Monday, June 25, 2012

Obama And Irelands Assassination Policy.


A report in the Irish Times of 19th June highlights a UN call on the Obama administration to justify its policy of assassinating rather than capturing al-Qaeda or Taliban suspects. The policy which is being implemented using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drone, is also responsible for a lot of innocent civilian lives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.
What the Irish Times report doesn’t point out is that this may be a lot closer to home that most of us in Ireland realise. There is no disclosure of who or what goes through Shannon on US military aircraft, and no political interest in inspecting the aircraft. We may well be part of Obama’s policy of assassination,  just as we were part of Bush’s policy of rendition.
The Irish Times report notes that Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, urged Washington to clarify the basis under international law of the policy of assassination. He did this in a report issued to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Heyns asked the United States to lay out the legal basis and accountability procedures for the use of armed drones. He also asked the U.S. to publish figures on the number of civilians killed in drone strikes against suspected terror leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

“Disclosure of these killings is critical to ensure accountability, justice and reparation for victims or their families,” according to Heyns’ report.

“The (US) government should clarify the procedures in place to ensure that any targeted killing complies with international humanitarian law and human rights and indicate the measures or strategies applied to prevent casualties, as well as the measures in place to provide prompt, thorough, effective and independent public investigation of alleged violations.”

The US military has conducted drone attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Ireland has probably assisted them. And workers at Shannon Airport may have watched as aircraft carrying drone “coffins” are refuelled or serviced,

Drones break down into six pieces that are transported in huge crates called coffins. A coffin contains the fuselage, wings, tail surfaces, landing gear, propulsion system and payload/avionics bays for a UAV.

How many of these “coffins” have passed through Shannon?

There is no inspections procedure in place at Shannon to ensure that these killer drones are not being transported through. Successive Irish governments have denied complicity in renditions. In a few years time we will probably listen to the same politicians saying that there were no drones being transported through Shannon.

By refusing to inspect aircraft at Shannon the Irish government are as guilty of murder and human rights abuse as the ones ordering the deployment of the killer drones.


Iraq : The BBC And All Western Media Propaganda OUT !

Iraq's communications and media commission announced the impending closure of several media outlets, including the BBC and Voice of America. While officials chalk the matter up to expired license fees, press freedom groups fear a looming crackdown.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Obama: For Israel's First 'Blackish' Muslim President - Pat Dollard Claims It's All Falling Apart.


The lapdog media is getting wise. Democrats are boycotting the DNC, to avoid the train wreck of a failed amateur, looking beyond what they anticipate will be Obama’s single term, and positioning themselves to survive the aftermath. Jay Leno is slamming Obama’s campaign spending. Hollywood is worried about Obama’s celebrity.

It’s all too delicious.

And now comes this: Obama’s own base is turning on him over his 23rd hour invocation of executive privilege this week, calling him a “sheep in wolf’s clothing.”

BOOM! read more


Andrew Marr Show : War Criminal And Papal Knight Of Malta Tony Blair . Blairs Daughter Tried To Take Her Own Life Due To Her Fathers War Crimes.

Published on 24 Jun 2012 by
Ex-Labour prime minister Tony Blair celebrates his fifth year of being a free man, and talks to Andrew Marr on topics as the collapsing European Union.

Recorded from BBC1 Andrew Marr Show, 24 June 2012.

Iraq: Waterboard Blair Then Let The War Criminal Rot In Jail.

MPs demanded an emergency recall of the Chilcot inquiry last night after new revelations that Tony Blair blocked the Government's most senior lawyer from explaining to Cabinet the legality of the war in Iraq.

According to the newly published full version of Alastair Campbell's diaries, the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wanted to "put the reality" to cabinet ministers that there was a case against, as well as for, military action in March 2003. But, according to his former spin doctor, the then Prime Minister feared that the legal opinion was too "nuanced" and would allow the war's ministerial critics Robin Cook and Clare Short to say that the case had not been made.

The disclosure is significant because, while it has long been suspected that Mr Blair and his inner circle put pressure on Lord Goldsmith to change his legal advice, this is the first evidence that the PM actively blocked the Cabinet from hearing the full details of the case for war.
MPs from all parties urged Sir John Chilcot, who has finished taking evidence and is now preparing his report into the Iraq war, to reconvene a special session to hear from Mr Blair, Mr Campbell and Lord Goldsmith. The former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "According to the diaries, Tony Blair was determined that the decision should not rest with the Cabinet and overruled his Attorney General. Sofa government prevailed at the expense of constitutional requirements. The diaries prove that once a decision to go to war against Iraq had been taken, intelligence and legal advice was manipulated to support that decision."

