health order. Pastor Stephens was illegally arrested and imprisoned for having allegedly violated the Public Health Orders, which have since been shown to be ineffective and harmful. This decision sets the record straight about the justifiability of his actions and about the importance of respecting Charter rights and freedoms.”
POSTED ON: NOVEMBER 1, 2022
Calgary: The Justice Centre is pleased to announce that the Provincial Court of Alberta has acquitted Pastor Tim Stephens, of Fairview Baptist Church, on alleged charges of violating provincial Public Health Orders regarding physical distancing.
On May 6, 2021, Associate Chief Justice John Rooke of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued what might be the broadest restraining order in common law history. Justice Rooke’s injunction allowed police to arrest and detain immediately and take before the court any Albertan who exercised her or his Charter freedoms in the face of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s unscientific and unconstitutional lockdown orders and restrictions.
On May 13, 2021, at the request of the Justice Centre, the injunction was amended by the Court of Queen’s Bench to apply only to persons associated with the Whistle Stop Café. Nonetheless, on May 16, 2021, Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church was unlawfully arrested for allegedly violating the terms of the injunction, even though he had no association with the Café and had not been served notice of the injunction. Pastor Stephens was released after spending three days in the Calgary Remand Centre.
Pastor Stephens was again arrested on June 14, 2021, for having allegedly conducted an outdoor church service violating a court order. As a result, he spent an additional 18 days in jail before being released on July 1, 2021. At the time of his release, the Public Health Orders in question had been revoked.
In addition to spending a total of 21 days in jail, Pastor Stephen had also been served with six provincial tickets for his alleged breach of Alberta Public Health Orders. Four of those tickets have since been dropped; today’s decision is in relation to the two remaining tickets.
“We are pleased that the Court has acquitted Pastor Stephens on the charges of not complying with a public health order. Pastor Stephens was illegally arrested and imprisoned for having allegedly violated the Public Health Orders, which have since been shown to be ineffective and harmful. This decision sets the record straight about the justifiability of his actions and about the importance of respecting Charter rights and freedoms.”
With the Emergencies Act Inquiry, the jig is up for Justin Trudeau and time is running out for the prime minister.
At least as far as the truth is concerned.
We will soon know Trudeau was very well acquainted with the facts of the Freedom Convoy, but he chose to assiduously ignore them and distort reality to his own political ends.
The evidence already points this way.
The trio of Trudeau, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and even Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford, painted the Freedom Convoy as a bunch of racist, misogynistic, domestic-terrorist, arsonists who danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
One by one all of these lies have come down in ruins as police and other authorities quietly admitted the convoy protesters in Ottawa had no guns, desecrated no monuments, and set no buildings afire.
Now we know the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) did not view the protesters as Nazis or far-right extremists, but as no different than other crowds opposing vaccine mandates.
A CSIS memo described those waving offensive flags as only being a “very small” portion of the crowd.
“The Canadian flag was the most prevalent flag on display in the crowd, likely reflecting participants’ belief they are patriotic Canadians standing up for their democratic rights,” said the secret memo, first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.
“A small number of flags (both purchased and self-created) reflected racist and bigoted world views. The presence of these flags however is not unique to this event and are often seen at anti-lockdown events across the country,” wrote CSIS in a secret memo titled Freedom Convoy 2022: The Imagery and Significance of Flags.
The memo suggests CSIS agents examined the social media activity of convoy protesters to determine whether they espoused extremist politics.
The memo does not specifically describe any protester carrying a bona fide Nazi flag, but says some protesters “added a swastika to their flag, not necessarily to self-identify as Nazis but to imply the prime minister and federal government are acting like Nazis by imposing public health mandates.”
“The convoy is part of the broader anti-public health restrictions movement,” said the February 2 memo. “As with any movement, only a small fringe element supports the use of violence or might be willing to engage in it.”
“The service is unaware of the presence of ideologically-motivated extremist groups at this weekend’s protests,” the memo states. “Freedom of expression is constitutionally protected in Canada.”
Remember these words are coming from Trudeau’s own intelligence agency, not apologists for the Freedom Convoy. But it’s refreshing to see some agents within the bureaucracy are not tailoring their reports to the Trudeau government’s talking points.
If Trudeau read the memo and ignored it, he’s guilty of deliberately ignoring his own intelligence and putting his political objectives above facts. If he failed to consult his own intelligence agency or to read the memo, he is guilty of incompetence and gross negligence. Perhaps he was too busy serenading his fans at a piano bar that allowed him to sing maskless.
Throughout the Freedom Convoy protest, Trudeau seemed obsessed with smearing the protesters as Nazis who were intent upon the violent overthrow of the government. He even accused a Jewish MP, Melissa Lantsman (CPC-Thornhill), of standing “with people who wave swastikas.”
The Inquiry into the invocation of the Emergencies Act is expected to start on October 13. Many prominent figures of the Freedom Convoy and the federal government will be called to testify, including Trudeau.
You can bet those appearances are going to be scrutinized by friends and foes alike.
David Krayden is the Senior Parliament Hill Columnist for the Western Standard based in the Ottawa Bureau. He has been a reporter and columnist for the Ottawa Sun, several major US publications, and the original Western Standard.
Featured image is by Emilijaknezevic, CC BY-SA 4.0
To maintain its global dominance, the US needs the obedience of not only other nations, but international bodies as well. The International Criminal Court, which has again refused to bow, is a painful thorn in Washington’s side.
Following a ruling earlier this month by the ICC’s Appeals Chamber that a formal investigation of US officials for war crimes in Afghanistan could proceed, Washington responded with its usual threats of sanctions. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out two ICC staff members by name and intimated that they and their family members could be prohibited from traveling to the United States.
But refusing to back down, the ICC insisted that its investigation will go forward, pointing out that it is “an independent and impartial judicial institution” and that its organs “act strictly within the mandate bestowed upon them by the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.”
This exchange of hostilities is the latest demonstration of the ICC’s growing sense of independence and confidence. For years the court was derided as biased — not against America, but against Africa — and as failing to uphold principles of equal justice. In 2016, a number of African countries started signaling their intention to leave the ICC, noting that since the court was established in 2002, only Africans had been prosecuted.
Since then, however, the ICC has broadened its scope and opened new investigations, including some that don’t necessarily align with US foreign policy objectives. In 2016, the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor began investigating alleged crimes related to the 2008 international armed conflict in and around South Ossetia, including alleged crimes committed both by Russia and US ally Georgia.
In late 2019, the ICC’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that an investigation could proceed into alleged crimes committed by Israel in occupied Palestinian territory. In a statement, the ICC announced that “all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met.” This led Israel, which is not a state party to the ICC, to enlist friendly states such as Brazil, Hungary, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia to lean on the court to drop the investigation — so far, to no avail.
The ICC has also indicated that an investigation into the effects of US sanctions on Venezuela might be in the works. Last month, Bensouda announced that she had received a referral from the Government of Venezuela regarding the situation on its territory. Venezuela alleged that US sanctions amount to crimes against humanity. Rather than dismiss this claim out of hand, Bensouda took preliminary steps to enable an investigation to proceed.
Taken together, the recent developments related to the ICC could spell trouble for the US, whether or not the investigations lead to actual prosecutions of US officials or US allies. This is because US hegemony relies on the subservience not only of nation-states, but of international organizations.
The US has perceived the ICC as a threat ever since it was established 18 years ago, even taking the extraordinary measures in 2002 of repudiating its earlier signature to the Rome Statute and enacting a law authorizing the use of military force to liberate any American citizen being held by the court, which is located in The Hague.
With those threats failing to intimidate the court, the US is now resorting to punitive measures. But so far, judging by the ICC’s response, it is not bowing to pressure. Instead, it appears to be taking its mandate to investigate war crimes seriously, and demonstrating that the US military cannot expect to act with total impunity in its operations abroad.
This reinforces the principle of universal jurisdiction when it comes to grave crimes such as torture. It also serves as a reminder of how countries can avoid ICC investigations and prosecutions. Since the ICC only steps in when national authorities do not properly investigate grave crimes, there is a simple way for countries to avoid this scrutiny: prosecute war criminals themselves.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened the family members of International Criminal Court staff, vowing that Washington will take punitive action against them if the court tries American soldiers for war crimes.
In March 2019, the Pompeo State Department threatened to revoke or deny visas to any International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel investigating crimes committed by American forces.
A year later, on March 5, 2020, the ICC took a defiant step forward, officially approving an investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanitycommitted by the US military and CIA in Afghanistan.
Pompeo responded by angrily condemning the court and its proceedings. His broadside was an apparent attempt at discrediting the institution, which the US government is not a party to.
In a subsequent State Department press briefing on March 17, Pompeo launched another tirade against the ICC, belittling it as a “so-called court,” a “nakedly political body,” and an “embarrassment.” Pompeo, who previously served as director of the CIA, took the denunciations a step further, threatening the family members of ICC staff.
“We want to identify those responsible for this partisan investigation and their family members who may want to travel to the United States or engage in activity that’s inconsistent with making sure we protect Americans,” Pompeo said, according to the US State Department’s official transcript.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the managing director for research and policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, drew attention to the “shocking attack” on Twitter. “This isn’t just unlawful collective punishment against family members; it’s not just a disturbing attack on staff of a judiciary — where the US has voted to refer other nations for prosecution; it’s abuse of federal authority to use sanctions against actual wrongdoers,” said Whitson, who previously directed the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch.
Whitson called on Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to “condemn this US State Department assault on the staff and FAMILIES of ICC – abuse of sanctions authority in flagrant attack on judicial independence, unlawful collective punishment.”
This blatant US threat against the family members of International Criminal Court prosecutors is part of a longer historical pattern of Washington attacking multilateral institutions.
