Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Far US Violation of Human Rights Has Extended: A Cruel & Unusual Record

By Jimmy Carter

"The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights."

Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended.

This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.

While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile.

The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs.

It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress (the law is currently being blocked by a federal judge). This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.

In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications.

Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.

Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable.

After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan,

Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.

These policies clearly affect American foreign policy. Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior.

Meanwhile, the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, now houses 169 prisoners. About half have been cleared for release, yet have little prospect of ever obtaining their freedom.

American authorities have revealed that, in order to obtain confessions, some of the few being tried (only in military courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers.

Astoundingly, these facts cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred under the cover of “national security.” Most of the other prisoners have no prospect of ever being charged or tried either.

At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.

As concerned citizens, we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, is the founder of the Carter Center and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

© 2012 The New York Times Company

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Obama's declaration of War on Africa

Obama in a toast to the roasting of Africa?

President Obama, that imperialist son-of-a…um, Kenyan, last week unveiled what he described as a “new” U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The White House report does not once mention AFRICOM, the U.S. military command that has pushed aside the State Department as the primary institution of U.S. policy and power in sub-Saharan Africa. The report comes three years after Obama’s trip to Ghana, when he declared that Africa’s biggest problems were “corruption and poor governance,” rather than five centuries (and still counting) of Euro-American predation. African complaints about “neo-colonialism, or [that] the West has been oppressive, or racism” are mere “excuses,” said Obama, in a performance that scholar Ama Biney described as “imperialist lecturing” and “Obama-speak.”

Having effectively abandoned even the pretense of competing with China, India, Brazil and other rising economic powers in Africa, the Obama regime has turned the continent into a battleground, where AFRICOM is the principle interlocutor with the region’s governments and peoples. In addition to conducting year-round military maneuvers with nearly every nation on the continent, AFRICOM handles much of U.S. food distribution and medical aid to the region, while the CIA monitors Africa’s vast expanses with a network of secret airstrips and surveillance aircraft.

The White House report, a document of pure obfuscation, puts U.S. efforts to “strengthen democratic institutions” at the top of the list. It rehashes Obama’s Ghana declaration, that “Africa does not need strong men, it needs strong institutions.” Yet, Washington’s closest allies in sub-Saharan Africa are Paul Kagame, the minority Tutsi warlord in Rwanda; Yoweri Museveni, who rose to power with a guerilla army of child-soldiers and locked up two million Acholi people in concentration camps; and Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi, a military dictator who heads an ethnic-based regime. Rwanda and Uganda are the principal culprits in the deaths of six million Congolese since 1996, the worst genocide since World War Two, while Zenawi’s 2006 invasion of Somalia, instigated by the United States, led to “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa – worse than Darfur,” according to United Nations observers.

“Washington’s closest allies in sub-Saharan Africa are Paul Kagame, the minority Tutsi warlord in Rwanda; Yoweri Museveni, who rose to power with a guerilla army of child-soldiers; and Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi, a military dictator who heads an ethnic-based regime.”

The text of the president’s statement on the “new” sub-Saharan strategy warns that “the United States will not stand idly by when actors threaten legitimately elected governments or manipulate the fairness and integrity of democratic processes, and we will stand in steady partnership with those who are committed to the principles of equality, justice, and the rule of law.” In the context of Obama’s humanitarian military intervention doctrine – and especially since AFRICOM led NATO’s regime change in Libya – this is war talk.

In another sense, however, it is, quite simply, pure crap. Rwanda has for 16 years destabilized and spread genocidal chaos in neighboring Congo, in blatant violation of a U.S. law specifically tailored to curtail and punish those activities. The Democratic Republic of The Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act, written by then-Senator Barack Obama and co-sponsored by his colleague Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, authorizes the Secretary of State to withhold U.S. aid “if the Secretary determines that the government of the foreign country is taking actions to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo." The Obama administration, like its predecessors, not only disregards its own policy statements – it ignores laws passed by the president and the chief foreign policy officer.

The White House claims the U.S. has made Africa a safer and more just place “by strengthening institutions and challenging leaders whose actions threaten peaceful political transitions, including in Cote d’Ivoire” – where the U.S. and French accomplished armed regime change.

Obama brags that: “We have been the world’s leader in responding to humanitarian crises, including in the Horn of Africa, while at the same time working with our African partners to promote resilience and prevent future crises.” In reality, George Bush and Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi ended Somalia’s brief period of peace under an Islamic Courts regime, plunged the country into “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa,” and then, under Obama, withheld food from Somalia in order to weaken the Shabaab resistance, all of which set the stage for an even worse famine in 2011, killing hundreds of thousands.

Such realities give the lie to Obama’s promise to “work to prevent the weakening or collapse of local economies, protect livestock, promote sustainable access to clean water, and invest in programs that reduce community-level vulnerability to man-made and natural disasters.” AFRICOM and U.S. policy are the disasters afflicting the continent; they are part of the disease, not the cure.

During the winter following his Africa visit in 2009, Obama took the lead in destroying all prospects for slowing global warming, at the Copenhagen climate talks. But he still wants to peddle American “green” products (and natural gas fracking) to a scorched Africa. “We will continue promoting resilience and adaptation to impacts of climate change on food, water, and health in vulnerable African countries, supporting the adoption of low-emissions development strategies, and mobilizing financing to support the development and deployment of clean energy,” said the White House report.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu had his own interpretation of U.S. climate policy. Africa, he said, “is to be condemned “to incineration and no modern development.”

Obama assures Africa that: “The United States will seek to expand adherence to the principle of civilian control of the military.” In practice, AFRICOM has cultivated a “soldier-to-soldier” policy between U.S. troops and African militaries that extends from “general-to-general” to “colonel-to-colonel” and down the ranks, positioning the U.S. to launch coups at will against African civilian, or even military leaders that fall out of favor with Washington. As Dan Glazebrook recently wrote in The Guardian, America’s “great hope is that the African Union's forces can be subordinated to a chain of command headed by AFRICOM.”

As with George Bush, the death of millions and the erasure of nations can all be justified by the invocation of one word: al-Qa’ida.

“In our approach to counter-terrorism,” said the White House, “we will continue to be guided by the President’s affirmation in the National Security Strategy that he bears no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the American people.

“Consistent with the National Strategy for Counter-terrorism, we will concentrate our efforts on disrupting, dismantling, and eventually defeating al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents in Africa to ensure the security of our citizens and our partners. In doing so, we will seek to strengthen the capacity of civilian bodies to provide security for their citizens and counter violent extremism through more effective governance, development, and law enforcement efforts.”

And there you have it. Ultimately, “good governance” and the rest of Obama’s wish-list for Africa is whatever suits U.S. war on terror priorities – and keeps out the Chinese. Which only confirms that Barack Obama is, indeed, an imperialist son-of-a…um, Kenyan.

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The US invades Africa

The US Army confirms they will deploy thousands of soldiers across the continent of Africa during 2013, many which will come from Afghanistan.

The Army Times confirms that the US military gave the go-ahead for the mass deployment last month and that roughly 3,000 soldiers will soon be sent overseas, with more troops expected to be dispatched during the duration of the program. Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg, head of US Army Africa, says the initiative is part of a “regionally aligned force concept” that will allow American troops to forge relationships across Africa, where the US has not concentrated its soldiers among civilians to the same degree as other continents.

“As far as our mission goes, it’s uncharted territory,” Hogg tells Army Times.

The program will put thousands of American troops in different African cities from anywhere for a few weeks to a few months, where they will learn about unfamiliar cultures and conduct training for threats and missions.

The US currently has a substantial military presence across the African continent, but nowhere to the degree that is has in other locales. More than 1,200 soldiers are currently stationed at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and last October US President Barack Obama personally authorized the deployment of 100 troops to Uganda to aid in attempt to oust Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony.

Around the time of that announcement, though, award-winning war correspondent Eric Margolis told RT that if Washington had humanitarian interests in mind while considering deployments to Uganda that it would not be going in alone.

“The US is also concerned about Chinese penetration in the region that they are going to gobble all the economical resources and earn influence on the regional governments. So the US maybe want to stop this Chinese advancement in central Africa,” said Marggolis. “It could be more legitimate, if the US did it in conjunction with disinterested nations – Russia, for example, or South Africa and Turkey. But the fact that they’re doing it on their own means they are doing it for the interests of their own policy.”

Hogg insists this time, though, that Americans won’t be sent overseas with a plan to prepare for war. “We are not trying to reproduce the United States Army in the 54 countries in Africa,” he says. The soldiers will, however, show foreign citizens some of the tactics used by American troops, as well as provide instruction on combating famine and disease.

“I’m not there to win their wars or settle their differences,” says Hogg.

Did you get that? These troops will be deploying from Afghanistan! Same location where American troops are known to have committed the highest rate of suicides from within their commands. Same location that has made the US Army 'famous' for blowing up kids and unarmed civilians. Same location that made US troops 'famous' for body parts' trophies, human hunting sports and target practice. Rape, mutilation, mayhem, destruction and death is all the US Army ever visited on the Afghan people. These same mentally-challenged troops will now depart for the shores of Mother Africa??? These American kids are not trained to interact with any form of society but to viciously suppress and target populations for slaughter. We, in Africa, have enough already on our plates without America throwing more bloodshed into the mix or laying out instructions on combating famine and disease. Must-do instructions are the last kind of help Africa desires, we know it can only lead to one thing-human slavery adorned in 'humanitarian' cloak!

Remembering Afghanistan

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Raping Africa silly; the second coming.

The UN’s Earth Summit Rio+20 will begin this week. On their agenda will be population growth, urbanization, Agenda 21, and consumption. These factors, claim the UN, are causing irreversible damage to the environment and are targets for a new “green” agreement to save the planet.

The UN’s Environment Program (UNEP) released a report entitled the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5). The GEO-5 took three years to complete. It is the UN’s “health-check” on earth and encourages world government leaders to enact more stringent environmental mandates within their countries to combat their effects on the planet.

Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and UNEP executive director, warns that time is running out as the world’s population comes closer to 9 billion people as expected by 2050. Steiner claims that as larger amounts of natural resources are expected to be consumed, the planet’s safety is at stake. “If current trends continue, if current patterns of production and consumption of natural resources prevail and cannot be reversed and ‘decoupled’, then governments will preside over unprecedented levels of damage and degradation.”

The UNEP would like governments to redirect their focus on the factors driving climate change:

* Population growth
* Urbanization
* Fossil fuel-based energy consumption
* Globalization

The UNEP is centering their attention on Africa and Asia, where climate change is being felt most, according to the GEO-5 report.

The UN’s goals for sustainable development in Africa and Asia center on their population growth, water supplies and food security. The sub-Saharan and northern regions of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia are of particular interest to the UN, as stated by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the Earth Summit, the UNEP will be promoted and expanded to “specialized agency” with a new title, UN Environment Organization (UNEO).

The UNEO will prop up the Sustainable Development division of the UN. The same agency that disseminates Agenda 21 policies to governments will be centralized into a global agency with powerful international backing.

As the unscientific assertions of a global environmental crisis, vanishing biodiversity and over-population become more “urgent” to the UN; the insertion of international governance is being covertly added into the mix as the answer to solve all problems worldwide.

With the assistance of the UN, corporations have begun descending on Africa to aid in the securitization of their natural resources.

Examples like an $11 million dollar project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coca-Cola Corporation are usurping 50,000 Kenyan and Ugandan smallholders to produce fruit for Minute Maid, a subsidiary for Coca-Cola.

"Africa is now the last frontier in terms of arable land," said James Nyoro, the Rockefeller Foundation’s managing director for Africa. "With the population growing to 9 billion, the rest of the world will have to depend upon Africa to feed it."

Researchers for the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the University of London have uncovered underground aquifers of water in Africa that are 100 times the amount found on the surface of the continent; and have written a paper in the Environmental Research Letters journal. They created a detailed map of the underground water.

This discovery is the largest attempt at water privatization by governments and international governances.

The UNEP is also creating a project with the Capacity Building for the Biotrade Project (CBBT). Their concerns are with the use, collection, production and commercialization of goods and services for use and trade that expressly derived from the native biodiversity – plants, species and organisms in our environment.

The UNEP seeks to control the trading of these products to make sure they are cultivated in line with their definition of social, environmental and sustainable.

As the desire for natural products in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries becomes more popular, the UN wants to gain control to secure profits and production standards.

Speaking at the UN Earth Summit, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah , the Minister of Environment and Tourism, hopes that “biodiversity could become an even greater asset for sustainable, pro-poor development in [Namibia].”

Nandi-Ndaitwah promotes policy reforms and financial investments from the public and private sectors targeted at Namibia’s key BioTrade products and services. Through the use of multinational corporate relationships, control over the use of agricultural land in rural areas and implementation of BioTrade policies, research and development, the land grabbing by the UN will soon become extremely lucrative.

The UNEP has also announced that they are investing in green projects under the African Carbon Asset Development(ACAD) Facility and expansion plans.

ACAD is looking for financial investors, along with their current holders Stand Bank, to “re-enlisted in the public-private partnership”.

Sylvie Lemmet, Director of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, is excited about the expansion plans:

UNEP is pleased to announce the expansion of ACAD, and recognizes that much work still needs to be done to help African green entrepreneurs access carbon finance. We are thrilled to have helped not only bring good projects to fruition, but also to have supported the African financial sector evaluate the potential of innovative carbon projects. These latest developments suggest a strong vote of confidence in ACAD and signal Africa’s emergence as a fully-fledged carbon market player.

These plans for the ACAD originated by provisions of the German government’s International Climate Initiative by investing a facility that will seed the opportunities for more funding.

Following suit is the French government who is negotiating to contribute through the French Global Environment Facility administered by the Agence Française de Développement.

The UN has enacted a carbon credit scheme under the registration of large-scale wind power projects in Africa. Multinational corporations are financing this plan to mandate LED lights to Rwandan households.

ACAD will focus their global carbon sector and green economy schemes through Africa because of its natural resources. These projects are slated to attract commercial funding that will expand the ACAD’s reach.

ACAD is Africa’s first project development support facility dedicated to increasing carbon project deal-flow, while the UNEP Risoe Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development is leading UNEP activities related to carbon finance and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Nigeria's 911: The Dana Air Crash, the Terrorist Act of Indian negligence


Our Dearly Departed; the Beautiful ones

The Anyaenes; Father, mother, sister, four kids, two cousins and a mother-in-law.

Two sisters, Jennifer and Anita Onita, visiting from the US for a wedding

Ijeoma; enroute Lagos

Some crew members of ill-fated flight

Cabin crew

Uche; Cabin crew member

All, without exception, reduced to body bags

At times like this, words fail me. And even if they didn't my thoughts, but for the following, are best left unspoken. May all their precious souls rock in God's place as they depart this wicked world for the Divine Warmth of His Bosom.

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Friday, June 01, 2012

Startling facts about vaccines

Culled from the International Medical Council on Vaccination

Some of the diseases that have documented associations with vaccines

•Allergies and eczema
•Acid reflux requiring an infant to take proton pump inhibitors, which have many side effects
•Diabetes (infant and childhood)
•Kidney disease
•Long list of neurological and autoimmune diseases
•Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
And many, many more.

Some known vaccine side effects, documented in medical literature and/or in package inserts

•Arthritis, bleeding disorders, blood clots, heart attacks, sepsis
•Ear infections
•Fainting (with reports of broken bones)
•Kidney failure requiring dialysis
•Severe allergic reactions, such as hives and anaphylaxis
•Sudden death
And many common diagnoses given for hospital admissions.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, (NVICP) has awarded more than $1.2 billion in damages to children and adults injured by vaccines.
Autism is associated with vaccines. Autism was rare until the mass vaccination programs were accelerated in 1991, with the introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine and the HiB (meningitis) vaccine. Tens of thousands of parents will attest that autism appeared in their children very soon after they were given these, and other, vaccines.

Drug companies, insurance companies and the medical system get rich when you get sick.
•Vaccines do not give life‐long immunity, which means booster shots are recommended.
•Each booster shot increases the risk of more side effects.
•Vaccine side effects can make you sick for the rest of your life. Conveniently, there are many drugs to treat the side effects caused by vaccines.
•In the U.S., neither drug companies nor doctors can be sued when something bad happens from a vaccination. Both are protected by the 1986 National Child Vaccine Injury Act. This law, signed into effect by the then president, Ronald Reagan, decreed: “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine‐related injury or death.” (Public Law 99‐660)
•Drug companies have infiltrated and seized control over the entire healthcare system, including medical schools, medical journals, hospitals, clinics and the local pharmacy. A doctor’s very livelihood thus depends on blind faith, without questioning any aspect of any vaccination. Even when obvious evidence of vaccine damage occurs right before a doctor’s eyes, s/he is usually unwilling to consider a vaccine as the cause. Though uncorrupt science and medicine support rejection of vaccines, doing so can be considered professional career suicide.
•Hospitals benefit financially from hospitalizations and tests.
•Drug companies make billions of dollars from vaccines.
•Drug companies make tens of billions of dollars from drugs given to treat side effects and life‐time illnesses caused by vaccines.
•Vaccines are the backbone of the medical system. Without vaccines, healthcare costs would go down because we would have a healthier overall society.

Some Vaccine Ingredients

•Stray viruses and bacteria from the animal cell cultures that vaccines are made in.
•Mercury, a well‐documented neurotoxin, is still in the multi‐dose flu vaccines throughout the world. Trace amounts remain in several other vaccines.
•Aluminum, a poison that can cause bone, bone marrow and brain degeneration.
•Animal cells from monkeys, dog kidneys, chickens, cows, and humans.
•Formaldehyde (embalming fluid), a known carcinogen.
•Polysorbate 80, known to cause infertility in female mice and testicular atrophy in male mice.
•Gelatin, from pigs and cows, known to cause anaphylactic reactions, is found in large quantities in the MMR, chickenpox and shingles vaccines.
•Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in inhaled flu vaccines, is known to cause metabolic disturbances (e.g. diabetes), seizures and other neurologic disorders.
How is it possible that vaccines will not be harmful to your health?

We have exchanged chicken pox for autism, flu for asthma, ear infections for diabetes. The list goes on and on. In the zeal to eliminate a short list of relatively benign microbes, we have traded temporary illnesses for pervasive, life‐long diseases, disorders, dysfunctions and disabilities.

Now, go figure why vaccine manufacturers have legal immunity from vaccine-related injuries. The foremost reason is because some of these big pharmaceutical companies that produce these vaccines are also big donors to political campaigns. See how it works? Scratch my back, I scratch yours.

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Educate yourself before you vaccinate that child

Forty-nine doses of fourteen vaccines before the age of six, if not murder, is definitely a DEATH WISH for your child!

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