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The Anti-War Movement Loves Obama Wars
What Does it Mean to Be a Libertarian?
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Biological Weapons Sprayed on U.S. Soldiers
U.S. infected its own citizens with virus
Infect and observe: An army doctor watches as malaria-carrying mosquitoes bite the stomach of inmate Richard Knickerbockers, serving 10 to 14 years, in Stateville in 1945
February 28, 2011
Pictures have emerged providing the shocking proof that U.S. government doctors once experimented on disabled American citizens and prison inmates.
Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.
Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission.
The meeting was triggered by the government’s apology last year for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.
U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in America – studies that often involved making healthy people sick.
A review by the Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies.
At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments – at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.
It echoes the deadly and meritless experiments conducted on Jewish concentration camp detainees at the hands of Nazi doctors.
And it will undoubtedly be compared to the Tuskegee syphilis study, where U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis – but didn’t give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.
Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics, said: ‘When you give somebody a disease – even by the standards of their time – you really cross the key ethical norm of the profession.’
Most of the recently revealed studies, from the 1940s to the 1960s, apparently were never covered by news media. Others were reported at the time but the focus was on the promise of enduring new cures, while glossing over how test subjects were treated.
Many prominent researchers felt it was legitimate to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society – people like prisoners, mental patients or the poor blacks.
Laura Stark, a Wesleyan University assistant professor of science in society – who is writing a book about past federal medical experiments – said: ‘There was definitely a sense – that we don’t have today – that sacrifice for the nation was important.’
Though people in the studies were usually described as volunteers, historians and ethicists have questioned how well these people understood what was to be done to them and why, or whether they were coerced.
Prisoners have long been victimised for the sake of science. In 1915, the U.S. government’s Dr Joseph Goldberger – today remembered as a public health hero – recruited Mississippi inmates to go on special rations to prove his theory that the painful illness pellagra was caused by a dietary deficiency (The men were offered pardons for their participation).
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Libya Airforce Jets Bombing Protesters
Disturbing reports reveal that the Gadafi Regime is using fighter jets to suppress protests in Tripoli.
Libyan military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al Jazeera television reported on Monday, quoting witnesses for its information.
“What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead,” Adel Mohamed Saleh said.
Saleh, who called himself a political activist, said the bombings had initially targeted a funeral procession.
“Our people are dying. It is the policy of scorched earth.” he said. “Every 20 minutes they are bombing.”
Asked if the attacks were still happening he said: “It is continuing, it is continuing. Anyone who moves, even if they are in their car they will hit you.”
No independent verification of the report was immediately available.
The protesters were reportedly heading to the army base to obtain ammunition of their own, but witnesses said the air force bombed the demonstrators before they could get there.
Jet pilots seek refuge in Malta after refusing criminal orders to bomb civilians
February 21, 2011
Al Jazeera have confirmed reports that fighter jets are being used against civilians in Tripoli. So far today, 61 fatalities have been confirmed in the western city, and the death toll is definitely going to rise rapidly with the use of such military hardware.
Meanwhile, two military jets from Libya have landed in Malta – It is possible that the pilots have flown over to Malta in order to defect rather than obey such illegal and criminal orders. The truth of this matter will come out soon enough.
Both the governments of the European Union and the United States have failed to condemn the actions of the Gaddafi administration strongly enough. The United Nations are also suffering from a dire case of inaction in the face of genocide despite firm international laws which state that it is the duty of all nations to intervene during a genocide in order to stop it – with military force.
The Egypt / Libyan border is in the control of the uprising’s forces and open on their side, yet the Egyptian military refuses to allow aid convoys over the border and into the relatively safer regions in the east of Libya, much to the disgust of activists in Egypt who have worked hard to collect aid for their Libyan brothers and sisters.
Libyan FM official vows to kill himself if military strike on protesters is true
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For US, more at stake in Bahrain than base alone
February 20, 2011
As political unrest shakes its tiny Gulf ally Bahrain, much more is at stake for the United States than just the fate of the US Fifth Fleet’s base, analysts said.
Also in play are Washington’s extensive strategic ties with Bahrain’s influential oil-rich neighbor Saudi Arabia and efforts by US arch-foe Iran to spread its influence from across the Gulf, they said.
In many ways, the unrest in Bahrain “is much more dangerous” for the US than the current state of affairs in Egypt, more than a week after mass protests forced president Hosni Mubarak to step down, said analyst Aaron David Miller.
To be sure, Egypt has greater weight than Bahrain, said Miller, a former State Department analyst and negotiator who is now an analyst with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
It is the largest and most powerful Arab state, has a peace treaty with Israel and receives $1.3 billion in US military aid each year.
And the Egyptian-US alliance remains intact, at least for now.