At the beginning of the George W. Bush administration’s so-called war on terror, in 2002, the US Congress passed a bill called the American Service-Members’ Protection Act — more commonly known as the “Hague Invasion Act.”
This unprecedented piece of legislation, which has no precedent anywhere else in the world, declares that the US government unilaterally grants itself the right to militarily invade the Hague if a citizen of the United States or any allied country is tried at the court. Nor are Secretary of State Pompeo’s threats the first time US government officials have targeted the family members of international organizations.
José Bustani, the former director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said hardline neoconservative John Bolton, a former under secretary of state for George W. Bush and national security adviser for Donald Trump, threatened him and his family when Bustani negotiated with the Iraqi government to allow in OPCW weapons inspectors.
“You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you,” Bolton reportedly told Bustani, according to his recollection.“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”
Denigrating the Iranian government as “terrorists” in his State Department press briefing, Mike Pompeo declared new sanctions on the social security investment company of Iran’s military, along with five Iranian nuclear scientists.
Moreover, Pompeo announced State Department sanctions on nine more entities, in South Africa, Hong Kong, and China, for doing business with Iran.
US sanctions on Iran have devastated the country’s health infrastructure, greatly exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic. A new study by researchers at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran warned that millions of people could die due to Covid-19 — which Pompeo repeatedly referred to as the “Wuhan virus” in his press briefing.
An article by German state broadcaster DW concisely explained how US sanctions have set the stage for mass death in Iran: “Iran’s government applied for a $5 billion (€4.6 billion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight the epidemic — the first time it has asked the IMF for assistance in over 50 years. Yet, even if it gets the loan, the administration won’t be able to shop for much-needed medical supplies: US sanctions make the banking transactions required to secure even medical supplies and humanitarian goods virtually impossible.”
What a doofus, as if the world does not know what is going on: “US President Donald Trump has been an outspoken opponent of the Hague-based court, and even imposed travel restrictions and other sanctions against ICC employees.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved a probe into alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan by the US and other parties, potentially exposing Washington to legal repercussions for its nearly 20-year occupation.
Hailed as a landmark ruling, the panel of judges at The Hague reversed a decision by the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber denying the ICC prosecutor’s request to open a formal inquiry into crimes committed in connection with the conflict in Afghanistan. The previous decision not to pursue an investigation was reportedly influenced by the belief that the United States would not cooperate with the proceedings.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that there were ample grounds to begin an investigation into Taliban crimes, as well as an alleged torture program operated by Afghan authorities, the US military and the CIA. The court agreed on Thursday, authorizing the investigation.
The court’s decision was applauded by many – but some warned that expectations should be tempered.
Mark MacKinnon, a correspondent for Canada’s Globe and Mail, said that the ICC had done the “right thing” by pushing forward with the investigation.
“Powerful nations can’t be above international law, or the whole concept collapses,” he wrote.
The Center for Constitutional Rights described the ruling as “the first time senior US officials may face criminal liability for their involvement in the torture program” in Afghanistan.
The ruling marks a “good day” for the ICC, but it’s far from certain that the investigation will lead to formal charges, cautioned Kevin Jon Heller, an associate professor of international law at the University of Amsterdam.
Today is a very good day for the #ICC and international criminal law generally. But everyone needs to dial down the “justice” rhetoric a bit — whether the investigation will produce charges against *anyone*, much less a CIA torturer, remains very much an open question…
The United States is not a member of the ICC, but Afghanistan is – leaving open the possibility that US crimes committed on Afghan soil could be prosecuted by the court.
Even if the inquiry exposes serious wrongdoing, it’s unclear how the ICC would proceed. US President Donald Trump has been an outspoken opponent of the Hague-based court, and even imposed travel restrictions and other sanctions against ICC employees.
Trump has slammed the ICC for its “broad” and “unaccountable” prosecutorial powers, and has repeatedly scoffed at the idea of US soldiers being charged with war crimes. In November, he pardoned two army officers facing war crimes charges for their actions in Afghanistan, and reinstated the rank of Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was accused of similar atrocities during his deployment in Iraq, but was ultimately cleared of most wrongdoing.
“Donald Trump should be aware that there is considerable downside to the tiger than he has let out of its cage. What will he do if “enemies” all over the world decide to copy the Trump example and kill American diplomats, soldiers and tourists because they oppose U.S. policies. And what about if they up the ante a little bit and kill senior Ambassadors, Congressmen, and even succeed in killing a presidential cabinet member or two. Trump in his foolishness has invited reciprocity and has even granted those who do the killing a certain immunity if they are claiming that they are doing it to stop something worse, i.e. war.”
Once upon a time there was a Constitution of the United States. In Article II, Section 2 it stipulated that only the U.S. Congress has the power to declare war, which means the American president has to go to the legislative body and make a case for going to war against an enemy or enemies. If there is a vote in favor of war, the president is empowered as commander-in-chief to direct the available resources against the enemy.
There is also something called international law. Under international law there are situations in which a head of state or head of government can use military force defensively or even preemptively if there is a substantial threat that is imminent. But normally, a country has to go through a procedure similar to that in the U.S. Constitution, which means making a case that the war is justified before declaring war. The Nuremberg Tribunals ruled that starting a war of aggression is the ultimate crime.
The president has already declared that he needs no approval from Congress or from anyone else to initiate further military operations against Iran in the Middle East, even if the action taken is “disproportionate.” Meanwhile he, the State Department and the Pentagon are all stating, without presenting any evidence at all to the public, that Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was planning attacks that would kill “hundreds of Americans” as a casus belli justifying his assassination. The White House is also asserting that the killing was done to “stop a war,” which makes no sense even coming from the addled tweet-conditioned brain of Donald J. Trump. And if one still harbors suspicions that Trump might actually be of sound mind, it is possible to listen to him on the day after the assassination while speaking to a gathering of his supporters at an evangelical church in Florida. He told the cheering crowd that “God is on our side” and that Soleimani “…was planning a very major attack, and we got him.” The audience went wild in approval, chanting “four more years.”
Such chest-beating moments of pretend strong leadership coming from president bone spurs as well as similar justifications for an assassination that will be surfacing over the next few days simply do not pass the smell test. Take the window dressing away from the Pentagon and media propaganda and all one has left is that the United States illegally and openly killed a senior official from a country with which it is not at war and did so without the consent of the third country where the assassination took place with which the U.S. is also not at war. The assassination was not in reality based on any imminent threat and is therefore illegal under international law and is undeniably an unconstitutional act of war directed against both Iran and Iraq.
What is particularly bizarre about Trump-think on this issue is that the assassination was carried out right in the open in a country with which the United States has had of late a friendly relationship and which allows American soldiers to be based on its soil. Judging from the crowds of protesters gathered in Baghdad to protest the killing, that somewhat comfortable arrangement is about to end. And it will also end American involvement in neighboring Syria, which will be unsustainable without a presence in Iraq. That is the only good news to come out of the assassination.
To be sure nations at war will try and sometimes succeed to assassinate enemy leaders, and the intelligence services of various countries also have been known to kill foreign politicians who are considered to be threatening. America’s best friend Israel leads the world in that statistic. But spy agencies work their mischief on a basis of plausible denial, which means that the countries that carry out assassinations make every effort to obscure their role and permit deniability.
The difference in what the White House has done now is that another page has been turned in the process of the United States going completely rogue. It all started when George W. Bush warned that “you’re either with us or against us.” Barack Obama subsequently labored over his Tuesday morning kill lists, which included American citizens, and the Trump White House has now expanded that license, asserting that it can act with complete impunity and out in the open to kill anyone at any time anywhere without due process or any actual demonstrated cause or accountability.
Donald Trump should be aware that there is considerable downside to the tiger than he has let out of its cage. What will he do if “enemies” all over the world decide to copy the Trump example and kill American diplomats, soldiers and tourists because they oppose U.S. policies. And what about if they up the ante a little bit and kill senior Ambassadors, Congressmen, and even succeed in killing a presidential cabinet member or two. Trump in his foolishness has invited reciprocity and has even granted those who do the killing a certain immunity if they are claiming that they are doing it to stop something worse, i.e. war.
Finally, if the target of the assassination had been anyone but an Iranian, Israel’s enemy, one can count on there being hell to pay with Congress and the media over Trump’s having gone completely off the rails. Assassinating a foreign leader as a new United States government policy has to be an impeachable offense. Forget about obstruction of justice and collusion with foreigners: assassination is the real deal and if it does not constitute a high crime, it is hard for one to imagine what does. By all means let’s impeach Trump based on what he has actually done, not on speculation over what he might have connived at.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly justified the U.S. “extreme pressure” directed against Tehran, demanding that Islamic Republic take steps to become a “normal country.” The real question should be, “When will the United States of America become normal?”
“Five years after the publication of the Senate report, where are the torturers and their co-conspirators now? Gina Haspel, who presided over a CIA torture compound in Thailand and was implicated in the destruction of tapes of Abu Zubaydah’s torture in 2005, was promoted by Trump to become the new director of the agency.”
“I was in such an indescribable state of pain… I could hear sounds coming from the brothers, not only one but more than one brother; one was moaning, another one vomiting and another one screaming: my back, my back!”
“He started banging my head against the wall with both his hands. The banging was so strong that I felt at some point my skull was in pieces… Then he dragged me to another very tiny squared box. With the help of the guards he shoved me inside the box…”
Last month, the Seton Hall University School of Law’s Center for Policy and Research published a paper titled “How America Tortures,” which contains eight significant drawings by torture victim Abu Zubaydah.
The drawings by themselves are a powerful indictment of the entire political establishment in the United States, which has failed to hold anyone accountable for the crimes that are depicted.
