Monday, December 17, 2012

12-12-18 Hannukah in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

In the central squares of both Tel Aviv - Kikar HaBimah -  and Jerusalem - Zion Square - , menorahs were placed.  In both cities, the project is organized by Habad, by now the semi official state religion.
In Tel Aviv -  the Menorah is super-sized, modern by design, and requires a small electric ramp to assist the dignitaries lighting the menorah.
In Jerusalem - the Menorha is of monsterous size, messianic by design, and requires some of the city's largest fire trucks to propel the dignitaries...

Tel Aviv, Kikar Habimah

Jerusalem, Zion Square

12-12-18 Holiday season on the Spaceship

12-12-18 Obama - 'great opportunities in the midst of the great crisis'...

The crises of the past decade were not gone to waste.  Between Bush II and Obama, the crises were exploited to incite war, killing, and descrtuction world-wide, to deprive the People of the United States of their Human Rights, to impoverish the People of the United States, and transform the United States into a third world nation by common standards (poverty, hunger, child mortality...) jz
"Rule 1: Never allow a crisis to go to waste," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the New York Times right after the election. "They are opportunities to do big things." 

Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told members of the European Parliament, "Never waste a good crisis." 

Then President Obama explained in his Saturday radio and Internet address that there is "great opportunity in the midst of" the "great crisis" befalling America.


12-12-17 UK Human Rights and the United States

Naturally, all abuses are for the sake an natuional security.  And key evidence is apparently derived from the Wikileaks files.  A Le Carre' fan, the story below, regardsing rendition from the UK, suspiciously resembles the plot of "Most Wanted Man", where an innocent Chechin refugee in Germany ends up being renditioned by the United States from Germany.  JZ

Finucane, Sami al-Saadi and Khaled el-Musri: will we once again just 'move on' from the murky conduct of MI6 and the CIA? 

By Robert Fisk

December 17, 2012 "
The Independent" --  Last week was a bad week for our Protectors. It kicked off with the shameful details of the De Silva report, which concluded that the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane had been murdered with British state collusion. It’s something that all who knew Finucane had long suspected. Sir Desmond de Silva concluded that “a series of positive actions by employees of the state (ie MI6) actively furthered and facilitated his murder” and that there was afterwards “a relentless attempt to defeat the ends of justice”.
In other words, it was a set-up.
Our Protectors helped the Protestant UDA “loyalist” militia to knock off this troublesome lawyer just after a Tory Home Office minister – the very same Douglas Hogg who years later thought he could get the taxpayer to clean his moat – was used as a patsy in Parliament where he announced, three weeks before the Finucane murder, that a number of Northern Ireland solicitors were “unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”. There is no suggestion that Mr Hogg was involved in the Finucane case.
At virtually the same moment as the De Silva report was published last week, our Government agreed to pay £2.2m to the family of Sami al-Saadi, who was “renditioned” to Libya with the help of our Protectors in 2004 and subsequently was tortured most savagely in Gaddafi’s dungeons. We have to thank Human Rights Watch for this information, by the way – no government inquiry was set up into this outrage – and HRW was only able to finger our Protectors because of correspondence between the CIA and Gaddafi’s goons in Tripoli.
Mr al-Saadi, “kidnapped” with the help of our own goons in Hong Kong not long after Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara had done his kissy thing with Gaddafi in the desert, emerged from his Libyan torture chamber last year “close to death”. Another of his fellow opponents of Gaddafi still plans – quite rightly – to sue our Protectors.
But then bingo. Again, on the very same day last week, the European Court of Human Rights stated that CIA agents tortured – and sodomised – Khaled el-Musri, a German of Lebanese origin who was supposedly “linked to terrorism”. Now I don’t know if our chaps get up to sodomy during their role as our security Protectors, but the European court was also much exercised by the fact that Macedonian state agents watched as poor old el-Musri endured his beating, shackling and sodomisation in 2003. It was “simply unnacceptable”, said James Goldston of the Open Society Justice Initiative, for the US government to avoid serious scrutiny of CIA activities. A long bellow of laughter here, I’m afraid.
The Strasbourg court added that Macedonia had been responsible for Mr el-Musri’s “torture and ill-treatment both in the country itself and after his transfer to the US authorities in the context of an extra-judicial ‘rendition’.” So what, I wonder, does all this mean? That the CIA lads (for they must be lads, mustn’t they?) sodomise prisoners – or that they get the Macedonians to carry out sexual assaults on their behalf?
What the hell? How many more of these guys – the Finucanes, the al-Saadis, the el-Musris – are supposed to win our sympathy just because they got murdered, tortured and/or sodomised by our Protectors. Next, we’ll have to recall how the Canadians paid C$10.5m (£6.5m) to poor old Mahar Arar, a Canadian of Syrian origin “renditioned” in 2002 by the US to Damascus, where he was tortured by Syrian goons – on America’s behalf – until the Syrians themselves announced that he was “totally innocent” of all al-Qa’ida connections.
This, of course, is a rather dodgy situation for America’s Protectors. After all, Bashar al-Assad of Syria is now supposed to be the devil incarnate, the latest Middle East Hitler, the man whom Obama and La Clinton would like to have liquidated. So why did the Protectors send Mr Arar to him?
Well, of course, a decade ago, Assad was our mate, wasn’t he? He was our chum, a man we could do business with, whose own Protectors were happy to help our Protectors, as worthy to be kissed by a Blair as Gaddafi was. But now he’s not our chum any more; the “rebels” – be they the Free Syrian Army or the Salafists – are our chums. Let us pray for the sake of all our Protectors that if – if – the Assad regime falls, Human Rights Watch won’t find yet more friendly letters from our Protectors in the files of the Syrian government.
Not that it will matter. The whole thing was best summarised by the revolting comment of the Labour Party on the Iraq war. “It is time to move on,” Blair’s men told us. It’s time to “move on”, as in “to put the past behind us”, “to keep things in perspective”, “to ignore”; “to forget”. Forget the half million Iraqi dead. Just as we should forget the Finucane family, the al-Saadis, the el-Musris, the Arars – thank God they’re Fenians and Muslims and not good old Anglicised Brits or Americans – and yes, let’s all move on. Somehow – forgive me if I’m wrong – that phrase “move on” summarises the very wickedness of the Blair regime and everything bad that it did to us. Our Protectors, of course, would not agree.

12-12-17 Police State, USA

Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans

In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.