However, Bahrain’s vulnerability “to more convulsive change and the impact that it could have vis-a-vis Arab policy for Iran, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf makes it … a more hot-button issue right now,” Miller told AFP.
The Sunni Arab leaders of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, who govern over restive Shiite Arab populations near Shiite but non-Arab Iran, fear Washington’s push for reform will sow greater instability, said analyst Patrick Clawson.
They strongly opposed Washington’s pressure on Egypt for a transition to democracy to ease out Mubarak, according to Clawson, deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“The perception in the (Gulf) region is that democracy means either the complete chaos you had in Iraq or else the stasis and bickering you had in Kuwait,” he said.
And if needed, the Saudis may be prepared to repeat their intervention in Bahrain in the 1990s, when they sent armored personnel carriers across the causeway linking the neighbors.
“So the Saudis are in a position to ensure that things don’t get out of hand in Bahrain and they are of a mind to do that. That is a powerful constraint to what the United States can do under these circumstances,” Clawson said.
The course of events could put a strain on the US-Saudi strategic relationship, which involves US military bases and billions of dollars in US weapons sales, as well as close cooperation on regional diplomacy and counter-terrorism.
Bahrain, fearing Iran’s meddling, may continue taking a tough line toward unrest, although Bahraini security forces withdrew Saturday from a Manama square that had been the focal point of bloody anti-regime protests.
The implications of the apparently conciliatory move were not immediately clear.
“The Gulf rulers will be petrified that there is an Iranian influence in all of this, but I think the Iranians will be pretty incompetent” in trying to gain influence in the region, Clawson said, noting that will not prevent them from making a “good attempt” to do so.
What’s more, he said, Arab Shiites increasingly look to their own leaders rather than Iran for guidance.
Nonetheless, analysts expressed concern about Iran.
“The issue of Iran is critical. What is a good outcome for us?” Miller asked.
“Here you have Iranian access to that Shia majority. You could argue that an Iraq-like outcome is not out of the question,” he continued, referring to how Shiites now dominate affairs in Baghdad with some backed by Iran.
Michelle Dunne, a former Middle East specialist at the State Department, agreed that the Saudis would have a hard time accepting political change in Bahrain and that the Iranians would try to exploit instability there.
“The Bahraini problem is definitely a home-grown problem,” said Dunne, now a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“This is not Iran manipulating the politics of an Arab state, but the Bahraini Shia are desperate. They will accept support from where they can get it.”
As for the naval base, analysts said its presence is not currently the focus of Shiite-driven protests, though it could develop as such if protesters eventually succeed in changing the government.
“At some point, that’s going to be rethought… whether it’s appropriate to have a US naval base there or not,” said Dunne.
Anthony Cordesman, a former Defense Department intelligence analyst, said the US base in Bahrain is “very important” in light of the “steady buildup” by the naval branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards over the past decade.
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Libya protests death toll close to 300
Feb 20, 2011
WARNING: Extremely Graphic Content
Latest figures show the death toll from clashes in Libya’s massive popular uprising against long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi is nearing 300.
Reports have put the number of people killed in the country’s second largest city, Benghazi at more than 200 over the past days.
Hospital officials, however, estimate that the countrywide death toll may be close to 300, with at least 20 protesters killed overnight.
According to witnesses, snipers fired on protestors while security forces opened up with heavy weapons.
Doctors in Benghazi say most of those injured sustained gunshot wounds.
The Libyan government is opening fire from helicopters to crack down on pro-democracy protesters as nationwide protests continue to shake the foundation of the Gaddafi regime.
Protesters have been demanding the ouster of the Libyan leader, who has been in power for over 40 years.
Gaddafi’s Son: “We will keep fighting [protesters] until the last man standing”
February 21, 2011
Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi will fight a popular revolt to “the last man standing,” one of his sons said on Monday as people in the capital joined protests for the first time after days of violent unrest in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Anti-government protesters rallied in Tripoli’s streets, tribal leaders spoke out against Gaddafi, and army units defected to the opposition as oil exporter Libya endured one of the bloodiest revolts to convulse the Arab world.
Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared on national television in an attempt to both threaten and calm people, saying the army would enforce security at any price.
“Our spirits are high and the leader Muammar Gaddafi is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are behind him as is the Libyan army,” he said.
“We will keep fighting until the last man standing, even to the last woman standing…We will not leave Libya to the Italians or the Turks.”
Wagging a finger at the camera, he blamed Libyan exiles for fomenting the violence. But he also promised dialogue on reforms and wage rises.
The cajoling may not be enough to douse the anger unleashed after four decades of rule by Gaddafi — mirroring events in Egypt where a popular revolt overthrew the seemingly impregnable President Hosni Mubarak 10 days ago.
In the coastal city of Benghazi protesters appeared to be largely in control after forcing troops and police to retreat to a compound. Government buildings were set ablaze and ransacked.
In the first sign of serious unrest in the capital, thousands of protesters clashed with Gaddafi supporters. Gunfire rang out in the night and police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, some of whom threw stones at Gaddafi billboards.
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Hillary’s Free Speech Hypocrisy
February 17, 2011
While Clinton Calls for Free Speech, Ray McGovern is Arrested and Abused Before Her Eyes for Exercising Free Speech
On Tuesday, February 15th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the importance of Freedom of Speech in the Internet age. She focused her attention on foreign countries and chided them for curtailing the speech of their citizens.
During that speech Ray McGovern, a veteran who also served for 27 years as a CIA analyst, exercised his freedom of speech by standing and silently turning his back on Secretary Clinton. He was protesting the ongoing wars, the treatment of Bradley Manning and the militarism of U.S. foreign policy. He did not shout at the Secretary of State or interrupt her speech. He merely stood in silence. See the video here of the incident:
McGovern’s action was a powerful one and it threatened the Secretary of State. Two police officers roughed him up, pulled him from the audience and arrested him. As you can see from the pictures, the 71 year old McGovern, was battered and bruised, indeed his attorney reports he was left in jail bleeding.
McGovern is not just a former CIA analyst. He did the daily intelligence briefing for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He also briefed the National Security Advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Cabinet on security matters. He has come to see that the current U.S. wars are about controlling natural resources, especially oil, positioning U.S. military bases in key areas and protecting the unusual alliance between the U.S. and Israel. So, when he stood silently his speech was being heard.
And, when Secretary of Clinton kept speaking about the importance of freedom of speech, as if nothing was occurring before her eyes, Ray McGovern’s voice became even louder. The hypocrisy of the United States became thunderous. Free speech was being snuffed out right before her eyes but she kept talking about freedom of speech, doing nothing to protect it while criticizing other countries, U.S. client states like Egypt and those enemies like Iran, for their failure to allow their people to speak freely.
On the same day that McGovern was roughed up and left bleeding by the police, independent journalist Brandon Jourdan returned from Haiti after being on assignment documenting the rebuilding of schools. When he returned to the United States, he was immediately detained, questioned about his travels and had all of his documents, computer, phone and camera flash drives searched and copied. This is the seventh time Jourdan says he has been subjected to lengthy searches in five years, and has been told by officials that he is “on a list.” Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press? Did Secretary of State Clinton say anything? No. She remained silent.
And, on that same day, as he has for the last 8 months, Pfc Bradley Manning sits in solitary confinement, pre-trial torture, for the alleged crime of sharing with the media evidence of war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as crimes committed by agents of U.S. foreign policy. Included in the documents he is accused of leaking are diplomatic cables that show Secretary of State Clinton issuing a memorandum directing U.S. diplomats to spy, including illegally spying on UN diplomats. During his long pre-trial punishment has Secretary of State Clinton said anything about Pfc Manning’s illegal punishment before trial? No, she has remained silent.
Finally, a last example of many all of which I will not describe here, while Secretary of State Clinton was speaking, agents of the U.S. Department of Justice were trying to find a way to prosecute Julian Assange, the editor in chief of WikiLeaks. They claim this super-journalist, whose publication has released more classified documents than the Washington Post has in decades, is not a journalist. Some of the most recent publications of WikiLeaks helped to spark the revolution in Tunisia. And, during the revolt in Egypt, WikiLeaks documents showing that Mubarak’s newly appointed Vice President, Omar Suleiman was the choice of Israel to be Mubarak’s successor. This U.S. trained military and intelligence officer tortured people at the request of the United States. While Secretary of State Clinton has remained silent about the trumped up investigation of Assange, she did not remain silent about Suleiman. She made it clear, he was America’s choice as Mubarak’s successor.
Please write Secretary of State Clinton and urge her to put actions to her words. Urge her to stand up for freedom of speech in the United States. First, she should apologize for the treatment of Ray McGovern and seek to have the charges against him dropped. But, more importantly, she should ask that Bradley Manning be released for prison and the charges against him be dropped. His patriotic act of exposing war crimes and other criminal activity deserves plaudits from free speech loving Americans. Similarly, she should tell Attorney General Holder that the abusive investigation of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks should be halted. Secretary Clinton is at the center of numerous challenges to free speech in the United States. She could become a leader in reviving this first and foremost freedom in America, or she could remain silent. Click here to urge her to put actions to her words.
Finally, Ray McGovern wrote me a day after his brutal ordeal saying: “The painful bruises are those for our country and its erstwhile ideals physically I hurt, but no broken bones, dislocated shoulders, or anything else that will not heal please pass word around.” If you share Ray’s concern for the direction of the United States, write Hillary Clinton and support efforts to change the direction of the country.