The paper represents the work of a team led by Professor Mark Denbeaux, who is serving as an attorney for a number of Guantanamo Bay detainees, including Abu Zubaydah. The paper brings together material from numerous sources, including Central Intelligence Agency cables and other government documents, and Abu Zubaydah’s own account of what occurred, to provide a chronology “not only from the CIA’s perspective, but also from the perspective of the tortured.” The result is damning.
The CIA’s torture techniques are cataloged in comprehensive detail in the report. They include “cramped confinement” in small boxes, in some cases “adding insects to the dark box as another way to scare the detainee locked inside.” The paper documents the use of female soldiers to sexually abuse and humiliate detainees, with “female military personnel going shirtless during interrogations, giving forced lap dances, and rubbing red liquids on the detainees which they identified as menstrual blood.”
One FBI agent described finding detainees “chained hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times they had urinated or defacated [sic] on themselves, and had been left there for [eighteen, twenty-four] hours or more.”
Loud rap music was played around the clock. The now-infamous practice of “involuntary rectal feeding” involved pumping pureed food into the victim’s rectum for no medical reason.
How have the perpetrators of these bestial crimes managed to avoid prosecution? It is not for lack of evidence.
Today is the fifth anniversary of the release of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s “executive summary” of its findings regarding the CIA torture program. This executive summary, which runs in the hundreds of pages, is itself merely an outline of the full 6,700-page report, including 38,000 footnotes, which has been suppressed.
The World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time of the release of the summary: “From a legal standpoint, the war crimes and crimes against humanity that are documented in the report warrant the immediate arrest, indictment, and prosecution of every individual involved in the program, from the torturers themselves and their ‘outside contractors’ all the way up to senior officials in the Bush and Obama administrations who presided over the program and subsequently attempted to cover it up.”
George W. Bush and Barack Obama (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The crimes perpetrated by the American military and intelligence agencies in the course of the so-called “war on terror” were heinous, premeditated, and involved extreme depravity. These crimes were further aggravated by protracted efforts to cover them up, destroy evidence and obstruct investigations.
The crimes cannot be written off as the overzealous conduct of low-level “rogue” agents. On the contrary, they were organized in cold blood and at the highest levels. The Seton Hall Law School paper states as a matter of fact that “top officials in the West Wing of the White House and the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice orchestrated and poorly oversaw a horrific torture program that was responsible for the detention and interrogation of countless detainees.”
A New York Times editorial dated December 5, titled “Don’t Look Away,” is an attempt at damage control following the release of the Abu Zubaydah illustrations. While denouncing torture as “barbaric and illegal,” the article seeks to blame the torture program on the Republicans, denouncing President Trump and “those who think like him.”
The Times concludes: “The United States has by far the greatest security establishment on earth, with the greatest reach. When the United States commits or abets war crimes, it erodes the honor, effectiveness, and value of that force.”
The Times does not attempt to explain how it came to pass that nobody was ever prosecuted for conduct that it admits was “barbaric and illegal” and constituted “war crimes.”
In reality, the CIA torture program was entirely bipartisan. Jay Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as then-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi were briefed on the program in 2002.
The Obama administration played a key role in legitimizing torture and shielding war criminals from prosecution. Under the slogan of “looking forward not backward,” the Democrats refused to prosecute anyone involved in the program or cover-up. The only CIA employee who was ever prosecuted by the Obama administration in connection with torture was analyst John Kiriakou, who was jailed for publicly acknowledging that the CIA was engaged in waterboarding.
Obama refused for years to release the Senate torture report and assisted the CIA’s efforts to suppress it. In 2015, the Obama administration successfully sued to prevent the American Civil Liberties Union from obtaining it under the Freedom of Information Act.
What did the New York Times have to say about these “barbaric and illegal” practices at the time? On April 6, 2002, a Times headline gloated, “A Master Terrorist is Nabbed.” Describing the abduction of Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan, without charges or legal proceedings of any kind, the Times wrote, “His seizure demonstrates that the painstaking international detective work of the current phase of the war on terror is paying off.”
On June 12, 2002, in an article titled “Traces of Terror,” the Times continued its role as a CIA stenographer: “After nearly 100 sessions with CIA and FBI interrogators at a heavily guarded, undisclosed location, the captured terrorist Abu Zubaydah has provided information that American officials say is central to the Bush administration’s efforts to pre-empt a new wave of attacks against the United States.”
This version of events was, as is now universally acknowledged, a pack of lies. Abu Zubaydah was not a high-level operative in Al Qaeda, and he may not have even been a member. He has never been charged with a crime, let alone tried and convicted. Yet to this day, he continues to rot in a cell in the Guantanamo Bay torture camp, with no prospect of being released.
Five years after the publication of the Senate report, where are the torturers and their co-conspirators now? Gina Haspel, who presided over a CIA torture compound in Thailand and was implicated in the destruction of tapes of Abu Zubaydah’s torture in 2005, was promoted by Trump to become the new director of the agency.
The previous director, John Brennan, who was a high-level CIA official during the Bush administration and under Obama ordered agents to break into Senate staffers’ computers in an effort to search for incriminating information relating to torture, is now serving as a well-paid “senior national security and intelligence analyst” for NBC News and MSNBC. He makes regular appearances on news programs to agitate in favor of the Democrats’ impeachment drive.
James Mitchell, whose company, Mitchell Jessen and Associates, received a $81 million contract from the CIA to develop and implement the “enhanced interrogation” techniques that were used on Abu Zubaydah and others, remains at large. According to a Bloomberg News article in 2014, he is now retired and spends his free time kayaking, rafting and climbing.
And what has been the fate of those who have exposed official criminality? Julian Assange is imprisoned in Belmarsh Prison in London, where his life is endangered by conditions amounting to torture. Chelsea Manning was imprisoned and tortured, released, and then imprisoned again for refusing to testify against Assange before a grand jury. Edward Snowden was forced to flee the country and seek refuge in Russia.
The torturers and their co-conspirators have not been prosecuted, not because of lack of evidence or insufficient legal grounds, but because the entire political establishment is implicated at the highest levels, including the Democrats, the Republicans, the military and intelligence agencies, the establishment media, and all of those who perpetrated the reactionary fraud of the “war on terror.”
The failure to prosecute the torturers has served to embolden the most fascistic layers in the state apparatus, opening the way for Trump to boast of his support for torture in broad daylight. Trump and his fascistic advisers, frightened by the growth of social opposition, believe that the Gestapo-style methods that have been implemented in the course of the “war on terror” are necessary to terrify and suppress opposition both abroad and internally. While Trump brags that he is in favor of implementing torture practices at Guantanamo Bay that are a “hell of a lot worse,” he tells police officers within the US: “Don’t be too nice.”
The Democrats and their allies are concerned that public discussion of the crimes of the state would serve to fuel popular hostility towards the institutions the New York Times describes as the “greatest security establishment on earth.” It would cut across the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to ingratiate and align themselves with the CIA as part of the impeachment drive against Trump. Moreover, the revelations of CIA torture underscore the hypocrisy of their efforts to justify American imperialist aggression and subversion all over the world in the name of “human rights.”
For these reasons, the demand to bring the torturers to justice must be taken up by the international working class. Every individual who participated in the CIA torture program or the cover-up in any capacity, including those who failed to intervene when they had an opportunity to do so, should face arrest, indictment and prosecution.
The fight to end torture once and for all must be connected to the mounting struggles of the international working class to defend and expand its democratic and social rights and halt the drive of the ruling class toward dictatorship. The entire existing social order is implicated in torture and must be overthrown.
The trial date for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts for their role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were responsible for the deaths of 2,976 people, has been finally set.
For January 11, 2021.
Wrap your heads around that for a moment. Kids who were born the year of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil are now applying for colleges and signing up for Selective Service. They’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election.
For those of us who went the through the painful process of covering the evolution of the U.S. military tribunal at “Camp Justice” at Guantanamo Bay, the announcement that a date has been “set” means very little. Most observers don’t think it’ll happen, not in January 2021 or ever. Why?
The U.S. military and the CIA took KSM and other high-level detainees who later spent time at the infamous GTMO off the battlefield and into “black” interrogation sites that most Americans would rather forget ever existed. They tortured these individuals for information before bringing them to GTMO and then tortured them some more. Anyone who does not believe that has been living in a politically warped state of denial for the last 18 years.
If it hadn’t happened, the U.S. military might have had a lot more than a handful of convictions (out of the hundreds of detainees who have rotated in and out of the prison). Out of the handful of convictions at Camp Justice, most have been overturned in the last several years. The record of this tribunal is pathetic. The only thing truly accomplished here is the U.S. military ecosystem flourishing a short hop from the Cuban mainland. What was supposed to be temporary has been made permanent, like all things in the American military-industrial complex.
We know now that many of the detainees at Guantanamo at its peak were low-level Taliban fighters, Al Qaeda lackeys, or worse, they were innocent souls who were at the wrong place at the right time. Many were turned in for money or revenge. Most of those men have long been repatriated. As of 2018, 40 remain.
With the death of Osama bin Laden, KSM remains the highest-level 9/11 suspect alive. He is not only charged with orchestrating the plots that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City and blasting a hole in the Pentagon, but is accused of personally beheadingWall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. But when he was captured in Pakistan in 2003 he was taken to different black sites for months and subjected to the CIA extreme interrogation techniques that the Bush Administration had approved early in the war. He was reportedly waterboarded 183 times.
Now, nearly 17 years after his arrest, there is still no closure for the victims. Compare that to the tidy conviction of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was tried as the “20th hijacker” on felony conspiracy charges in federal civilian court in 2006. He’s now tucked away at a Supermax prison.
But the hardliners in the Bush Administration balked at trying more 9/11 suspects in civilian courts. They said Americans wouldn’t be safe with suspects so near, that the military tribunals were better equipped to handle these special terrorism cases. I’m sure they thought the optics were better: Who better to put these terrorist-fighters away than stern military justices on an island surrounded by soldiers and barbed wire?
