Last Thursday, the founder and publisher of WIKILEAKS, Julian Assange, was arrested in London. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley (USA TODAY) has pointed out:
He disclosed a massive and arguably unconstitutional surveillance program by the United States impacting virtually every citizen. He later published emails that showed that the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton lied in various statements to the public, including the rigging of the primary for her nomination. No one has argued that any of these emails were false. They were embarrassing. Of course, there is not crime of embarrassing the establishment but that is merely a technicality.
For the US government, the first extreme bit of embarrassment came on Monday April 5, 2010, when WIKILEAKS released military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two REUTERS journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Not only was the US government responsible for that attack, they were responsible for the lies and the coverup that followed. When WIKILEAKS published the video, the truth was known.
The Iraqi people always knew the truth. That's why they wanted all foreign forces (including the US) out of their country. They lived with the violence on a daily basis. What Julian did was publish something that forced an apathetic world playing on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other to acknowledge what actually happened in Iraq.
As US officials make gleeful comments (Senator Joe Manchin: "He is our property"), you'd expect to see more protest and outrage in the US. What you see instead is trash revealing its true nature. Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) writes of the great do-nothings who can't speak up for Julian:
This resistance is little more than a collective hissy fit from dead ender Democrats who insist on following a party that can’t even reliably stay in office. They have spent the last three years railing against Trump but bite their tongues when he commits an act that reeks of fascist ideology.
The kindest thing that can be said is that they have been hypnotized by a combination of Democratic Party and corporate media lies. It is very difficult to determine the truth in a culture saturated with all the deformities of an imperial state in panic mode. One has to act as a detective and know which web sites to read or whom to follow on social media in order to learn anything outside of the confines of state propaganda. Ever since election night in November 2016 the public have been subjected to a relentless campaign meant to deflect righteous anger away from the Democrats while furthering imperialist goals at the same time.
Julian Assange has become the poster child for the big lie. His leaks of Democratic National Committee emails are blamed for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. But there was no computer hack of the DNC at all. Assange received leaked materials from an insider and used Wikileaks to publish it.
But that is only a partial explanation. The reality is far worse. Liberals are just as much true believers in imperialism as the right wing they claim to oppose.They are nothing if not consistent. When the Trump administration announced the coup attempt against the Venezuelan government the resistance didn’t resist at all.
Instead they repeated talking points from the New York Timesand National Public Radio which labeled the elected Venezuelan president a brutal dictator. They didn’t question the United States claim of a right to undo the will of people in another country. Some gave wishy washy criticism of military intervention but none of them questioned an intervention which is fascist by any definition.
These people will never defend Julian Assange. According to their world view he doesn’t deserve to be defended. He revealed government secrets, which runs counter to their support of the imperialist state, and they think he deprived them of a second Clinton presidency.
The useless trash includes David Cay Johnston as Betty notes. And let me be clear on something, the public e-mail was created for this site. Anyone else can use it, fine, in the community. But it's mine. Not David Cay Johston's and he can stay the f**k away from it. I've read his endless e-mail to Ruth (see Ruth's "F**k off, David Cay Johnston a woman hating piece of crap who thinks he can boss us around") and I'm not in the mood for liars.
I try to be nice but I have been very clear that I am not a nice person. When David e-mailed this site -- and, yes, piece of trash, David, you did -- I first wrote a blistering post. Like the one about a neocon, I didn't publish it. I'd spent sixteen hours on that post about Richard Perle. Now that piece and the one responding to David were not published. They were not trashed. They were saved to draft. They can be published at any time.
I tried to high road it and just change a little bitch's spelling -- we pulled a quote from THE DAILY HOWLER and that quote had David's name wrong -- and even be kind enough not to say, "Can you believe this stupid ass has nothing better to do than police the internet looking for how his name is spelled? Can you believe anyone could be so vain? Who has that kind of time!" I tried to be nice and move on.
But I'm not a nice person. I don't need to hear from you, David. Didn't need to hear from you to begin with. Demi Moore is a friend. Her name is not pronounced "Demmy." But she's not e-mailing everyone about how to pronounce her name. Your life is so pathetic that if a "j" is left out of your last name, you hound everyone. Grow the hell up. No one gives a damn about you. No one gave a damn about you when you wrote your boring pieces that were semi-fact based. Certainly, now that you've gone off into conspiracy nonsense and made it your goal to whip up hysteria, no one gives a damn about you. Martha and Shirley have been asked to delete anything you e-mail and to do it without reading it. You are not going to hijack this community and you are not ever again going to lecture a woman who never needed a lecture from your fat ass to begin with. Not in my public e-mail account, not in the community that I created. Go f**k yourself, David, no one needs to hear from you.
And let's be clear, ego maniacs like David? They're more concerned with how their name got spelled than in standing up for Julian Assange. That tells us everything we ever need to know about that piece of garbage.
It's the garbage of David and his useless peers that are responsible for the Iraq War. That's probably why they hate Julian. Julian didn't lie and sell the Iraq War. They and their outlets did (David once worked for THE NEW YORK TIMES). They sold the war with lies to start it, they sold the war with lies to continue it. Will anyone miss John Burns when he dies? Nope. He's just another cheap hustler who sold war. The war that they sold continues -- as does the suffering of the Iraqi people. Human Rights Watch notes today:
(Erbil, April 18, 2019) – Iraqi officers have committed torture at a detention facility in Mosul at least through early 2019, months after Human Rights Watch reported on the abuses and shared information about those responsible, Human Rights Watch said today. The Iraqi government did not respond to two Human Rights Watch letters requesting an update on steps taken to investigate the allegations.
“If the Iraqi government ignores credible reports of torture, it’s no wonder that the abuses persist,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “What will it take for the authorities to take torture allegations seriously.”
In August 2018, Human Rights Watch published a report alleging the use of torture in three facilities under the Interior Ministry in and around Mosul. It was based on statements from two former detainees and the father of a man who died during interrogation. One former detainee, who was held at the Faisaliya detention facility for four months, provided Human Rights Watch with the names of four interior ministry officers whom he said he saw torturing detainees.
Before publishing its report, Human Rights Watch sent detailed allegations including the names of the four officers implicated to the human rights adviser in the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission. In February, Human Rights Watch wrote to Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhakim and the Interior Ministry Inspector General, Jamal al-Asadi, asking whether the government had investigated the Human Rights Watch allegations. Human Rights Watch received no reply to either letter.
A former prisoner, whose name and identifying details have been withheld for his security, described what he saw at Faisaliya detention facility in early 2019.
He said that guards took him to a section behind a metal door cut off from the rest of the cells on the evening he arrived. His description matched that of other former detainees who spoke to Human Rights Watch.
He said he saw eight detainees standing naked. Four guards were throwing water at them from a bucket, after which they pushed the detainees to the floor one by one, lifted their legs, and placed their feet through two rope loops attached to a wooden stick to keep the feet in place. He said he watched as the guards took turns beating each of the detainees on their feet with plastic piping for about 15 minutes nonstop. He said that after the beatings, six of the detainees confessed to being affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), with each negotiating the length of their membership they would confess.
The guards used a form of “waterboarding,” referred to as al-safina (“boat” in Arabic) on the two detainees who had not confessed, he said. Five guards and an officer strapped each detainee in turn, still naked, onto an orange gurney and tipped it backward, so that the detainee’s feet were raised above his head and covered his face with a towel. For about five minutes, they beat each one with plastic piping while pouring water over his mouth.
He said that the guards then bound the men’s hands behind their backs and suspended them from the ceiling using a hook and pulley, in a position referred to as bazoona (the word for cat in Iraqi dialect) for about one hour. He said the men had all confessed by around 2 a.m. and were taken back to their cell.
An hour later, he said, when he and the 12 other detainees were in the group cell he shared lying down, three or four guards came in and stamped on them with their boots, while singing a well-known ISIS song.
He named three of the four Interior Ministry officers overseeing that section of the detention facility, whom Human Rights Watch had identified in its August report. He also gave the name of another officer he said had overseen the torture. He said that all four officers directly participated in the torture.
Iraqi judges, despite the extensive credible reports of torture in detention, routinely fail to investigate torture allegations. On April 1, 2019, Iraq’s High Judicial Council replied to a Human Rights Watch inquiry into the judiciary’s response to torture allegations, stating that a range of Iraqi courts had investigated 275 complaints against investigative officers by the end of 2018. The High Judicial Council stated that 176 of the cases have been “resolved” while 99 were still being addressed. The council did not indicate how many of the 176 cases were being further investigated or had been dismissed.
Inspector General Jamal al-Asadi should promptly investigate the allegations at Faisaliya detention facility, including the officers implicated in past Human Rights Watch reporting
Iraq’s High Judicial Council should issue guidelines on the steps judges are obliged to take when a defendant alleges torture. Judges should investigate all credible allegations of torture and the security forces responsible, and order transfers of detainees to different facilities immediately after they allege torture or ill-treatment, to protect them from retaliation. Parliament should pass the draft Anti-Torture Law, which would require judges to order a medical examination of any detainee alleging torture within 24 hours of learning of the allegation.
Iraq’s foreign minister should also urge parliament to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which would allow prison visits by the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention. Pending ratification, the government should commit to setting up a national unit to prevent torture, known as a national prevention mechanism, with the authority to inspect all detention centers in Iraq and to set up an effective complaint systems for authorities and facilities involved in detention and interrogations.
The heads of the federal intelligence agency, NSS, and the new interior minister, once appointed, should issue statements to their subordinates prohibiting the use of torture and other ill-treatment, and making clear that they will punish those responsible. Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi should publicly condemn the use of torture by all law enforcement, security, and military personnel.
“Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi’s government should demonstrate to the Iraqi people that it is serious about ending torture in Iraq’s detention facilities,” Fakih said. “Strong actions are needed.”
Why is Human Rights Watch noting this? I'm glad that they are. My point here is where are the news outlets? I don't mean repeating what HRW has documented, I mean why are they not reporting this on their own. When Ned Parker was at THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, he did serious reports like this. But he was not the norm. And when Ned was persecuted by the Iraqi government we saw that the David Cay Johnston's couldn't speak up for him anymore than they could speak up for Julian Assange.
They can spend forever whining to anyone and everyone that a letter was left out of their name -- because, to them, this is the greatest crime. They can't spend even a Tweet defending the Iraqi people who have suffered through never-ending wars.
"Someone forgot a J in my name!" is the ultimate outrage to those useless types.
Let's start winding down with this -- an event on Saturday:
South Central Michigan Greens
Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties Local
Peace, People, and Planet Over Profit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2019
For more information:
Monika Dittmann Schwab, Local Contact/SCMiGreens
South Central Michigan Greens to Meet 1-3pm
Saturday, April 20 at Jackson Coffee Company
The South Central Michigan Greens local will hold its monthly meeting
1-3pm on Saturday, April 20 at the downtown Jackson Coffee Company (201
South Mechanic Street in Jackson).
The meeting is an event on Facebook:
The local serves Jackson, Calhoun, and Hillsdale Counties. But anyone
who supports the Green Party platform of Peace, Planet, and People Over
Profit -- or wants to find out about the #realDeal, the Green Party's
decade-old original version of the Green New Deal -- is welcome to attend.
We will discuss upcoming local activities and opportunities to get
involved -- including a pollution remediation proposal being started in
Jackson this spring, proposed natural-gas mega-plants in the area, and
this year's spring Labor History Walk in Marshall on Saturday, May 4,
the weekend after international Labor Day (May 1).
Co-founder John Anthony La Pietra will report on a celebration of "the
other MLK Day" held April 4 at the Marshall District Library. Local
officers and by-laws, and the results of the recent statewide membership
meeting March 16 in Muskegon, are also expected to be on the agenda.
A map of the location is available here:
For more details and news about the local, please visit its Facebook page:
# # #
The Four Pillars of GPMI:
For our Ten Key Values, add:
Personal and Global Responsibility
Respect for Diversity
The following sites updated: