Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bush, Blair must stand trial for war crimes: says Desmond Tutu !

Bush, Blair must stand trial for war crimes: Tutu 02 Sep 2012 South African Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has called for the trial of former US President [sic] George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for their role in the Iraq war. "The immorality of the United States and Great Britain's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history," Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote in an article in The Observer on Sunday. The Nobel Peace Prize winner called for the trial of the pair at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Tony Blair should face trial over Iraq war, says Desmond Tutu 01 Sep 2012 Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be hauled before the international criminal court in The Hague and delivered a damning critique of the physical and moral devastation caused by the Iraq war. Tutu, a Nobel peace prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid movement, accuses the former British and US leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction and says the invasion left the world more destabilised and divided "than any other conflict in history". Writing in the Observer, Tutu also suggests the controversial US and UK-led action to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003 created the backdrop for the civil war in Syria and a possible wider Middle East conflict involving Iran.

US justice department rules out prosecutions over CIA prison deaths --Human rights group describes outcome as 'nothing short of a scandal' after investigation into treatment of detainees is closed 31 Aug 2012 The US justice department has announced it has ended its investigation into CIA interrogations of terrorist detainees without bringing criminal charges. The decision in the inquiries of the deaths of two terrorist suspects marks the end of a wide-ranging criminal investigation by federal prosecutor John Durham into interrogation practices during the presidency [sic] of George Bush.

Obama's justice department grants final immunity to Bush's CIA torturers By Glenn Greenwald 31 Aug 2012 The Obama administration's aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the "war on terror" crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, "eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA".

'I don't want to be complicit' in an Israeli strike on Iran, says US army chief 30 Aug 2012 The US should not become embroiled in an Israeli military strike on Iran that would not only fail to destroy Iran's nuclear program, but could also undo international diplomatic pressure on Tehran, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said Thursday in London. Such an attack by Israel would "clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program," Dempsey said, adding: "I don't want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it." The US's top general - the Guardian reported - said that he could not presume to know Iran's ultimate intentions in pursuing a nuclear program, as intelligence was inconclusive on that score.

Karzai slams US for civilian killings in Afghanistan 01 Sep 2012 Afghan President Hamid Karzai has strongly condemned the killing of two civilians in an attack carried out by US-led troops in southern Afghanistan. Karzai strongly denounced the US-led night raid, saying it violated a security deal under which the foreign troops are obliged not to carry out such attacks unless they are coordinated with Afghan officials. Two Afghan civilians, a 70-year-old man and his son, were killed in a US-led night raid on Friday in Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan.

Huge blast near NATO base in Afghanistan kills 12 01 Sep 2012 A militant bomb attack near the US-led NATO forces' base in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak has left 12 people killed, including 10 civilians, Press TV reports. The incident occurred when a bomb-laden truck exploded near the gate of a NATO base in Sayyidabad district early Saturday, also killing 2 policemen and injuring several others, according to a provincial official.

US Troops Build 'Alamos' Against Insider Attacks 30 Aug 2012 U.S. military units have resorted to building hardened safe rooms, or what they call "Alamos," to protect themselves from potential attacks from the soldiers and police officers they are training, according to a report from Stars & Stripes. Troops have built the safe rooms as U.S. and NATO commanders receive almost daily reports of supposed Afghan security forces turning their guns on their trainers. [OR, the US could just *get out* -- but then the mercenaries and contractors would make less of a killing on the US 'mission' in Afghanistan -- protecting the CIA's opium routes.]

Canadian forces to continue Afghan training despite U.S. suspension 02 Sep 2012 U.S. forces have suspended the training of Afghan local police forces in response to a surge of attacks by infiltrators, but the work of Canada's 900 military trainers will continue. NATO's 'mission' to upgrade the Afghan National Security Force and the Afghan National Police – the program under which Canada works – was not affected by the American decision, Lieutenant-General Adrian Bradshaw, deputy commander of the International Security Assistance Force, said in a statement Sunday.

Training on hold for some Afghans to find infiltrators 03 Sep 2012 The training of Afghan Local Police and Afghan special operations forces, which account for about 7 percent of all Afghan security forces, has been put on hold for at least a month while their American trainers conduct stricter vetting to try to root out infiltrators or recruits who could pose risks to the coalition troops working with them, U.S. officials say. The move does not affect the vast majority of Afghan forces - more than 350,000 Afghan National Army soldiers and Afghan National Police members - who are still being trained and are working in the field with against American and NATO counterparts, military officials said.

NORAD, Russians join for computer-based mock terrorist exercise 30 Aug 2012 The mock rescue of a plane seized by terrorists was the basis for a computer-based joint exercise by NORAD and the Russian Federation Air Force that ended Wednesday with representatives from both entities agreeing that it will serve as solid preparation for next year's event [and the next false flag]. The annual event, part of the Vigilant Eagle exercise series, ran Monday through Wednesday and involved a core group of about 35 U.S., Russian and Canadian service members.

DNC security rules trigger free speech worries --The new rules have already been used for events before the convention and will remain on the books after it's over. 01 Sep 2012 Starting Saturday, someone walking through Charlotte's central business district could run afoul of the law by carrying water bottles, hair spray, socks or magic markers under sweeping security rules enacted ahead of the Democratic National Convention. The changes to city ordinances adopted earlier this year for "extraordinary events" [!?!] ban a long list of actions and items that would otherwise be legal from a more than 100-square-block zone.

Fighter Jets to Protect Skies During Democratic Convention 31 Aug 2012 Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighters will protect the skies during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Air Force fighter jets will be on alert during the convention -- which begins Sept. 4 and runs through Sept. 6 -- enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary flight restriction zone. Meanwhile, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighters will be active prior to the Democratic National Convention preparing to protect the skies around Charlotte.

Downtown Minneapolis Becomes Black Hawk Helicopter Training Zone --Officials not giving out Black Hawk training locations 27 Aug 2012 If you see military helicopters flying low over Minneapolis, don't be alarmed. They're just training in an urban environment. The U.S. Special Operations Command will be conducting exercises until the beginning of September. This week they're using helicopters, including Black Hawks.

Romney lacks convention poll bump as Democrats prepare to meet in Charlotte 02 Sep 2012 Mitt Romney failed to achieve a bounce from the Republican convention, according to a poll published Sunday, lifting Democrats' spirits as they arrived in Charlotte for their own gathering. Although Obama's campaign team played down the chances of Obama securing a poll bounce from the Democratic convention, beginning Tuesday, it is privately hoping he can open up a significant lead after months in which the two have been tied in the polls.

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital --How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs - and stuck others with the bill By Matt Taibbi 29 Aug 2012 Mitt Romney - a man whose own father built cars and nurtured communities, and was one of the old-school industrial anachronisms pushed aside by the new generation's wealth grab - has emerged now to sell this make-nothing, take-everything, screw-everyone ethos to the world. He's Gordon Gekko, but a new and improved version, with better PR – and a bigger goal. A takeover artist all his life, Romney is now trying to take over America itself. And if his own history is any guide, we'll all end up paying for the acquisition.

The Medicare Killers By Paul Krugman 31 Aug 2012 The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem. Moreover, the vouchers almost certainly would be inadequate; their value would be set by a formula taking no account of likely increases in health care costs... The G.O.P. platform says that it "will empower millions of seniors to control their personal health care decisions." Indeed. Because those of us too young for Medicare just feel so personally empowered, you know, when dealing with insurance companies.

Central banks debate limits of power at Jackson Hole --The annual Jackson Hole gathering came to a close on Saturday. 01 Sep 2012 Central bankers who traveled to the wilds of Wyoming to figure out if more policy action was needed to curb stubbornly high unemployment heard powerful arguments on both sides of the debate, and leave with many questions unanswered. Policymakers in Europe and the United States facing weak growth and painfully high unemployment are struggling with the issue of whether additional monetary stimulus could do more harm than good.

German left-wing MP Sevim Dagdelen visits Julian Assange at Ecuador embassy 03 Sep 2012 German far-left MP Sevim Dagdelen has visited Julian Assange, who has been holed up at Ecuador's embassy in London since June, and afterwards expressed her solidarity with the WikiLeaks founder. "I have sent solidarity regards to Julian Assange from the left in Germany and the online community in Germany," said Ms Dagdelen in a statement issued after the visit.

Assange Asylum Wins Correa Anti-U.S. Cachet as Trade to Suffer 28 Aug 2012 Ecuador President Rafael Correa is emerging from the shadow of Venezuelan mentor Hugo Chavez as his decision to grant asylum to WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange plunges relations with the U.S. to new lows. While such a tactic may boost his chances of re-election in February, the political gain may spell economic loss for Ecuador, as harboring Assange sparks reprisals from the South American nation's top trade partner, said Cynthia Arnson, Latin America program director at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Three cases of influenza linked to swine barn at Minnesota State Fair 31 Aug 2012 Three people are believed to have developed a strain of influenza known as variant H1N2 (H1N2v) after exhibiting pigs or spending time in the swine barn at the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday afternoon. One of the three cases has been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Test results for the other two are pending. The H1N2v strain is different from the H3N2v strain that has prompted stepped-up surveillance and prevention efforts nationwide, after causing 289 reported cases of illness and one death since the beginning of the year. 

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