Turns out on each point they were wrong, big time. Leaving out the legal morass and boatload of other administrative issues that have plagued the court, the biggest reason for the logjam is torture. Thanks to their zeal in exercising extreme techniques likely honed from a 60-year-old playbook—like waterboarding, sensory/sleep-deprivation, beatings, electric shocks and more—U.S. authorities still can’t seal the deal. And Americans lose again.
A federal court ruling last Tuesday dismissing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) civil suit against Julian Assange “with prejudice” was a devastating indictment of the US ruling elite’s campaign to destroy the WikiLeaks founder. It exposed as a fraud the entire “Russiagate” conspiracy theory peddled by the Democratic Party, the corporate media and the intelligence agencies for the past three years.
The decision, by Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected the smears that Assange “colluded” with Russia. It upheld his status as a journalist and publisher and dismissed claims that WikiLeaks’ 2016 publication of leaked emails from the DNC was “illegal.”
Despite the significance of the ruling, and its clear newsworthiness, it has been subjected to an almost complete blackout by the entire media in the US and internationally.
The universal silence on the court decision—extending from the New York Times (which buried a six-paragraph report on the ruling on page 25) and the Washington Post, to “alternative” outlets such as the Intercept, the television evening news programs and the publications of the pseudo-left—can be described only as a coordinated political conspiracy.
Its aim is to suppress any discussion of the court’s exposure of the slanders used to malign and isolate Assange, and to justify the unprecedented international pursuit of him over WikiLeaks’ exposure of US war crimes, surveillance operations and diplomatic conspiracies.
The New York Times, the Washington Post and other corporate outlets have relentlessly smeared Assange as a “Russian agent” and depicted him as the linchpin of a conspiracy hatched in Moscow to deprive Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton of the presidency in the 2016 US elections.
Now that their claims have been subjected to judicial review and exposed as a tissue of lies and fabrications, they have adopted a policy of radio silence. There is no question that if the court ruling had been in favour of the DNC, it would have been greeted with banner headlines and wall-to-wall coverage.
The response exposes these publications as state propagandists and active participants in the campaign by the Democratic Party, the Trump administration and the entire ruling elite to condemn Assange for the rest of his life to an American prison for the “crime” of publishing the truth.
The editors and senior writers at these outlets, such as New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet, are in constant contact with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Behind the scenes, they work out an editorial line that will advance the interests of the Wall Street banks and the military-intelligence apparatus. At the same time, they decide what news and information they will hide from the American and world population.
The efforts by the mainstream news outlets to bury the ruling presents a clear example of the type of media manipulation that has led millions of people to seek alternative sources of news on the internet, of which WikiLeaks is itself an example.
Judge Koeltl’s decision made plain the anti-democratic and dictatorial logic of the DNC case against Assange. He warned: “If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political, financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.” This, he stated, would “override the First Amendment” protection to freedom of the press mandated by the US Constitution.
Koeltl’s finding was an absolute vindication of Assange and WikiLeaks’ 2016 publications exposing the attempts by the DNC to rig the Democratic Party primaries against self-declared “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders in favour of Hillary Clinton.
The judge found these releases, together with the publication of Clinton’s secret speeches to Wall Street banks, in which she pledged to be their representative, were “matters of the highest public concern.” They “allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election.”
Koeltl, moreover, found there was no evidence to justify the DNC’s assertion that WikiLeaks had colluded with the Russian state to obtain the material. Assange and WikiLeaks have always maintained that the documents were not provided to them by the Putin regime.
The ruling demonstrated the flagrant illegality of the US vendetta against Assange. The slander that he was operating as a “Russian agent” to “interfere” in US politics was used by the American government and its intelligence agencies to pressure the Ecuadorian regime to sever Assange’s internet access in 2016, and again in 2018. It served as a central pretext for its illegal termination in April of his political asylum in the embassy building.
The judgment was also an implicit exposure of the lawlessness of the attempts by the Trump administration, with the full support of the Democrats, to extradite Assange from Britain, so that he can be prosecuted on 18 US charges, including 17 espionage counts, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years’ imprisonment.
The Trump administration and the Justice Department are claiming that it was illegal for WikiLeaks and Assange to publish US army war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and other documents exposing US war crimes and intrigues, provided by the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Koeltl’s ruling, however, reasserted the fundamental democratic principle that WikiLeaks had a right to publish the 2016 DNC documents, even if they had been obtained by the Russian government, or any other entity, illegally.
The clear implication is that even if Manning’s decision to leak US military and diplomatic documents was a violation of the law, WikiLeaks’ publication of them was not. The publication of both the 2010 and the 2016 leaks was constitutionally protected journalistic activity.
Koeltl further undermined the claims of the Trump administration, the Democrats and the media that Assange is a “hacker,” undeserving of First Amendment protections. The judge repeatedly referred to Assange as a “journalist” and WikiLeaks as a “publisher.”
In other words, the attempt to extradite Assange to the US and prosecute him is a frontal assault on the US Constitution and press freedom. In its disregard for domestic and international law, it can be described only as an extraordinary rendition operation, similar to the kidnappings and torture operations conducted by the CIA.
The hostile response to Koeltl’s ruling on the part of the entire political and media establishment, in the US and internationally, demonstrates that this conspiracy will not be defeated by plaintive appeals to the governments, political parties and media corporations that have spearheaded the assault on Assange’s legal and democratic rights.
All of them are using the persecution of Assange as a test case for the imposition of ever-more authoritarian measures, aimed at suppressing mounting popular hostility to war, social inequality and an assault on democratic rights.
What is required is the development of a mass movement from below, to mobilise the immense social and political power of the working class internationally to secure Assange’s liberty and to defend all democratic rights.
To take forward this critical struggle, the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International last month called for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to free Assange and the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning. All workers, young people and supporters of democratic rights should contact the WSWS today to take up the fight to free Assange and Manning!
“A virtual life sentence for former child sex slave Cyntoia Brown stands in marked contrast to the light slap on the wrist for billionaire serial abuser Jeffrey Epstein,” he wrote. “But it is not surprising in a society that treats people differently based on race, class, and gender.”
Cyntoia Brown was originally sentenced to life in prison for killing her sex trafficker when she was only 16.
(CD) — Child sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown was released from prison on Wednesday—a development welcomed by human rights advocates who said her case underscores the need to fix the nation’s criminal justice system.
Now 31 years old, Brown was originally sentenced to life in prison for killing one of the men who solicited her for sex when she was a 16-year-old child.
In January, then-Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.) commuted her sentence following pressure from human rights groups, thousands of Americans who signed petitions and wrote letters, and celebrities who helped bring attention to her case.
“This victory belongs to Cyntoia, her community, and to the thousands of people including local organizers and advocates who stepped in to demand justice,” said online racial justice organization Color of Change on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Cyntoia’s story,” the group continued, “provides a glimpse into the lives of the thousands of women and girls currently locked up behind bars largely due to survival strategies.”
It also provides a glimpse of how justice is meted out, as commentator David A. Love noted in 2018.
“A virtual life sentence for former child sex slave Cyntoia Brown stands in marked contrast to the light slap on the wrist for billionaire serial abuser Jeffrey Epstein,” he wrote. “But it is not surprising in a society that treats people differently based on race, class, and gender.
“More action must be taken to protect young, vulnerable sex trafficking victims in our country,” Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president and executive director Kristen Clarke tweeted. “Child trafficking victims deserve support and safety, not incarceration.”
Brown spent more than 14 years behind bars.
Brown said in a statement this week that she looks “forward to using my experiences to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.”
Though now out of prison, Brown is still under state control.
The Tennessee Department of Correction said she will be on parole for 10 years. During that time, she must maintain employment or enrollment in classes, attend regular counseling, and do community service.
The ACLU previously denounced the additional decade as “excessive.”
“Cyntoia never should have been sentenced so harshly to begin with,” the rights group said in January, “and we can’t lose sight of the fact that she is still receiving an excessive 10 years probation.”
The views in this article may not reflect the editorial policy of The Mind Unleashed.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is cracking down on the multi-billion dollar business of human trafficking in the U.S.
In June, 1,700 people were arrested nationwide for allegedly committing child sex and exploitation crimes as part of a nationwide DOJ initiative called, “Operation Broken Heart.”
“As the perception of sexual exploitation of children continues to move from windowless vans in back alleys to Dark Web sites on the Internet, the investigation and prosecution of these vile crimes must continue to evolve,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
“We are determined, with our law enforcement partners, to find these criminals wherever they try to hide and protect the innocent from victimization.”
This operation, conducted during April and May by the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, resulted in the arrests of nearly 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders. The task forces identified 308 offenders and 357 child victims.
The task forces investigated more than 18,500 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes targeting children and delivered more than 2,150 presentations on Internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults nationwide, the DOJ reports.
Human trafficking crimes, defined in Title 18, Chapter 77 of federal law, involve “the act of compelling or coercing a person’s labor, services, or commercial sex acts,” according to the DOJ’s website.
“The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, but it must be used to coerce a victim into performing labor, services, or commercial sex acts.”
Prior to Operation Broken Heart, the DOJ’s human trafficking enforcement website reads like a rap sheet of criminals arrested nationwide.
In June, a Tampa man was arrested and charged with trafficking two teen girls; a Houston man was convicted of sex trafficking adult women by force; a federal judge sentenced a man to life in prison for forcing women and children to engage in commercial sex acts in Chicago and the suburbs.
In May, a federal jury convicted 27-year-old Houston resident and member of The Sauce Factory for conspiracy and sex trafficking.
In March, a former Stockton, California, a couple was convicted of human trafficking charges related to forced labor of foreign nationals; in New York, the founder of “NXIVM,” a purported self-help organization based in Albany, was arrested for sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy.
His secret society allegedly branded women with his initials, and women served as his slaves whom he coerced into performing sex acts.
Between January and March 2019, nine defendants were sentenced to significant prison terms for sex trafficking and related offenses in Des Moines.
In February, two Delaware men pleaded guilty to sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl in Baltimore; in San Diego, the last of 12 members of a Westside Crips criminal street gang pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy involving drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and other violent crimes.
In January, a leader of a Queens, N.Y.-based child sex trafficking ring was sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking a dozen minors in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, using Backpage to advertise underage girls for sex.
“Children are supposed to be protected by adults, not used as a means to make money,” William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office said in a prepared statement.
According to the national hotline, HumanTraffickingHotline.org, there were 4,460 reported cases of human trafficking in 2017 from the calls the hotline received.
The 10 states with the highest number of reports of human trafficking are California, Texas, Florida, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Of the top three, more than 800 human trafficking cases were reported in California. In Texas, 433 cases were reported, with the majority of victims being foreign nationals.
Of the 329 reported cases of human trafficking in Florida, 215 cases involved sex trafficking; 120 victims were minors and 277 victims were female.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe in Massachusetts announced Wednesday that his office was dropping its sexual assault case against prominent actor Kevin Spacey. The prosecution had little choice in the matter since the accuser in the case, William Little, refused to testify 10 days ago about a missing cellphone that the defense argued was essential to the actor’s claims of innocence.
When asked by Spacey’s lawyer whether he understood that deleting relevant text messages from his cellphone would be illegal, Little, after consulting with his family and legal counsel, pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, essentially bringing the pretrial hearing and the entire case to a halt. Spacey was accused of groping the then-18-year-old late at night in a Nantucket bar and restaurant in July 2016. The actor argued that the incident involved consensual flirtation.
Judge Thomas S. Barrett of Nantucket District Court indicated July 8 the case might well be dismissed if the accuser continued to refuse to testify. Barrett pointed out the case revolved around Little and that without him the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would “have a tough row to hoe.”
A July 17 press release from the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office explains, “On Sunday July 14, 2019 the complaining witness, family members, and the attorney for the complaining witness, met in the District Attorney’s office to further review the case in light of the development [the accuser’s refusal to testify]. The complaining witness was informed that if he chose to continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the case would not be able to go forward. After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment.”
As a result, the District Attorney’s office entered a Nolle Prosequi, a voluntary withdrawal of charges against Spacey, “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”
The case against Spacey reeked of a politically motivated vendetta from the start.
The Nantucket allegation was launched with great fanfare in November 2018 by Little’s mother, Heather Unruh, a former local news anchor, at a widely publicized press conference in Boston. Unruh proclaimed that she “wanted to see Kevin Spacey go to jail. I want to have the hand of justice come down on him.”
Neither the family nor the authorities ever explained why it took the accuser 15 months to report the alleged assault to police. No objective observer would fail to be struck by the date of the original report, October 31, 2017. This was a few weeks after the #MeToo campaign erupted and only two days after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey in an interview of making inappropriate advances to him some 30 years previously, when he was 14 and Spacey was 26, fueling the sexual witch-hunt atmosphere.
Following the filing of charges in January 2019, prosecutors falsely contended that Little made his police report three months after the 2016 incident. However, the “lead investigator in the case…testified Monday [July 8] under questioning from Spacey’s defense attorney that the one-year difference was the result of a ‘typo.’ ” It would take a very naïve person to believe that the possibly suspicious date of Little’s initial police report, coming on the immediate heels of Rapp’s claims, was not a troubling detail to the police and prosecution.
The inability of the prosecution even to bring this miserable case to trial is a humiliating defeat not only for Massachusetts authorities and Unruh, but for the entire #MeToo witch-hunt.
The dropping of the charges against Spacey comes on top of Australian actor Geoffrey Rush’s victory in a defamation suit in April against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid Daily Telegraph and its celebrity gossip columnist Jonathon Moran. The suit was filed in response to the newspaper’s claims that Rush had been guilty of “inappropriate” behavior towards a co-star in a production of King Lear, as well as its sensationalist publication of the allegations, characterizing Rush as “King Leer,” a “sexual predator” and a “pervert.”
The McCarthyite #MeToo campaign has proceeded largely through innuendo, gossip and unsubstantiated or anonymous denunciations fueled by media frenzy. When charges have been subjected to vigorous investigation and questioning, as in the Rush and Spacey cases, to this point they have evaporated.
The Nantucket case did not by itself destroy Spacey’s extraordinary acting career, but it played its own filthy part. Fantastically, FoxBusiness news lamented Wednesday that while the case against Spacey had fallen apart, “Netflix and Hollywood producers employing the actor [had] lost millions.” We shed no tears for the spineless executives at Netflix, producer of House of Cards, who immediately threw Spacey to the wolves in November 2017. The cowards and opportunists also include director Ridley Scott and Imperative Entertainment who cut the actor out of the already completed All the Money in the World and reshot his scenes with Christopher Plummer.
Following the Cape Cod district attorney’s decision to abandon the case, CBS News “legal expert” Rikki Klieman claimed the dropping of charges “in no way” meant that Spacey had been exonerated. Klieman herself first noted, “If you have a complaining witness who is allegedly a sexual assault victim, who is claiming the Fifth Amendment and is therefore is not going to testify, what have you got? You’ve got nothing.” How is the prosecution having “nothing” against the accused not an exoneration? Klieman attempted to explain: “The prosecution was simply faced with a case that by virtue of the alleged victim…taking the Fifth Amendment, they didn’t have a witness to say what happened.” The “alleged victim” took the Fifth Amendment after he was warned about the illegality of deleting possibly exculpatory evidence. The likelihood of his account of “what happened” being believed was poor.
By now, a great many people have seen through the #MeToo campaign. It never aroused great genuine public sympathy to begin with. The collective realization of self-involved, primarily female Hollywood performers—years after the fact in many cases—that they didn’t like the shabby, boorish way they may have been treated by studio executives and others or, worse still, what they themselves had consented to in the interests of advancing their careers, did not constitute a major national scandal or a cause that the mass of the population had any reason to adopt.
The #MeToo campaign and its leading spokespeople continue to remain conspicuously silent on the conditions of immigrant detainees, subject to systematic brutality and, in many appalling cases, sexual abuse.
The lack of interest in the conditions of working-class women is not accidental. Launched in the aftermath of the 2016 election, the sexual abuse hysteria was aimed from the outset by its Democratic Party and media initiators (Ronan Farrow and others) at whipping up susceptible layers of mostly middle-class professionals, diverting attention from the social crisis and doing everything possible to block a left-wing movement against the Trump administration. The #MeToo effort was intended to create a politically disoriented and toothless non-class, “across-the-board” movement that corporate warmongers such as Hillary Clinton (Farrow’s former boss at the State Department) could effortlessly adopt and promote, thus giving the Democrats breathing space and allowing them to mount their right-wing opposition to Trump, centered on the anti-Russian and other bogus issues.
The ganging up of the media, the police and prosecution and the political system against Spacey indicates something about the reactionary direction and underpinnings of this campaign.
Another indication of this social reality, and specifically of the sexual abuse crusade’s subjectivist, irrational side, is the announcement by actress Alyssa Milano, who initiated the #MeToo campaign with a tweet on October 15, 2017, that she was attending her first Democratic Party fundraiser of the 2020 election cycle, for self-help guru and raging idealist Marianne Williamson, one of the two-dozen Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination. A 1992 article by popular mathematics and popular science writer Martin Gardner reported that Williamson believed that the “Voice” she described in her book, A Course in Miracles, came from Jesus, that “nothing occurs outside our minds” and that “sickness is an illusion and does not actually exist.” According to the Los Angeles Times, she once told a group of HIV-positive disciples that the “AIDS virus is not more powerful than God.”
Despite the Spacey setback, the #MeToo witch-hunt, driven by powerful social forces, will proceed. Both the recent announcement by Netflix that it is was going ahead with a stand-up special with comedian Aziz Ansari and the news that fellow comedian Chris Hardwick was returning to San Diego Comic-Con have come under criticism. Ansari was accused by an anonymous woman in January 2018 of being sexually aggressive on a date, and Hardwick faced unsubstantiated allegations of abuse from an ex-girlfriend. Neither man came close to being charged with a crime, but that didn’t stop each of them from coming under career-threatening attacks.
False hope breeds crippling apathy – This is what I have to think to myself when I see the news media fervor over the second arrest of billionaire Jefferey Epstein, or similar events which in most cases end up fading into the background and forgotten. The public’s favorite distraction has always been to watch high profile people kicked out of their castles in the clouds, but I would point out that even when the globalists sacrifice one of their own in the public eye it is usually only to satiate the masses and their hunger for justice for a very short time. The system is not designed to root out evil; it is designed to obscure and perpetuate evil.
Epstein is a perfect example of this. He was already prosecuted on pedophilia charges over 12 years ago and received a “sweetheart” plea deal which allowed him to serve a mere 13 month sentence. How many child rapists get that kind of treatment in our court system? And what about the vast array of people (including political leaders) that were close friends and associates with Epstein during his “Lolita Express” days? Are we really to believe they knew nothing about what was going on? That they visited his island and never saw any wrongdoing?
Why didn’t they come forward immediately? Why did they wait until Epstein was already being prosecuted before they publicly admonished him? Is it because they were involved in the same activities? And if so, why have they not been prosecuted as well?
My point is, people should lower their expectations that justice will be served or that the “dominoes will fall” in the Epstein case. Also, keep in mind that James Comey’s daughter, Maureen Comey, will be on the prosecution team in the case, AND , Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, is the same man who brokered Epstein’s immunity deal. Like strands of malignant cancer, these people are wrapped around every facet of government.
But this is not just about Epstein, and as much as I would also like to see the guy hang for his crimes, I have to admit that this latest event is probably nothing more than another piece of theater meant to give the public false hope that the system is changing and that elitist criminals will be treated the same as any other criminal. How often does this ever happen?
How about the Bernie Madoff scandal? Madoff runs a Ponzi scheme that devoured $65 billion in client funds and he is sentenced to 150 years in prison, but JP Morgan, the bank that HELPED Madoff move his stolen money, got nothing more than a fine.
In the wake of the 2008 credit crash and the exposure of the fraudulent derivatives market, many people thought banker heads were going to roll, yet in the US only one banker, a little known executive at Credit Suisse named Kareem Sarageldin, actually served jail time. After admitting to fraud and inflating bond prices associated with mortgage backed securities, Sarageldin was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The Financial Times went on to publish an article in 2018 on this matter, claiming they would “dispel the myth that no one was held accountable for the derivatives crash”. They came up with a list of 47 names. The article went on to admit that the vast majority of bankers arrested were in Iceland (where the prisons are like country clubs). The rest came primarily from low level banks or were mid-level employees. The number of CEO’s on the list is decidedly slim, and banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the biggest perpetrators of derivatives fraud, are decidedly absent.
The base argument for these types of articles is in itself a kind of fraud. I don’t think that most people assume that “no one” was prosecuted over the fraud that helped create the crash of 2008, a crash the economy is still suffering from. I think that most people assume none of the elites at the top of the pyramid were prosecuted, and perhaps with the exception of former IMF managing director Rodrigo Rato in Spain who was only charged with credit card fraud, this assumption is a correct one.
The most egregious criminals are rarely ever touched by scandal or jail time because they stand in key positions within our system. You will never see central bankers in the Federal Reserve suffer punishment for consistently and deliberately fueling economic bubbles through artificially low interest rates and stimulus measures. You will never see them prosecuted for deliberately imploding these bubbles with perfectly timed liquidity tightening and interest rate hikes into economic weakness.
In fact, just this week Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told the Financial Services Committee that if Trump tried to fire him, he would simply ignore him and remain in his position for the full term. It is rather odd to me that almost no one in the alternative media covered his statement, perhaps because it runs contrary to the latest narrative that Powell is “afraid of Trump” and that Trump now has control of the Fed. This is nonsense. Even Trump’s own acting Chief of Staff noted that Trump “knows he does not have the authority to fire Powell”.
People who think the President chooses the Fed Chairman do not understand how the system actually works. The Fed board controls who the Chair is, and can simply vote to put whoever they wish in the position regardless of what the President does, according to Bill English, a former FOMC secretary and advisor to the Board. This means that Trump’s “choice” of Fed Chair is merely ceremonial. Trump has no power whatsoever over the central bank.
So why does this delusion persist? Again, because people become addicted to false hope. The banking elites will never be punished by the system they control. They would have to be punished by other means.
You will never see IMF heads punished for loan sharking nations into oblivion. Hell, the Bank for International Settlements laundered money for the Nazis and yet they were never punished and still exist to this day! The president of the BIS at the time, Thomas McKittrick, never faced prosecution after the war, went on to work for Chase Manhattan bank, and received a pleasant eulogy from The New York Times after his death in 1970, even though the New York Times also reported on admissions from the BIS that they had helped the Nazis.
Some might argue that this trend of one law for the people and no law for the money elite will finally change under Donald Trump’s presidency, but I find that sentiment to be highly naive. First and foremost, Trump is far too close the money elite to punish them, even if he wanted to. His extensive associations with Rothschild banking agent Wilber Ross, the man who bailed Trump out of his considerable debts in his Atlantic City casino project in the 1990s and who is now Commerce Secretary in Trump’s cabinet, sets a tone for Trump’s presidency that is NOT anti-banker or anti-globalist.
It should be clear to most people now that there will be no “draining of the swamp”, not even from the White House. Trump’s promises to seek prosecution of the Clintons for their criminal activities, which include mishandling of classified data, fraud, and a host of other repulsive behaviors, have fallen flat. Trump’s campaign position to hold the Federal Reserve accountable for the historic bubble they have inflated in stock markets through low interest rates and stimulus is gone. Now Trump takes credit for the bubble as if it is a good thing, and is demanding even more stimulus from the Fed.
And yet, there are still people out there that imagine this is all part of some elaborate ruse on Trump’s part; that he is playing a game of “4D Chess” with the globalists. I believe this insane delusion stems from a singular psychological malfunction that is suffered by many people – the idea that the system, no matter how corrupt, can be fixed from the inside.
Leftists believe this. Many conservatives believe this. Despite all evidence to the contrary, people WANT to imagine a world in which evil can be defeated if only the right people are put in place within the system. If they vote the right way, if they support the right party, if they rally around the right investigation, if they protest peacefully on the steps of Congress or on Wall Street, then the system will be forced to expel the evil and serve the populace once again.
I usually equate our current governmental framework to the “One Ring” from Lord Of The Rings, and I still think there is no better analogy. The core problem is that the system is not only run by corrupt people, it has also been built by them. The system as it stands today is a corruption machine that manufactures evil. Adding good people to an evil machine is not going to stop it. And, as with the One Ring, the people who think they can use an evil machine for good purposes often end up corrupted themselves. You cannot change it, you cannot exploit it for good, you can only destroy it.
In other words, conservatives in the liberty movement in particular need to throw out their illusions that the globalists will be defeated using the very systems the globalists created to serve their interests. And if you cannot change a corrupt system from the inside, then it must be dismantled from the outside and rebuilt from scratch. A constitutional framework and the Bill Of Rights can help in this effort, but these are laws on paper that cannot defend themselves. Without fierce vigilance on the part of the citizenry, laws and rights can be erased.
You will not hear the mainstream media or even much of the alternative media talk about the real solutions to elitist criminality or government corruption. You won’t hear about these solutions because they are hard; they require struggle and sacrifice. Voting is easy, which is why it does not work. Legislation is easy, which is why it does not work. And, protesting with signs on a street corner is easy, and it might spread the word on an issue, but ultimately it does not work. The corruption remains.
There are two options left; first, walk away peacefully from the system and build one that works on your own or with others of like-mind. If you are successful, then expect the corrupt system and the elites behind it to try and stop you. Second, when this happens, the only option left is to fight back and remove the threat. This is where we are inevitably headed, not because we want it, but because they will force the issue.
We can no longer deceive ourselves with notions of absorbing Washington D.C. or Wall Street and making them work for us. The hope that this is possible is poison, and the elites use that poison to weaken public resolve. While we sit around waiting for the system to police itself the Earth turns and they become more powerful. Without a dramatic change in our own strategy, without direct action on our part instead of action through political middlemen, I predict our situation will only become worse.
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“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensating to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom.”—Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Anyone who believes differently hasn’t been paying attention.
Politics, religion, sports, government, entertainment, business, armed forces: it doesn’t matter what arena you’re talking about, they are all riddled with the kind of seedy, sleazy, decadent, dodgy, depraved, immoral, corrupt behavior that somehow gets a free pass when it involves the wealthy and powerful elite in America.
In this age of partisan politics and a deeply polarized populace, corruption—especially when it involves sexual debauchery, depravity and predatory behavior—has become the great equalizer.
But then there are the extra-ordinary men, such as Jeffrey Epstein, who belong to a powerful, wealthy, elite segment of society that operates according to their own rules or, rather, who are allowed to sidestep the rules that are used like a bludgeon on the rest of us.
As the Associated Press points out, “The arrest of the billionaire financier on child sex trafficking charges is raising questions about how much his high-powered associates knew about the hedge fund manager’s interactions with underage girls, and whether they turned a blind eye to potentially illegal conduct.”
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency) too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be abused.
We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America.
A cop shoots an unarmed citizen for no credible reason and gets away with it. A president employs executive orders to sidestep the Constitution and gets away with it. A government agency spies on its citizens’ communications and gets away with it. An entertainment mogul sexually harasses aspiring actresses and gets away with it. The U.S. military bombs a civilian hospital and gets away with it.
Abuse of power—and the ambition-fueled hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for misconduct that make those abuses possible—works the same whether you’re talking about sex crimes, government corruption, or the rule of law.
It’s the same old story all over again: man rises to power, man abuses power abominably, man intimidates and threatens anyone who challenges him with retaliation or worse, and man gets away with it because of a culture of compliance in which no one speaks up because they don’t want to lose their job or their money or their place among the elite.
It’s not just sexual predators that we have to worry about.
For every Jeffrey Epstein (or Bill Clinton or Harvey Weinstein or Roger Ailes or Bill Cosby or Donald Trump) who eventually gets called out for his sexual misbehavior, there are hundreds—thousands—of others in the American police state who are getting away with murder—in many cases, literally—simply because they can.
The cop who shoots the unarmed citizen first and asks questions later might get put on paid leave for a while or take a job with another police department, but that’s just a slap on the wrist. The shootings and SWAT team raids and excessive use of force will continue, because the police unions and the politicians and the courts won’t do a thing to stop it.
The war hawks who are making a profit by waging endless wars abroad, killing innocent civilians in hospitals and schools, and turning the American homeland into a domestic battlefield will continue to do so because neither the president nor the politicians will dare to challenge the military industrial complex.
The National Security Agency that carries out warrantless surveillance on Americans’ internet and phone communications will continue to do so, because the government doesn’t want to relinquish any of its ill-gotten powers and its total control of the populace.
Unless something changes in the way we deal with these ongoing, egregious abuses of power, the predators of the police state will continue to wreak havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives.