Lord Goldsmith presented a longer legal opinion to Mr Blair on 7 March 2003 in which he said he believed there was a "reasonable case" in favour of military action, but that "there was also a case to be made the other way". According to Mr Campbell's diaries, Lord Goldsmith warned Mr Blair that he did not want the Prime Minister to "present it too positively" in favour of military action because there was a "case to be made the other way". Mr Campbell wrote: "TB also made it clear he did not particularly want Goldsmith to launch a detailed discussion at Cabinet, though it would have to happen at some time, and ministers would want to cross-examine. With the mood as it was, and with Robin [Cook] and Clare [Short] operating as they were, he knew if there was any nuance at all, they would be straight out saying the advice was that it was not legal, the AG was casting doubt on the legal basis for war. Peter Goldsmith was clear that though a lot depended on what happened, he was casting doubt in some circumstances and if Cabinet had to approve the policy of going to war, he had to be able to put the reality to them."

But Mr Campbell added that this was blocked by Mr Blair and his gatekeeper, Sally Morgan, during a meeting of Mr Blair and his closest aides on 11 March: "Sally said it was for TB to speak to Cabinet, and act on the AG's advice. He would simply say the advice said there was a reasonable case."

Following the 11 March meeting, Lord Goldsmith produced a new, one-page legal opinion which put the "reasonable case" for war – which was discussed at Cabinet and used in Parliament to justify military action.

In his own memoir, A Journey, Mr Blair did not reveal details of how he tried to block Lord Goldsmith. He said only that the Attorney General had "set out the arguments for and against and on balance came out in favour". When he gave evidence to the Chilcot inquiry in January 2010, Lord Goldsmith was asked by inquiry panel member Sir Roderic Lyne whether anyone asked him to "restrict what you said to Cabinet to the fairly limited terms in which you presented this to Cabinet". Lord Goldsmith replied: "No."

Sir Menzies added: "There seems to be a substantial difference between the contents of the diaries and the evidence given to the Chilcot inquiry, and the inquiry would be well advised to reconvene itself."

Last night Clare Short said she was not surprised that Mr Blair had been "deceitful" in presenting the case for war. Peter Kilfoyle, a minister in the Blair government, also called for the Chilcot inquiry to be recalled. "There is a straightforward contradiction between the two positions and it needs to be corroborated."

The Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said: "New facts have come to light and this makes me question whether we know enough about the then Prime Minister's attitude that justified the war."

Mr Campbell said last night: "Peter Goldsmith's legal opinion is in the public domain and it was no secret he had concerns at various points. This is entirely consistent with what he and Tony Blair said to the Chilcot inquiry."

Blair's road to war

29 July 2002
Lord Goldsmith writes to Blair that regime change in Iraq is "not a legal basis for military action".

24 Sept 2002
"Dodgy dossier" in which Blair claims it is "beyond doubt" that Saddam has WMD.

22 Oct 2002
In submission to Chilcot, Lord Goldsmith says "my advice was not sought" after this date.

January 2003
Blair tells MPs there were some circumstances where a second UN resolution "not necessary".
30 Jan 2003
Goldsmith warns Blair lawfulness of invasion debatable with-out UN Security Council determination.

February 2003
Goldsmith advises the "safest legal course" was to gain fresh UN approval.

17 Mar 2003
Lord Goldsmith publishes advice declaring military action "legal", giving "green light for military action".

21 Jan 2011
Blair tells Chilcot inquiry he "did not understand how Lord Goldsmith could reach the conclusion that a further [UN] decision was required" in January 2003.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

IRAQ: U.K. Torture - Abuse by British soldiers carried out at a secret network of illegal prisons in the Iraqi desert - Covered Up!

The Mail on Sunday can today reveal devastating new claims of abuse by British soldiers carried out at a secret network of illegal prisons in the Iraqi desert.
One innocent civilian victim is said to have died after being assaulted aboard an RAF helicopter, while  others were hooded, stripped and beaten at a camp set up at a remote phosphate mine deep in the desert.
The whereabouts of a separate group of 64 Iraqi men who were spirited away on two RAF Chinooks to a ‘black site’ prison, located at  an oil pipeline pumping station, remain unknown.
The phosphate mine site for Station 22, which was one of the 'black sites' where UK soldiers allegedly beat innocent Iraqi men under the authority of Ministry of Defence lawyers
The phosphate mine site for Station 22, which was one of the 'black sites' where UK soldiers allegedly beat innocent Iraqi men under the authority of Ministry of Defence lawyers
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of these alleged abuses, which appear to have been flagrant breaches of international law, is that this secret network is claimed to have been sanctioned by senior Ministry of Defence lawyers.
Yet the top British Army lawyer on the ground in Iraq – who was  supposed to be responsible for all aspects of prisoner detention – remained completely unaware of it.
Meanwhile, the Government last week introduced its new secrecy law in Parliament, which, if enacted, would mean details of the emerging scandal would be hidden for ever.
The role of both the soldiers and the lawyers in the alleged prisoner abuse will come under the spotlight tomorrow, when the first stage of a legal action on behalf of some of the victims is launched.
If the Justice and Security Bill becomes law, Ministers will be able to demand secret hearings, and to prevent the victims from ever  seeing evidence about their claims.

Last night, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer, the chief British Army lawyer in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, said what went on in the secret prison network amounted to ‘war crimes’.
He said it was his part of his job to monitor the treatment of prisoners taken by British Forces and the conditions at detention facilities. But he was kept ‘totally in the dark’ about the secret network’s existence.
‘This prisoner facility operated entirely outside the normal chain of command,’ said Lieut Col Mercer, who has left the Army.
‘I find it remarkable that I knew nothing about it at the time. What is clear now is that, if the Justice and Security Bill does become law, the truth may never come out.
‘These are alleged war crimes,  but what Britain did may never be  disclosed. Indeed, the Bill may be specifically designed to prevent such allegations ever coming to light.’
Senior Conservative MP David Davis said the Bill seemed to be  ‘tailored to produce a cover-up’.
He said: ‘I find it astonishing that the military authorities responsible for the legality of prisoner detention were not even notified about these secret camps. If these allegations are substantiated, they amount to a serious blow to the rule of law.
‘The Bill, if passed, would be another, giving Ministers the power effectively to instruct judges to withhold evidence in court cases.’
The pending action will be taken by solicitor Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, whose earlier work brought to light details of the murders of the hotel worker Baha Mousa and other Iraqis detained by British troops. The new focus is on a number of almost simultaneous incidents at two black site locations. It is thought there were at least two more.
The first location, a desert oil pumping station known as ‘H1’, was the destination for 64 prisoners picked up by the Australian SAS close to Iraq’s western border on April 12, 2003.
This was almost a week after the final collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, but under international law, there was still a state of war, meaning Britain should have been strictly bound by the Geneva Conventions.
One innocent civilian victim is said to have died after being assaulted aboard an RAF helicopter, while others were hooded, stripped and beaten at a camp set up at a remote phosphate mine deep in the desert
One innocent civilian victim is said to have died after being assaulted aboard an RAF helicopter, while others were hooded, stripped and beaten at a camp set up at a remote phosphate mine deep in the desert
Sources say that H1 was run jointly by British Forces and the American CIA, and that interrogation methods were often brutal.
One of the 64 men, a Baghdad odd-job man named Tariq Sabri, was allegedly kicked to death by a member of the RAF regiment aboard one of the Chinooks. But although there was an official investigation, it failed to establish the cause of Mr Sabri’s death, because he was buried in the desert without a post mortem.
A pathologist was not asked whether Mr Sabri should be exhumed for more than a year, at which point he concluded it was too late.
However, a leaked RAF report provides documentary evidence that prisoners on the helicopter were assaulted while they were handcuffed, hooded, and were knelt on if they ‘refused to adopt the required position’.
A man and his two sons were forced out of the car, repeatedly kicked and punched, handcuffed, made to wear thick, suffocating hoods, then put into an armoured personnel carrier, where they were assaulted again
Another man who ultimately survived was unconscious and unresponsive when the flight landed, and a third lost his prosthetic legs. According to the RAF report, the two unconscious men – one of them Mr Sabri – were loaded, face down, into a Humvee high-mobility tactical vehicle, one on top of the other.
By the time it reached the camp, Mr Sabri was dead. His hood had been fixed so tightly over his face it had to be cut off.
The final fate of the surviving 63 prisoners flown to H1 remains unknown, and there is speculation some, at least, may have been ‘rendered’ to a US prison outside Iraq – yet another potentially illegal act.
The pending action will high- light a second camp, described as ‘Station 22,’ whose existence is today revealed by The Mail on Sunday for the first time.
Witnesses who have made contact with Mr Shiner say it was established at a phosphate mine near the town of Al-Qaim, close to the Syrian border, after Saddam’s regime fell.Three former prisoners, all of them civilians, who say they had no connection with Saddam’s dictatorship or his Ba’ath political party, have given statements to Mr Shiner and his colleagues.
Their contents have been made known to us on an anonymous basis. The first man, now 55, was stopped in his car on April 13, 2003, by British troops manning a roadblock between Al-Qaim and Ramadi, one of the main cities of Al Anbar province.
This part of Iraq was not within the British-controlled zone near Basra, although the SAS and other Special Forces troops are known to have operated there.
According to his statement, the man and his two sons were forced out of the car, repeatedly kicked and punched, handcuffed, made to wear thick, suffocating hoods, then put into an armoured personnel carrier, where they were assaulted again.
The British Army had supposedly outlawed hooding more than 40 years earlier, following an inquiry into prisoner abuse in Northern Ireland.
Station 22, where the Iraqi men were allegedly tortured, was in Al-Qaim close to the border of Syria
Station 22, where the Iraqi men were allegedly tortured, was in Al-Qaim close to the border of Syria
They were driven for approximately 45 minutes to a place the man would later recognise – when his hood was removed to allow him to use the toilet – as Station 22, where a detention centre had been set up in a storage shed.
The camp had not been registered with the Red Cross, as the Geneva Conventions require.
The man was not a soldier, and  neither he nor his sons were armed. Detaining civilians is only lawful in wartime if they can be shown to pose an imminent danger to an  occupying army’s forces.
The beatings and hooding continued for another three days. The man’s statement says he was interrogated by a British officer about his supposed knowledge of weapons caches and missiles. Half an hour into one interrogation, the statement goes on, a soldier began removing the man’s clothes, item by item. He says he was shocked but in no position to resist.
‘I find it remarkable that I knew nothing about it at the time. What is clear now is that, if the Justice and Security Bill does become law, the truth may never come out.'

Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer
Finally, he was forced to stand naked and was still in this state when his sons, also naked, were brought into the interrogation room. He says he feared they were about to be raped: ‘It has been nine years but I can never forget that day.’
Over the next three weeks, many more prisoners were brought to  Station 22. Finally, after 22 days, he and his sons were driven away in a British Army vehicle and dumped on a highway between Al-Qaim and the town of Akashat.
He later found his car had been burnt out. He had been carrying a substantial sum in cash in order to repay a loan, and according to the statement, this was never returned.
The second witness, a lorry driver aged 45, was stopped at a checkpoint when he went out in search of food.
Like the first prisoner, he was hooded, beaten, taken to Station 22 and interrogated about where the old regime had hidden its alleged weapons of mass destruction.
He claimed that when he said he didn’t know, a soldier kicked him so hard that two of his ribs broke. He too was freed after three weeks.
In the meantime, his distraught wife, who had not been told of his detention and had assumed he was dead, had suffered a miscarriage.
The third witness, aged 48, says he was hooded, punched and kicked when stopped at the roadblock, detained at Station 22, and interrogated about WMD. He was also stripped naked and, like the others, dropped on the roadside after 22 days.
Lieut Col Mercer said: ‘The allegations are blatant violations of the Geneva Conventions and UN Convention Against Torture. If indeed prisoners were rendered beyond Iraq’s borders, then this is potentially one of the most serious war crimes under the Rome Statute.’
MI5 Director-General Jonathan Evans claims the new bill is essential for national security
MI5 Director-General Jonathan Evans claims the new bill is essential for national security
Mr Shiner will attach the statements to a letter he intends to send tomorrow to the Ministry of Defence, demanding a full investigation and a public inquiry.
This, he will say, must also examine the rest of the secret prison network, including H1. If the MoD does not grant his request, he will file a claim for a High Court judicial review, and for full disclosure of all the relevant documents. Mr Shiner said: ‘The evidence of these three Iraqi men raises issues of the utmost constitutional importance. Who knew about these secret sites? Who was responsible for the interrogation of the detainees? Why didn’t the head of Army Legal in Iraq at the time know of them?
‘Most importantly, who gave legal cover for them? These and many other questions must now be answered by the MoD providing full disclosure of relevant documentation, including emails.’
But if the Bill becomes law, Mr Shiner said there was little chance this evidence would ever be revealed: ‘This is exactly the kind of case which the Bill seems to have been designed for.
‘It has all the elements: alleged  torture, the use of Special Forces, possible renditions of prisoners to foreign powers. The truth about what happened must be disclosed.’
Like the camps themselves, legal supervision for the inquiry into Mr Sabri’s death did not pass down through the usual military chain of command. Instead, it is understood that it was taken over by civilian lawyers at MODLA, the MoD Legal Advisers, based at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood, North-West London.
Lieut Col Mercer said: ‘As the senior military lawyer in Iraq, I want to know why I wasn’t told about any of this. For PJHQ and MODLA to have taken charge of an investigation of this kind is highly irregular.’
An MoD spokesman last night said he could not respond to the allegations until Mr Shiner’s pending action had commenced and had been fully considered by MoD officials.
Earlier this year, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke admitted MI5 and other security and intelligence agencies have had a significant ‘input’ into the proposed new measures.
For more than a year, MI5 Director-General Jonathan Evans has been lobbying Ministers and Shadow Cabinet members, claiming the Bill’s measures are essential in order to protect national security.
The Bill has been introduced in the House of Lords, rather than the Commons, and received its second reading last week.
However, several Lib Dems are known to find the Bill ‘unacceptable in its present form,’ including former party leader Lord Ashdown.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties campaign group Liberty, said: ‘Lawyers and other officials must be servants of the rule of law, not above it, and if lawyers sanctioned these alleged abuses, they do not deserve the cloak of anonymity. The current Bill would make it highly unlikely that the truth of such cases would ever be aired in public.’

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