Police officers will continue to shoot and kill unarmed citizens. Government agents—including local police—will continue to dress and act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies will continue to fleece taxpayers while eroding our liberties. Government technicians will continue to spy on our emails and phone calls. Government contractors will continue to make a killing by waging endless wars abroad.
And powerful men (and women) will continue to abuse the powers of their office by treating those around them as underlings and second-class citizens who are unworthy of dignity and respect and undeserving of the legal rights and protections that should be afforded to all Americans.
As Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the at the University of California, Berkeley, observed in the Harvard Business Review, “While people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance the interests of others, such as empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing; when they start to feel powerful or enjoy a position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade. The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and unethical behavior.”
After conducting a series of experiments into the phenomenon of how power corrupts, Keltner concluded: “Just the random assignment of power, and all kinds of mischief ensues, and people will become impulsive. They eat more resources than is their fair share. They take more money. People become more unethical. They think unethical behavior is okay if they engage in it. People are more likely to stereotype. They’re more likely to stop attending to other people carefully.”
And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
However, it takes a culture of entitlement and a nation of compliant, willfully ignorant, politically divided citizens to provide the foundations of tyranny.
We need to restore the rule of law for all people, no exceptions.
Here’s what the rule of law means in a nutshell: it means that everyone is treated the same under the law, everyone is held equally accountable to abiding by the law, and no one is given a free pass based on their politics, their connections, their wealth, their status or any other bright line test used to confer special treatment on the elite.
This culture of compliance must stop.
The empowerment of petty tyrants and political gods must end.
The state of denial must cease.
Let’s not allow this Epstein sex scandal to become just another blip in the news cycle that goes away all too soon, only to be forgotten when another titillating news headline takes its place.
Sex trafficking, like so many of the evils in our midst, is a cultural disease that is rooted in the American police state’s heart of darkness. It speaks to a far-reaching corruption that stretches from the highest seats of power down to the most hidden corners and relies on our silence and our complicity to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing.
If we want to put an end to these wrongs, we must keep our eyes wide open.
Are we going to believe pilot logs and firsthand eyewitness testimony, or are we going to believe the desperate ramblings of a former president that would do anything to stay out of prison? After everything that he has gotten away with over the last several decades, Bill Clinton probably thought that he was free to enjoy the remainder of his life without having to worry about any more legal troubles. Unfortunately for Clinton, the eyes of the entire world are back on him now that the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal has blown wide open. Suddenly everyone wants answers from Clinton about the very close friendship that he once had with Epstein, and this forced him to issue a very strongly worded denial…
Clinton’s spokesperson, Angel Ureña, told The Associated Press that the former president took four trips on Epstein’s plane between 2002 and 2003, with staff and Secret Service always onboard. He added that Clinton “knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York … He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”
Clinton is either incredibly desperate or incredibly stupid, because all of the evidence indicates that he is lying.
Investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff has been looking into these matters for 9 years. In fact, she has written an entire book about the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal entitled “TrafficKing”, and she has probably interviewed more people about this case than any other journalist. Previously, Fox News reported that Bill Clinton had taken 26 trips on Epstein’s private plane, but according to Sarnoff the pilot logs clearly show that Bill Clinton was a passenger on that plane 27 different times…
“I know from the pilot logs and these are pilot logs that you know were written by different pilots and at different times that Clinton went, he was a guest of Epstein’s 27 times,” she said, adding that “many of those times Clinton had his Secret Service with him and many times he did not.”
As I discussed in part two of this series, Epstein’s private plane was “reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls”, and he would regularly fly his famous friends down to his private island where there would be more group sex with underage girls. Today we refer to Epstein’s private plane as “the Lolita Express”, and it has been established as a fact that Clinton took many trips on that plane without his Secret Service detail.
“First of all, Gerald Lefcourt, who was one of Epstein’s attorneys back during the original arrest and the original investigation, wrote a letter which has been made public … In that letter, Gerald Lefcourt claims that Epstein was one of the original funders of Clinton Global Initiative. He gave President Clinton four million dollars, according to a source who knows a story about that.”
It is undeniable that Clinton and Epstein were very close friends, and for Clinton to try to claim that he didn’t know anything at all about Epstein’s crimes is absolutely laughable.
During the trip, she said in the interview, Clinton was there with two of Epstein’s regular girlfriends and “two young girls that I could identify. I never really knew them well anyways. It was just two girls from New York.”
Clinton stayed in one of the “four or five different villas on the island separate from the main house,” she alleged.
“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ kind of thing and he laughed it off and said ‘Well, he owes me a favor,’” Roberts alleged. “He never told me what favors they were.”
Epstein pimped out Roberts and other underage girls to his prominent pals — so he could gather information on them to blackmail them later on, Roberts alleged in a new affidavit.
“Epstein required me to describe the sexual events that I had with these men, presumably so that he could potentially blackmail them,” the now 31-year-old wrote. She added: “I also understood that Epstein thought he could get leniency if he was ever caught doing anything illegal, or more so that he could escape trouble altogether.”
Of course Roberts is far from alone. The list of Epstein’s victims just keeps growing, and the feds have already interviewed many of them, and they will interview even more of them very soon. In fact, later on tonight I will post part four of this series on The Most Important News, and I will talk about the fact that the feds are claiming that since Epstein’s arrest “several other women contacted them with complaints about Mr. Epstein”.
And we also know that the feds were able to obtain a “treasure trove” of photographic evidence when they recently raided Epstein’s home in New York.
Ultimately, this case will inevitably take a lot of twists and turns that we aren’t even anticipating right now. But if Bill Clinton gets away this time, it will be perhaps his most miraculous escape from justice ever, and it will be yet another indication that our legal system is broken beyond repair.
Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money. …
Nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change. …
I need you very badly.
The reporter, Jennifer Epstein, wrote: “Invoking Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s goal of political ‘revolution,’ Biden suggested that he would be the antidote.”
Maybe this is like when King Louis XV of France, prior to the French Revolution, reportedly said “Après moi le déluge” (and some ‘historian’ then alleged that the phrase had been said instead by his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and some other ‘historian’ then changed that phrase to “Après nous le déluge,” — changing “me” to “we” — in order to make this altered version seem credible as having been from her, and the King not seem so self-obsessed). Nobody actually knows whether the French King actually was that prophetic about the Revolution to come. But he could have been.
Biden needs the super-rich, because, in today’s American politics, ‘elections’ are instead s‘elections’, by those very few super-rich people, and he therefore needs them, to select him, so that his campaign will then have enough money to fool enough of the Party’s voters to vote for him. The bogeyman he normally cites is Sanders, because Sanders publicly insists upon representing the public, instead of the super-rich, and because Sanders says that there is a hot and heavy class-war raging now in this country — not between Karl Marx’s “bourgeoisie” versus “proletariat,” but instead between the aristocracy versus the public, which is to say, between America’s 585 billionaires versus everyone else. Biden’s answer to that (his answer to Sanders’s analysis), as paraphrased by Bloomberg’s Epstein, was that as President, Biden would be “making marginal changes that would improve the lives of working and middle class Americans without slapping onerous taxes on the rich.” (Oh, and how would that be possible, given that taxes on the rich are already near record-low? Perhaps by increasing the federal debt above its current $23T? So, it would need to be paid by future generations? Biden doesn’t care about them, at all?) In other words: he’d keep the public’s wool pulled over their eyes, at least enough so as to avoid any “revolution” to “fundamentally change” America’s status-quo (of declining public services and soaring government debt). This is certainly what the billionaires want, but does it really represent the interests of the American public? Does he really think it does?
Earlier, on 8 May 2018, Biden had given a speech at the billionaires’ neoconservative neoliberal Brookings Institution, in which he said, “We have to deal with income inequity. I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble. … The folks at the top aren’t bad guys. I get in trouble in my party when I say wealthy Americans are just as patriotic as poor folks. I found no distinction. I really haven’t.”
As usual, he lies, because the nation’s 585 billionaires control its international corporations, and the public does not, and those corporations have enormous lobbies and they control and/or outright own all of the major media and so represent their interests exclusively, just like America’s Government does. He knows this, but he lies, in order to win.
Furthermore: he has enough experience with America’s super-rich so that he knows what they are really like. He doesn’t need to be told about this by the social scientists who have actually studied the matter. Here is what they have reported (but Biden would never tell you this):
Empirical studies find that successful people tend to be bad: it’s natural for the scum and not the cream to rise to the top in organizations or in any society. The richer they are, the more hostile toward the poor they become. So, the wealthier a person is, the worse the person tends to be. The scientific studies show this. And it’s not just this, but success itself tends to make a person worse than the person was before the success. Even if a person became rich purely by luck, that lucky event itself makes the person more inclined to blame the poor, instead of to blame the rich, for society’s problems. This isn’t only among Trump and other Republicans; it is also among most Democrats (which is why Biden scores now above Sanders in the Democratic candidate polls). In any aristocracy, praise goes only upward, and blame goes only downward. Look at the prisons — how many billionaires are found there? The percentage of them who are in prison, as compared to the total number of American billionaires, is far smaller than is the percentage of billionaires, as compared to the total American population (585/330 million=1.8 per million). The richest American in prison is Bill Cosby, but his net worth was only $400M or 0.4B, so, he’s not one. Therefore, the percentage of the 585 billionaires who are in prison is not 1.8 per million (as in the general US population); it is actually zero. None of the 585 is or ever was in prison. Are they really more honest than is the average American? This is another example indicating that it’s natural that, at the very top, the people tend to be the very worst, the least compassionate ones of all, the most psychopathic — and the most unaccountable of all. Their crimes (dangerous products, deceptive advertising, toxic air, global warming, etc.) normally affect millions (and nobody now in a US prison has done nearly so much harm), but they get off scot-free (and maybe their stockholders get fined, at most). In fact, globally, the richest 10%, 770 million people, produce 50% of the global-warming gases, and the poorest 50%, 3.9 billion people, produce 10% of the global-warming gases; so, those 770 million produce, per person, 25 times as much as does a person in that 3.9 billion. (And, yet, by far the people who will suffer the most horrifically from global warming — and who might try to escape it by heading north and getting slammed by rulers such as Trump — are the poorest. Nature isn’t just, at all. Justice is unnatural, and government is supposed to be that type of unnatural, but it almost never is. Trump is, in this sense, simply normal for his class. And Biden finds this anti-poor attitude (which Obama likewise had, though he pontificated to the contrary) to be acceptable. How often is Biden publicly even asked about such facts as these? Never. Our political contests are laughable, a farce and a fraud. And scientific study after scientific study shows that the US Government is controlled not by the voters — not by the public — but by the dollars — by the wealth (the few richest). The US Government is s‘elected’, by the few extremely rich, and is not actually elected, by the electorate (the public — the many voters). Usually, these s‘elections’ are done during the primaries, when the mass of voters aren’t even paying attention to political (i.e., governmental) matters, and this is precisely such a moment, when the electorate who don’t care about the issues are paying attention only to the personalities. Moreover, in America, the wealthiest 1% are, on average, extreme conservatives, and they are, on average, constantly and obsessively concerned with politics — vastly more obsessed with it than persons in the general public (the poorer 99%) are. The rich tend to be psychopaths, and the billionaires are extremely so.
Good government is not natural; bad government is natural. Good government is unnatural. Biden, both in his voting record in the US Senate, and in his actions as the US V.P., has already proven that he is entirely satisfied with America’s having a natural government, a government by the richest, the greediest, the most psychopathic, the mega-donors. These are the people who are unfortunately also the most obsessed with government — not that it should be better than it is, but that it must be made even worse than it is, and maybe even privatized so that they can control it more directly. Biden tells them “I need you very badly,” because they know that, without their buying him, he won’t stand even a chance of becoming the next President — he won’t be s‘elected’. And he’s telling them that he knows, that it’s a farce. He wants them to know that he knows.
But they also know that Pete Buttigieg is like Obama was, a much slicker version of Biden, and so they are also pouring millions into Buttigieg’s campaign. The New York Timesrecently headlined “Wall Street Donors Are Swooning for Mayor Pete. (They Like Biden and Harris, Too.)”, and reported that “Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, ‘the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.’”
Apparently, America will continue to have a natural government, and only the face of it is at stake in the 2020 Presidential campaigns.
Gov. Jesse Ventura tells Rick Sanchez that “Julian Assange is a hero because the government doesn’t want you to know the truth.” He lists the war crimes exposed by WikiLeaks and hopes that Assange’s extradition to the US will be met with “mass protest.”
Renegade internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has condemned the arrest of Julian Assange as a modern-day “inquisition,” and said the WikiLeaks founder’s “persecution and arrest” will make him “a hero for the ages.”
“Witch hunts, book burnings and the Inquisition are back,” Dotcom tweeted on Thursday, hours after Assange was hauled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by British police.
“The persecution and arrest of Julian Assange for publishing the truth returns us to the darkest times in human history,” the internet icon continued. “This attempt to keep us from the truth will turn Julian Assange into a hero for the ages.”
Witch hunts, book burnings and the Inquisition are back.
The persecution and arrest of Julian Assange for publishing the truth returns us to the darkest times in human history.
This attempt to keep us from the truth will turn Julian Assange into a hero for the ages.#FreeJulian
According to Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson, his arrest was made in relation to an extradition request from the United States. Assange is wanted on charges of conspiracy, together with US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, Robinson elaborated.
The truth published by WikiLeaks has been particularly embarrassing for Washington. In 2010, the outlet published classified US military footage leaked by Manning, which showed a US Apache gunship mowing down 12 people, including two Reuters staff.
Dotcom’s own activities have brought the weight of the US government down on him before. As founder of the now-defunct file-hosting service Megaupload, the German-born entrepreneur is still locked into an extradition battle with Washington. He is currently in New Zealand, and has claimed that US authorities are pursuing a vendetta against him on behalf of politically-influential Hollywood studios.
Dotcom is a privacy activist and prominent critic of government surveillance. He has accused former President Barack Obama of colluding with US intelligence agencies and tech companies to dramatically expand digital spying.
Unfortunately all big US Internet companies are in bed with the deep state. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. are all providing backdoors to your data. You may have noticed they all favor the Democrats. Why? Obama made them feel special for sharing your data. Privileges!
“No country in the post WWII era has committed so many crimes against humanity, and supported so many genocides, as the United States of America. And in summary, no other part of the world has murdered more people on our planet, than Europe.”
Well, not exactly like that, but in a way, yes. Now, finally, ‘the gloves are off’. The US is openly threatening the historically timid ICC (International Criminal Court) and its judges. And unexpectedly, the ICC is hitting back. It refuses to shut up, to kneel, and to beg for mercy.
Suddenly, even the Western mass media outlets cannot conceal the aggressive mafia-style outbursts of the US government officials. On March 15, Reuters reported:
The United States will withdraw or deny visas to any International Criminal Court personnel investigating possible war crimes by U.S. forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.
The court, which sits in The Hague, responded that it was an independent and impartial institution and would continue to do its work “undeterred” by Washington’s actions.
The Trump administration threatened in September to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States and sanction funds they have there if the court launched a probe of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Washington took the first step on Friday with Pompeo’s announcement.
“I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel,” Pompeo told a news conference in Washington.
“These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent.”
And so it goes… Mike Pompeo’s arrogant facial expression appeared above countless reports and it said it all: the world has to listen to the US dictates, or else!
Naturally, there is logic(even if twisted) behind the US threats. This is an extremely dangerous slope!
No country in the post WWII era has committed so many crimes against humanity, and supported so many genocides, as the United States of America. And in summary, no other part of the world has murdered more people on our planet, than Europe. And most North Americans are descendants of the Europeans. The ‘foreign policy’ of the US is directly derived from colonialist policies of the former European powers. Therefore, crimes against humanity committed by the West have never stopped; never stopped for centuries.
This simple fact had been hushed up: never really openly discussed by the mass media outlets, in classrooms, or in the courts of law.
If the ICC begins and is allowed to investigate crimes against humanity committed by the West, the entire twisted concept of the US and Europe being pioneers of freedom and democracy could easily and quickly collapse.
Even criticism by Washington, Paris or London of countries such as Venezuela, China or Russia, for their “human rights violations”, would become absurd and grotesque. Entire concept of ‘regime change’ could clearly be exposed for what it always really was – lawless gangsterism.
The US rulers are well aware of the fact that this is ‘extremely bad timing’ for the Empire to allow challenges from some at least marginally independent international bodies.
They try to break all dissent. Like when in 2018, the US and its close ally Israel left the at least partially rebellious intellectual body of the UN – UNESCO.
The West is clearly losing the ideological war, and it is panicking. And the more it panics, the more aggressive it gets.
One country after another is being defined as ‘undemocratic’ and designated for ‘regime change’. The methods are different. There are soft coups which have succeeded in overthrowing left-leaning governments in Argentina and later in Brazil. And there are hard methods used by the Empire in and against Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, big parts of Africa, Nicaragua and North Korea.
The West openly supports genocides in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in West Papua occupied and plundered by Indonesia, in Indian occupied Kashmir, as well as the apartheid perpetrated by Israel.
The ICC is now concentrating on the crimes against humanity committed by the United States in Afghanistan, where at least 100,000 died as a result of the near two decades of NATO occupation. These crimes are real and undisputable. I have been working in Afghanistan, and could testify that the West (and particularly the US and UK) brought this proud country into a despicable state.
But Afghanistan could be just the beginning; a proverbial Pandora box could open from there.
Most likely, if they take place, the trials against the U.S. and its crimes, would not right away prevent the terror the West is spreading all around the world. But they would open discussion, at least in the countries that have been victims of terrible injustice. Such trials would also help to realign the world: definitely towards Russia and China, and back towards socialism in Latin America and most likely in Africa and parts of Asia.
Pompeo’s speech was so extreme that it could be easily defined as counter-productive for the Empire.
Even the mainstream Western press had to react. Even the Western ‘human rights organizations’ felt obliged to protest.
On March 15, AP published an unprecedented report:
Human Rights Watch called it “a thuggish attempt to penalize investigators” at the ICC.
“The Trump administration is trying an end run around accountability,” it said. “Taking action against those who work for the ICC sends a clear message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes may continue unchecked.”
Amnesty International described the move as “the latest attack on international justice and international institutions by an administration hellbent on rolling back human rights protections.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents three people before the ICC who say they were tortured in Afghanistan, called the decision “misguided and dangerous” and “an unprecedented attempt to skirt international accountability for well-documented war crimes that haunt our clients to this day.”
A great part of the world is already horrified by the latest attacks of the West against Venezuela, and by attempts to push countries like China, Russia and North Korea towards military conflict.
Such a barefaced shove for impunity will not go well in many parts of the world.
It was always understood that the West has been forcing the planet to accept its ‘exceptionalism’. But it was understood only or predominantly by a well-informed minority of the people.
The latest headlines will be reaching the masses, on all continents.
Mr. Pompeo made one huge tactical mistake. He touched the ‘big topic’ that was always supposed to be ‘understood’ but unpronounced. Now it is out in the open.
The next step could be the acknowledgment that international law does not apply to the West.
Once this undisputable fact is pronounced, what may follow could be an outrage, and finally, refusal to accept the status quo, at least by several countries, and by billions of people worldwide.
It appears that the Empire has gone one step too far. As a result, paradoxically, its impunity could be really in jeopardy.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone