Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Consensus 9/11: Seeking Truth, Dispelling Lies

Consensus 9/11: Seeking Truth, Dispelling Lies


by Stephen Lendman


Consensus 9/11 seeks "best evidence" proof to dispel official story falsehoods. It's founded on:


"(1) The opinions of respected authorities, based on professional experience, descriptive studies, and reports of expert committees.


(2) Physical data in the form of photographs, videotapes, court testimony, witness reports, and FOIA releases.


(3) Direct rather than circumstantial evidence."


Determining "best evidence" depends on "integrating individual professional expertise with the best available documentary and scientific evidence."


Simplified Delphi methodology is followed. It's often used "where published information is inadequate or non-existent." As a result, experts use "best evidence" to determine truth.


9/11: The Seminal Event of Our Time


Lt. Col. Shelton F. Lankford, US Marine Corps (ret.) calls 9/11 "the watershed event of our lives and the greatest test for our democracy in our lifetimes."


Calling the official explanation "impossible," he cited "evidence of government complicity in the lead-up to the event, the failure to respond during the event, and the astounding lack of any meaningful investigation afterwards, as well as the ignoring of" subsequent evidence perhaps causing "the end of the American experiment....(O)ur republic and our Constitution remain in the gravest danger."


Evidence revealed contradicts the official 9/11 story. It spawned a nightmarish decade of wars, torture, military tribunals, extraordinary rendition, assault on democratic freedoms, millions of deaths, and incalculable human misery.


Official 9/11 claims "are contradicted by facts that have been validated by a scientific consensus process," using "best" and other strong evidence.


For example, bin Laden was blamed for 9/11. However, FBI charges against him excluded it. In fact, then FBI investigative publicity head Rex Tomb said no hard evidence connected him to it. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission also produced none.


Another example involves blaming jet impacts, fuel, and resulting fires for bringing down the Twin Towers. In fact, jet fuel reaches maximum temperatures no greater than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel begins melting only at 2,700 degrees or higher.


Yet official reports claimed otherwise. They also said three causes only downed the buildings - jet impacts, fires and gravity. However, best evidence disproves this and other official claims.


WTC 7's collapse is especially important. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initially blamed structural damage combined with jet fuel fire. Then its final report blamed fire alone.


However, no plane struck the building. In addition, "no steel-frame high-rise building" ever collapsed from fire. Moreover, if such an event was possible, gradual weakness would first occur.


Yet WTC 7 experienced "virtual free fall" straight down symmetrically into its own footprint with its "roofline remaining essentially horizontal." Best evidence shows "all 82 of (its) support columns had been eliminated by the time" collapse began. Human meddling, not damage, was responsible.


Another key fact involves nanothermitic material evidence. It "can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite), or as an explosive...."


Four "independently collected" WTC dust samples found it. A multi-authored, peer-reviewed paper reported it. Although NIST performed no tests to determine the presence of incendiary materials, it claimed none were present.


Many other best evidence examples disprove official accounts. They entirely lack credibility.


Other Consensus Points ask the following:


  • Why wasn't Bush "hustled away from the Florida School" for his safety?


  • How credible is the White House claim about why he remained under national emergency conditions?


  • Claiming no pre-9/11 insider put option trading when records show their existence.


  • The questionable initial official reason why the Pentagon attack wasn't prevented.


  • The dubious one that followed.


Distinguished Panel Members


Twenty-one in all, they include:


(1) Dr. Robert Bowman: former US Air Force Institute of Technology Department of Aeronautical Engineering head. He also directed Ford and Carter administrations' Advanced Space Programs Development.


(2) David S. Chandler: A physics and math educator, he formerly served on The Physics Teacher (AAPT journal) editorial board. In addition, he was key in forcing NIST to concede WTC 7's free fall.


(3) Giulietto Chiesa: Italian journalist, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies Fellow, and documentary film producer about 9/11 titled, "Zero."


(4) Dwain Deets: former NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Director for Research Engineering and Aerospace Projects. His awards include inclusion in "Who's Who in Science and Engineering" and NASA's Exceptional Service Award.


(5) Tod Fletcher: Former Berkeley, San Francisco State and Laney College geography and environmental science instructor. In 2010 and 2011, he hosted the weekly "9/11 In Context" radio program online.


(6) Lt. Col. David Gapp: Retired US Air Force pilot with 3,000 flying hours. He's also a qualified aircraft accident investigator, former Aircraft Accident Board President, and Air Force Theatre Security Cooperation head.


(7) Dr. Niels Harrit: Associate University of Copenhagen Nano-Science Professor of Chemistry. He was first author of "Active Thermitic Material observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal in 2009.


(8) Dr. Steven E. Jones: Former Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University. He initiated research for the peer-reviewed paper titled, "Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe." It was published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal.


(9) Commander Ralph Kolstad: Retired US Navy fighter pilot and 27-year airline pilot veteran, with 23,000 total flying hours.


(10) Lt. Col. Shelton F. Lankford: Retired US Marine Corps officer; fighter pilot with over 300 combat missions; Distinguished Flying Cross and 32 Air Medals recipient, with over 10,000 total flying hours.


(11) Dr. Graeme MacQueen: McMaster University Canada Buddhism and Peace Studies lecturer. He founded McMaster's Centre of Peace Studies and its War and Health program. His 9/11 research includes, "The Fictional Basis For the War on Terror," and New York Fire Department oral testimonies.


(12) Massimo Mazzucco: Award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and journalist. He serves as luogocomune.net editor. It's dedicated to 9/11 research. His 2006 "Inganno Globale 9/11" documentary aired on Silvio Berlusconi's Canale 5 Italian TV. A national debate followed.


His documentary titled, "The New American Century" appeared in film festivals worldwide. He's currently preparing his third documentary. It rebuts 9/11 Movement counter-claims.


(13) Dennis P. McMahon: He represented 9/11 family members in Burke v. McSweeney. It was part of the NYCCAN petition effort to have NYC voters decide whether New York should have its own 9/11 investigation. He was also involved in introducing the "Building What?" campaign. It was later called "Remember Building 7."


(14) Rowland Morgan: An independent journalist, he co-authored "9/11 Revealed." In the 1990s, he also wrote weekly London Guardian and Independent columns. In addition, he and Ian Henshall co-authored "Flight 93 Revealed."


(15) Frances Shure: Retired business owner, Licensed Professional depth psychology Counselor, and Naropa University adjunct instructor. She's also a longtime peace/environmental activist, co-founder of Colorado 9/11 Visibility, and Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth member.


(16) Lou Stolzenberg: Retired Physical Therapist. Using evidence-based patient care, faith, and social justice involved her with 9/11 Truth activism in 2006. She's Coordinator for Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth.


(17) Daniel Sunjata: Film, television and stage actor, he performed in the TV series "Rescue Me." A sub-plot included 9/11 as a false flag operation.


(18) Matthew Witt: University of La Verne, CA Associate Professor of Public Administration. His published work with others shows shadow governing entities and state crimes against democracy undermine America's legitimacy and founding doctrine. His work appears in Administration & Society, American Behavioral Scientist, and Public Integrity.


(19) Dr. Jonathan B. Weisbuch (MD, MPH): Formerly he served as Maricopa County, AZ Chief Health Officer; LA County Department of Health Services Medical Director; Wyoming Department of Health and Social Services Director; American Association of Public Health Physicians President; and American Journal of Public Health editorial consultant.


(20) Dr. Paul Zarembka: SUNY, Buffalo Professor of Economics; Research in Political Economy editor; "The Hidden History of 9/11" editor; Frontiers in Econometrics editor; and Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism co-editor.


(21) Barrie Zwicker: former Detroit News, Toronto Star, and Toronto Globe and Mail reporter; Toronto's Vision TV commentator; and Ryerson University journalism lecturer. In 2006, he published "Towers of Deception: the Media Cover-up of 9/11." He was also featured in the 2009 CBC TV program, "The Unofficial Story."


Honorary Panel Members


(1) Dr. Lynn Margulis: University of Massachusetts Department of Geosciences University Professor. In 1983, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1999, she received the Presidential Medal of Science. In 1998, the Library of Congress agreed to permanently archive her papers.


(2) Rt. Hon. Michael Meacher, British Parliament Labour MP. From 1997 - 2003, he served as Minister of State for the Environment. Regarding 9/11, he said:


"I do not subscribe to any theory about what actually did happen since in my view there are still far too many uncertainties - all I do know is that the official account has so many flaws and inconsistencies in it that it is simply not credible as it stands."


(3) William F. Pepper: An international human rights attorney, he represented Dr. Martin Luther King's family in a civil action that revealed the truth about his assassination, including James Early Ray's innocence.


He's also past Oxford University, UK International Human Rights Seminar Convener. Though not a 9/11 investigator, he's long advocated a comprehensive, independent investigation as a just memorial to those whose lives were lost, and to fulfill an outstanding obligation to their families, whose questions remain unanswered.


(4) Andreas von Bulow: German writer, lawyer and politician, he served for 25 years in Germany's parliament, was Federal Ministry of Defense state-secretary, and Minister of Research and Technology.


He also worked on the intelligence services parliamentary committee. Investigating Western intelligence criminal activities followed as well as two books: "In the Name of the State" and "The CIA and September 11."


Consensus 9/11 Panel Administrators


(1) Dr. David Ray Griffin: Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology. His 37 books mostly examine the philosophy of science and religion. Among them, 10 discuss 9/11 definitively and comprehensively.


They include "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11;" "The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Expose;" "The 9/11 Commission Report: "Omissions and Distortions;" and his newest titled, "9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed."


Griffin's the consummate 9/11 scholar. He's also dedicated to truth and full disclosure.


(2) William Veale: An attorney, he served as UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law Criminal Trial Practice Instructor and Contra Costa County, CA Chief Assistant Public Defender. Through court appearances and his Vealetruth blog, he's also involved in exposing 9/11 facts. He's also pro bono 9/11 Consensus Panel legal spokesperson.


(3) Elizabeth Woodworth: Retired health sciences librarian, she authored "What Can I Do? Citizen Strategies for Nuclear Disarmament." She's involved in researching 9/11 evidence, editing books, and writing 9/11 related articles. She's also 9/11 Consensus Panel co-founder and Coordinator.


A Final Comment


9/11 was the defining event of our time. Multiple wars followed. More are planned. America's business is war - permanent, destructive, lawless ones.


Global terror wars rage, another on truth, democratic values, rule of law principles, social justice, and freedom.


Debunking the official 9/11 lie is a vital first step to ending the global nightmare threatening humanity if it continues.


As a result, joining the struggle against what's too unacceptable to tolerate is essential. There is no alternative or time to waste, given the stakes.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Israel Lawlessly Indicts MK Sa'id Naffa

Israel Lawlessly Indicts MK Sa'id Naffa - by Stephen Lendman


Israel reveals its rogue credentials daily. In mid-July 2010, its Knesset stripped MK Hanin Zoabi of key parliamentary rights and privileges for participating in the May 2010 Freedom Flotilla bringing vital aid to Gaza.


Since then, she's been vilified, threatened, and may be prevented from standing for reelection. Hard-liners call her a "traitor."


Arab MKs are accustomed to marginalization, threats, abuse, and lawless actions against them.


In November 2009, Hadash party chairman Mohammed Barakeh was bogusly indicted for allegedly assaulting a police officer during an anti-Separation Wall rally. Previous alleged incidents between 2005 and 2007 were included in charges against him.


The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights said indicting him criminalized "legitimate political activities (in an attempt) to harm the reputation and status of an Arab leader."


Barakeh called charges against him false, saying "The ones that are being violent and abusing freedom of demonstration and of speech are the police and security establishment."


He added that his indictment "reek(ed) of politics. It's not a personal (attack) but an attempt to terrorize and deter anyone wishing to exercise his democratic right to resist government policy."


Balad party MK Said Naffa's also targeted. On December 26, 2011, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein indicted him for "illegally traveling to an enemy country" and assisting in organizing a visit for others.


At issue is Israel's 1948 Emergency Regulations (Foreign Travel) Ordinance. It never should have been passed in the first place. It's an affront to democratic rights and should be rescinded.


Other charges included "contact with a foreign agent." Allegedly it was for meeting with Talal Naji, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) deputy director-general. In addition, Naffa was accused of planning to meet Khaled Mashal, Hamas political bureau head. Israel spuriously calls them "terrorist organization" leaders.


In September 2007, Naffa went to Syria with about 300 Druze clerics and Israeli social activists. It was a holy pilgrimage, unrelated to politics.


His lawyer, Saud Ghanim said:


"The religious leaders' visit to Syria was purely for religious and humanitarian reasons. Even the Israeli Supreme Court regards the Israeli law that prevents these (type) visits as arbitrary. Therefore, the filing of an indictment in this regard is discriminatory, and the real problem is with the law and not the actual visit."


"We will challenge the constitutionality of this law before the court. (It) dates back to the emergency laws in place since the days of military rule and contradicts modern fundamental constitutional principles."


In fact, Naffa visited Syria to fulfill his MK duties as a public representative. Adalah said doing so "lies within the scope of his parliamentary immunity." Israel's High Court acknowledged it. Naffa acted legally and properly.


He noted Israel's double standard. After his trip, an Israeli Christian delegation visited Syria. Prosecutions didn't follow. Nor against Jews traveling to Iraq, other religious trips by Christians and Circassians, and Muslims going to Saudi Arabia.


Adalah said Naffa's charges "have no legal or constitutional" basis. Its lawyers unsuccessfully tried to get charges dropped. They were issued four years after his visit.


Earlier, Naffa unsuccessfully appealed for Knesset help. The relevant committee voted 9 - 2 to strip his immunity and declined to hear supportive legal testimony.


On January 30, Nazareth's District Court held its first hearing. Charges against him carry a maximum 15 year sentence. After being indicted, Naffa said he didn't harm state security. "There is a long court proceeding before me. I will fight for my innocence and the matter of immunity will (also) be discussed...."


"I do not regret the trip and I am no hypocrite. The issues I am forced to pay the price for were discussed here for many hours, and very much promoted the interests and rights."


In response, extremist MK Anastassia Michaeli said she'd initiate legislation to strip Naffa and others convicted of similar charges of citizenship immediately. "Maybe then they would think twice," she said.


Meretz party MK Ilan Ghilon said he'd "like to see (Netanyahu) travel in a bus or minibus to Damascus. Then no one would complain of a violation of the State's security."


Naffa is Druze. Before the Knesset committee voted, he addressed members saying:


"Today I am addressing a taboo. The establishment considers the Druze a trained herd whose place is to serve in the military and the Border Guard - a herd that has no feelings."


Former Israeli AG Menachem Mazuz said "Naffa ignored a decision by the authorized bodies and held a conspiracy meeting with one of the terrorist organization heads and tried to meet with another terrorist organization head, and such things are exactly what the law aims to prevent."


In fact, Hamas, PFLP, and other lawful resistance groups want Israel's lawless occupation ended and Palestine liberated. Their leaders and members aren't terrorists. They've victims of Israeli state-terrorism like all Palestinians.


Numerous examples confirm it, including other targeted Arab MKs. On May 31, 2010, following the Mavi Marmara massacre, mass demonstrations protested Israel's raid.


MK Taleb al-Sana said it "exposed the ugly face of Zionism and the violence and aggression of the government of Israel." He called it an act of "state terror" against a humanitarian mission and said those responsible should be tried for war crimes. "This event proves you don't have to be a German to be a Nazi," he added.


Al-Sana also participated in a Gaza border demonstration during which Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke. In response, Israel's internal security minister Yitzhak Ahaonovitch asked for charges against him "for supporting a terror organization."


In February 2010, Islamic Movement northern branch head Sheikh Raed Saleh was sentenced to nine months for allegedly assaulting a police officer, a charge he denied. Like other Arab leaders, he was accused solely for his political affiliation and positions.


On February 2, 2010, a Haaretz editorial headlined, "Harassing Arab MKs," saying:


Removing "Said Naffa's parliamentary immunity, like the decision to prosecute (other Arab MKs), is unwarranted, harmful and smacks of political persecution based on nationality."


Naffa's being scapegoated. He's not first Israeli MK to visit an Arab country, but he was targeted for doing it. Moreover, MKs rarely lose immunity for political reasons, unlike those accused of real criminality like corruption.


Nonetheless, "(i)nstead of calling on Arab lawmakers to act as a bridge between Israel and the Arab world, Israel puts them on trial under a law that should never have been passed in the first place."


Prohibiting MKs from visiting Arab countries not only impedes their lawful activities serving constituents, it's also discriminatory by targeting only Arabs, not Jews.


A Final Comment


On January 20, Britain lawlessly revoked Press TV's broadcasting license, removing it from the Sky platform. Fortunately, viewers have options to follow an invaluable service online or by satellite.


This writer appears often on many topics. Press TV provides an open platform to speak freely. UK and American outlets suppress truth. Press TV reveals it. As a result, it's targeted.


On January 26, political writer/hardline Republican supporter, and Foundation for Democracy in Iran (an anti-Iranian front group) executive director Kenneth Timmerman headlined an article, "Why Doesn't America Ban Iranian Press TV?" saying:


Obama officials let "the channel operate (in America) without a license and in violation of US sanctions regulations, which ban commercial transactions with Iran."


In fact, viewing it requires doing so online or by satellite. US and broadcast TV channels exclude it. Its US presence is through intermediary companies. Its correspondents report globally.


Timmerman outrageously called it an "anti-American propaganda" broadcaster. In addition, he attacked guests like James Fetzer, calling him a "well-known....conspiracy theorist."


Fetzer appears regularly on the Progressive Radio News Hour. He's an honored guest. He also founded and co-chairs Scholars for 9/11 Truth. Vilifying him is unconscionable.


He also attacked commentator Mark Dankof and Paul Sheldon Foote for reporting accurately on Israel, as well as Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz for wanting to spread anti-American propaganda.


Moreover, he targeted Gamal Hassanein and Samir Ezeldin for working with Press TV in America, saying:


"(T)hey hire producers and camera crews to film events and conduct interviews at Press TV's request." By implication, he suggested wrongdoing.


Gamal arranges this writer's Press TV appearances. He said Timmerman revealed his address and other personal information to vilify him and make him vulnerable to abuse.


Extremists like Timmerman use offensive and abusive tactics to further their hard-right agenda. In contrast, Press TV is an effective antidote. As a result, it's spuriously vilified and excluded from US broadcast and cable channels.


Ignore Timmerman and others like him. Follow Press TV daily for real information and analysis to stay current and well informed - free from Western propaganda and hatemongers like Timmerman.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Europe's Losing Game

Europe's Losing Game - by Stephen Lendman


Partnering with America has consequences. Europe's paying by shooting itself in the foot.


On January 23, EU representative for foreign and security affairs, Catherine Ashton, broke the news. She announced an "unprecedented" anti-Iranian oil embargo, effective July 1 and immediately from new contracts.


The ban covers crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, oil related business, equipment and technology, selling Tehran refined products, new investments, and dealing with its central bank.


Europe buys up to 20% of its oil from Iran. Ending it means greater strain on economically stressed countries. Making up lost volume won't be easy. Putting lipstick on this pig doesn't wash.


Alternatives are few and far between. Claiming Saudi Arabia can compensate is false. Iran's reserves are third largest globally. No combination of Gulf states can replace its shipments.


Seyyed Emad Hosseini, Iran Majlis (parliament) Energy Committee spokesman said:


Iran's "powerful and oil sanctions imposed by European countries will only harm the European Union because Iran can easily prove its oil supremacy in the Middle East region."


MP Nasser Soudani said "Europe will burn in the fire of Iran's oil wells....the structure of (Europe's) refineries is compatible with Iran's oil," so what's their alternative.


Moreover, expect oil prices to spike. Economic damage will follow. Weak EU nations will crater. Policy makers behind this scheme should be fired and replaced.


It gets worse. On January 28, Soudani said Iran's Majlis (parliament) Energy Committee finalized a bill to "halt all oil exports to European countries as long as they continue to ban oil imports from Iran."


Moreover, another clause forbids importing goods from countries imposing sanctions. If adopted, EU oil shipments may end in days. Vital supplies will be lost. Rogue EU countries will be left high and around 20% dry.


Sanctions cut both ways. Iran's extracting its own price. Going along with America is misguided. Policy makers in other countries know better. China's Foreign Ministry said "blindly pressur(ing) and impos(ing) sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches."


Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said:


"We have very good relations with Iran, and we are putting much effort into renewing Iran's talks with the 5+1 (the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany) mediators' group. Turkey will continue looking for a peaceful solution to the issue."


Too bad Ankara isn't like-minded on Syria and wasn't firm against join NATO's anti-Libyan alliance. As a result, its credibility falls short.


Rogue EU states gave Iran an ultimatum. Like Washington, they're using its alleged nuclear threat to pursue regime change plans. Direct intervention may follow if other measures fail. In response, Iran's hitting EU nations where it hurts.


At the same time, its saying partner with America's belligerence and suffer the consequences. As a result, some EU nations may have second thoughts.


Others already dismissed sanctions, including Russia, China, Brazil, India, and perhaps Japan and South Korea. Expect growing numbers to join them. Partnering with Washington's self-destructive. Wiser nations refuse when their own interests are sacrificed.


Washington's also harmed in other ways. It's showing up in non-dollar denominated bilateral trade agreements. America relies on global dollar hegemony.


China excludes dollar transactions in numerous bilateral deals. So do many other countries, including Russia, Brazil, India, Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, UAE, South Korea, Malaysia, Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Venezuela, and others.


In fact, swap agreements are proliferating. In 2009, seven Latin American nations established the Bank of the South. They include Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador.


Plans are to include all regional countries, outside the dollar, IMF and World Bank. Part of it's establishing a new SUCRE currency within the Union of South American Nations, independent of America.


Moreover, oil-rich Middle East countries plan their own monetary union and common currency. In the late 1990s, Asia's Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) promoted financial cooperation among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


ASEAN swap agreements expanded to the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), regional bond markets, and bilateral swap deals. China's arrangement with Japan is especially significant given their mutual trade volume. It also promises others regionally away from the dollar, weakening it in the process.


While China, Japan, India, Brazil, Russia and other developing countries build strong bilateral and multilateral ties, America's making more enemies than friends.


In May 2009, Nouriel Roubini warned about a dollar decline. It'll take a decade or longer, he believes, but could happen sooner if America doesn't "get its financial house in order."


Moreover, the more other countries diversify, the faster it'll happen. It's only a matter of time as long as Washington's wicked ways continue. So far, there's no ending them in sight.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Targeting AIPAC

Targeting AIPAC


by Stephen Lendman


On January 23, Occupy AIPAC announced plans to confront the powerful Israeli Lobby in Washington from March 2 - 6. More on what's planned below.


Since last September, OWS inspired affiliate groups. Among others they include Occupy Together, Occupy Everything, Occupy Arrests, Occupy Police, Occupy Marines, Occupy Veterans, Occupy Writers, Occupy Filmakers, Occupy Schools, Occupy the World Wide Web, Occupy Freedom, Occupy NATO, Occupy Congress, Occupy the White House, and Occupy Your State Capital America.


Many communicate online through social networks like Facebook. They spread information globally and hopefully inspire others to join a worldwide movement for change.


From March 4 - 6, AIPAC will hold its annual Washington conference. Deferentially, politicians, presidents, their hangers-on, media scoundrels and others show up to pay homage to its influence and the government it represents.


AIPAC's an unregistered foreign agent. Calling itself "America's Pro-Israel Lobby," it's represented Israeli interests since founded in 1953. In 1963, it was incorporated as a division of the American Zionist Council (AZC), its precursor.


Virtually no one in Congress confronts it. Doing so is a career-ender. Notably, it has virtual veto power over war and peace, trade and investment, multi-billion dollar arms sales, enormous handouts to Israel, and all Middle East policies affecting the Jewish state under Democrat and Republican administrations alike.


It's a weapon of mass destruction, fronting for Israeli crimes. Among other tactics, it spuriously rails against Syria, Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah.


It calls Iran "the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability."


It calls Hizbollah, Hamas, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan "Insurgents" its "proxy armies."


It falsely accuses Syria of "brutally crush(ing) the growing protest movement (while) maintaining its support for terrorist groups." It says Assad "undermin(es) peace and security."


It calls Hamas, Palestine's legitimate government, a "terrorist group....with the self proclaimed goal of the destruction of Israel."


It calls Hezbollah (part of Lebanon's ruling coalition government) "an Iranian-backed terrorist network that poses a direct threat to American interests and Israel, (and) has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda...."


Since inception, AIPAC lacked credibility. It spews lies and hate. It viciously attacks opponents. It should be banned for not registering as a foreign agent and prosecuted for libel.


Instead, by intimidating Congress, it gets free reign to do what it pleases and attracts political Washington en masse to its annual conference.


Confronting AIPAC


Move over AIPAC now calls itself Occupy AIPAC. Over 120 organizations endorse it.


They include American Jews for a Just Peace, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Artists Against Apartheid, CODEPINK, Christians for Palestinian Rights, Citizens for Palestinian Self-Determination, Friends of Palestine, Global Exchange, If Americans Knew, International Solidarity Movement, Rachael Corrie Foundation, Stop AIPAC, United for Peace and Justice, US Boat to Gaza, Veterans for Peace, and many others.


The pro-Israeli Commentary magazine attacked the initiative. On January 20, Jonathan Tobin headlined, "Occupy AIPAC Next Step for Leftist Group," saying:


"Many Jewish liberals have been in denial about the anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic tone of much of the Occupy Wall Street movement since its inception."


In other words, when hard truths can't be denied, it call those supporting them "anti-Semites." Commentary fronts for Israel. The US Campaign to End the Occupation's Josh Ruebner calls it a "neo-con rag."


It's that and much more. It backs Israel's worst crimes, and organizations like AIPAC, promoting war and violence. Why else would activists for peace, justice, and Palestinian rights plan confronting them in March.


Ruebner says, "So, yeah, Commentary, we'll be there protesting AIPAC's agenda and all your silly accusations about who we are and what we stand for won't stop us.”


Occupy AIPAC


In May 2011, during AIPAC's conference, it organized an initiative called "Move over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy."


Then and now, it aims "to wean US policy away from AIPAC's grip towards an even-handed position that respects international law and the human rights of all people in the region."


From March 2 - 6, it's coming back and asks others to join it. It's agenda includes teach-ins, cultural performances, protests, creative direct actions, educational panels on Iran, Palestine, the Arab uprisings, and OWS, and a preview of the forthcoming film, "Roadmap to Apartheid."


Panel discussions and workshops include:


"Preventing War, Promoting Peace: Shifting US Policy Toward Real Diplomacy with Iran"


"From the Arab Uprisings to the Occupy Movement: Freedom & Justice vs. the Right-Wing Israel Lobby"


"Palestine, Israel & the US - Changing Discourse, Challenging Policy"


"Poets, Comedians and Musicians - Tears and Laughter for Palestine"


"Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions"


"Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: Palestine and the African American Experience"


"Ending Military Aid to Israel"


March 6 is called Lobbying Day - Lobbying Congress for a just peace in the Middle East. This and more is planned throughout the March 2 - 6 gathering.


Occupy AIPAC calls it "a mandatory 'occupy target.' " Now's the time to oppose "the stranglehold the Israel lobby continues to hold over our government."


It's essential to confront it actively with sustained pressure. Showing up in Washington is step one.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Washington's War on Syria

Washington's War on Syria


by Stephen Lendman


On January 28, Arab League monitors suspended operations in Syria. In early February, they'll decide whether to end them altogether. League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby blamed Assad for "resort(ing) to escalating the military option in complete violation of (his) commitments."


In fact, he's contesting a Western-generated insurgency. League despots support it. They also condoned NATO's Libya war, including massacres too great to ignore.


They back NATO's plan to colonize, occupy and plunder Middle East states, including Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran, as well as ongoing atrocities in Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, and elsewhere in the region.


On December 26, Arab League observers began monitoring Syrian cities. Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi led them. Instead of delivering the goods as planned, he called Assad "cooperative."


Ergo, end the mission. Initiate Plan B.


At issue is regime change and isolating Iran, not democracy and peace. America deplores both and won't tolerate them at home or abroad.


After ravaging Libya and toppling Gaddafi, Syria was next. For months, Western-backed insurgents killed thousands. No one knows how many. UN estimates lack credibility by pointing fingers the wrong way.


Washington wants Assad vilified, delegitimized, weakened and toppled. Tactics include violence, propaganda, and attempts to pass Security Council measures, inching closer to intervention. More on that below.


Whether Assad survives is uncertain. So far he's hanging on resiliently. Nonetheless, the State Department calls him "dead man walking," and Syria's Muslim Brotherhood expects him out in months. In fact, Israel's Ehud Barak thinks in weeks. Don't bet on it.


For now, he successfully resisted Western efforts to topple him with Russian, Chinese, and internal popular support. Syria's military is also strong and supportive. Loyalists run it with much to gain by standing fast, not yielding to opposition pressure. In contrast, so-called Free Syrian Army ranks are weak by comparison.


In addition, anti-Assad elements are divided and disorganized. Internal National Coordination Body for Democratic Change ones oppose foreign intervention and conflict. They want grievances settled politically and diplomatically.


In contrast, Turkey-based Syrian National Council (SNC) officials support it. They claim Syria's situation replicates Libya's. They also represent Western imperialism against the rights and interests of most Syrians.


Nonetheless, they're also internally split, unable to agree on a common agenda. Many don't trust SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun. Some call him authoritarian for unilaterally wanting SNC/NCB unity.


So far, Western and/or regional states haven't directly intervened. Whether that continues is uncertain. The longer Assad holds on, the greater the pressure to do so. Behind the scenes, Washington, rogue NATO allies and Israel seek ways to replicate Libya's model, either alone using regional proxies and/or by direct NATO intervention. The situation remains tense.


Strong Russian/Chinese Opposition


So far, Russia and China firmly oppose intervention. As a result, Western Security Council resolutions failed. Russia's against a new draft. On January 27, Itar Tass headlined, "Western draft resolution on Syria in UN SC unacceptable for Russia," saying:


Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia won't support it. It "almost does not take into account our position," he said. "The document lacks key aspects, which are essential for us."


At issue is preventing military intervention and assuring UN Charter provisions aren't violated. It's also about vague language like in Resolution 1973 against Libya, smoothing the way to war. It says "additional measures will be considered" if Assad doesn't comply.


What measures, asked Gatilov? As a result, he said the "current draft resolution is unacceptable for us."


Washington rejected Russia's draft. It focuses on "the need to launch political negotiations between the government and opposition...." It also stresses ending violence.


RIA Novosti quoted Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin saying:


"I made it clear that we, the Russian delegation, did not see that draft as a basis on which we can agree." However, it "doesn't mean that we refuse to engage."


Specifically, he's concerned about similarities to Washington's October resolution Russia and China vetoed. Its language potentially facilitates a "Libya scenario" both countries reject.


Russia also opposes Washington/EU unilateral sanctions. On January 26, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will "stonewall attempts to gain UN approval...."


Washington's inching closer to direct and/or proxy military intervention. Rogue NATO partners including Turkey, complicit Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Jordan, and Israel are on board.


Ideas floated include a no-fly zone, a humanitarian corridor between Turkey's Hatay province and Syria, and direct military intervention.


Turkey's involved in sponsoring anti-Assad insurgents. Nonetheless, in mid-January, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will "take a leadership" to prevent "a religious, sectarian, racial war." Perhaps he means by instigating more conflict than now.


In mid-January, Obama called Syria's government "unacceptable." He wants Assad "to step aside." On December 21, a White House Press Secretary statement said:


"....the only way to bring about the change that the Syrian people deserve is for Bashar al-Assad to leave power....The United States is deeply disturbed by credible reports that (his) regime continues to indiscriminately kill scores of civilians and army defectors....Time and again, the Assad regime has demonstrated that it does not deserve to rule Syria."


No matter that most Syrians support Assad. In addition, Washington notoriously backs some of the world's worst despots, while America's making enemies faster than friends.


Syria's targeted to install a pro-Western government and isolate Iran. Russia, China and other key countries oppose it. Nonetheless, New York Times writer Ellen Barry says few "world capitals" support Assad.


For months, numerous Times editorials vilified him, stopping just short of advocating war. If Western invention follows, Times' support is assured. In contrast, Vladimir Putin's strongly against.


Notably, he accused Washington of "want(ing) to control everything" and make other countries "vassals." He also cited America's "missile defense" system targeting Russia, saying:


Obama officials aren't "prepared to cooperate on equal terms either with Europe or us. Cooperation....means determining threats together and working out a system of response to them together. They flatly reject that."


They also reject peace. The business of America is war, permanent wars, plundering one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance while homeland needs go begging. Opposition governments are targeted for regime change.


A Final Comment


Obama's America's latest warrior president. He spurns peace to fuel conflicts. He supports preemptive wars, using first-strike nuclear and other terror weapons "to keep the American people safe (and advance) the nation's values and ideals."


Unstated, they include unchallengeable global/space dominance, ruling by intimidation and war, and making the world safe for capital.


As a result, America's permanent war doctrine threatens humanity. No matter. It doesn't stop deranged officials from pursuing it - Republicans and Democrats.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Targeting Iranian Nationals

Targeting Iranian Nationals - by Stephen Lendman


Washington's first regime change priority is Syria. At issue is isolating Iran. Then devoting full attention to replacing its current government with a pro-Western one.


At the same time, covert war's raged against Tehran for years. Destabilization tactics include fake accusations, political and economic sanctions, isolation, covert and direct confrontation, cyberwar, targeted assassinations, and other provocations short of war - so far.


Everything tried so far failed. Oil sanctions won't fare better. EU countries imposing it shot themselves in the foot. Sensible ones won't go along. Major ones like China, Russia, India and Brazil reject them. Expect Japan, South Korea and others to follow at least partially.


The more America goes rogue, the fewer allies it retains. Eventually perhaps they'll be none besides its Israeli/UK axis of evil partners and some Middle East despots.


With Washington, they're involved in funding and arming anti-Syrian insurgents. They also support America's latest outrage. Press TV announced it, saying:


"The United States has arrested and charged an Iranian semiconductor scientist for buying high-tech US lab equipment, a development likely to further worsen Iranian-US relations."


On January 26, AP offered more details headlining, "Documents show US has arrested Iranian scientist," saying:


Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi was charged "with violating US export laws...." He's a Sharif University of Technology Assistant Professor and microchip expert.


He authored or co-authored dozens of microchip technology scientific papers, none military related.


Prison records show he's held at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Dublin, CA. near San Francisco. The prison's web site calls it "a low security facility housing female offenders" with "an adjacent administrative detention facility (for) adult males on holdover or pre-trial status...."


On January 26, San Francisco federal district court held Atarodi's bond hearing. Proceedings were closed except for attorneys and family members. Friends said he was detained on December 7 after arriving in Los Angeles by air.


Charges against him are sealed. Justice Department officials won't discuss them. An unnamed Sharif University spokesman said it involves buying ordinary US instruments available to anyone without a license. He spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid possible repercussions, adding:


"The fact of the matter is that he was just a professor, and he was trying to buy some equipment for his lab, and the equipment was very, very simple, ridiculously simple stuff that anybody can buy."


The arrest follows Washington's familiar pattern. Atarodi committed no crime. He's now victimized by the Obama's war on Iran.


Following a brief hearing, his family said he'll be released on bail, subject to electronic monitoring. In part, it's for medical reasons. In the past 14 months, he suffered two heart attacks, a stroke, and underwent two heart surgeries.


His attorney, Matthew David Kohn, said he's been treated well in custody. He also believes prosecutors "meticulously" built their case against an innocent man. He came to Los Angeles for medical treatment from his brother's cardiologist.


Arresting Iranians for alleged embargo violations is rare. It shows how far Washington's willing to go to antagonize Iran, hoping perhaps for retaliation it can use as pretext to incite conflict.


Iranian scientists, especially nuclear ones, are central figures in America's destabilization plans. Former Sharif University vice chancellor Fredun Hojabri, now living in America, said longstanding US/Iranian friction causes problems for them.


He cited a 2006 incident involving over 50 Iranian researchers, engineers and executives. En route to a Santa Clara, CA disaster management forum, they were detained and deported because their visas were revoked. A Sharif University alumni group organized the event.


America not only plays hardball, it plays dirty. Innocent people suffer, especially Muslims falsely accused of terrorism, terrorist related charges, or other bogus ones like what Atoradi faces. Hopefully he'll weather the storm, be free and allowed to go home.


A Final Comment


In June 2006, Iranian American Seyed Mousavi's ordeal began when FBI and IRS agents raided his home and confronted him and his family at gunpoint. Though not imprisoned, he was hounded for months.


In August 2007, things came to a head. After early morning prayers, he was arrested outside his mosque and bogusly charged with six felony counts under the catch-all International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).


Though spurious and malicious, he was accused of doing business illegally with a Kuwaiti company linked to two Iranian ones, establishing an Iranian bank and leasing company, filing false tax returns, impeding tax collections, and illegally securing citizenship by falsifying information under oath.


Though innocent of all charges, in April 2008, he was convicted for violating America's Iran embargo, omitting group membership information on naturalization forms, and income tax evasion.


Imprisoned, he was denied all rights, isolated without reason, dehumanized and punished for being a Muslim in America at the wrong time from the wrong country.


This time, justice was only delayed. In January 2010, Mousavi was released. He still awaited a Ninth District Court of Appeals decision pertaining to immigration charges. On May 5, 2010 it came, overturning a lower court's conviction. His web site Free Seyed Mousavi announced the news, saying:


"Seyed Mahmood Mousavi is a free man and as a result of the reversal, continues to be a legal citizen of the United States."


He and his family "sincerely thank (everyone) for (their) continued support" throughout his ordeal. Justice in the end prevailed. Others aren't as lucky.


As a result, they wrongfully languish in US prison hellholes for their faith, ethnicity and nationality, not any crimes they committed.


Mousavi's a free man to explain it. He's also someone this writer knows, admires, wrote about, and discussed on air.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

ACTA: Worse Than SOPA and PIPA

ACTA: Worse Than SOPA and PIPA - by Stephen Lendman


Internet freedom's on the line. SOPA and PIPA threatened Net Neutrality and free expression. So does ACTA. More on it below.


For now, the largest online protest in Internet history got Congress to abandon SOPA and PIPA but not permanently. Expect resurrection in modified form. Language may change but not intent. ACTA's worse.


Launched on October 23, 2007, America, the EU, Switzerland and Japan began secretly negotiating a new intellectual property enforcement treaty - the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).


Other nations got involved, including Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Singapore, and the UAE. Ostensibly for counterfeit goods protection, it's about fast-tracking Internet distribution and information technology rules at the expense of Net Neutrality, privacy, and personal freedoms.


It establishes unrestricted supranational global trade rules. In the process, it tramples on national sovereignty and personal freedoms. Moreover, negotiations were secret until WikiLeaks reported in May 2008:


"If adopted, (ACTA) would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime, with new cooperation requirements upon (ISPs), including perfunctionary disclosure of customer information."


"The proposal also bans 'anti-circumvention measures which may affect online anonymity systems and would likely outlaw multi-region CD/DVD players. The proposal also specifies a plan to encourage developing nations to accept the legal regime." Those opting out face retaliatory measures.


On April 22, 2010, Electronic Frontier Foundation writer Gwen Hinze headlined, "Preliminary Analysis of the Officially Released ACTA Text," saying:


"The text (leaves no doubt) that ACTA is not just about counterfeiting." It's far more. It covers copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property forms, including the Internet.


It's also about the ability of users to "communicate, collaborate and create" freely. In addition, it imposes obligations (on) Internet intermediaries (and), requir(es) them to police" cyberspace and its users. As a result, it raises serious questions about open affordable access, free expression, personal privacy, and "fair use rights."


On May 27, 2011, the Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) said the European Commission published a final ACTA text with few changes from its last known version. Since introduced, major media scoundrels reported little about its destructive provisions.


Last October, Washington, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea signed ACTA. US deputy trade representative Mariam Sapiro hailed the occasion, saying:


"As with many of the challenges we face in today's global economy, no government can single-handedly eliminate the problem of global counterfeiting and piracy. Signing this agreement is therefore an act of shared leadership and determination in the international fight against intellectual property theft."


Public Knowledge attorney Rashmi Rangnath called the deal the Obama administration's "attempt to foist US law on other countries."


It also broke another candidate Obama promise to "(s)upporte the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."


In fact, doing so lawlessly circumvented Congress. On October 1, 2011, Obama acted by "executive agreement." He falsely claimed ACTA's not a treaty requiring Senate approval. Constitutional issues remain unresolved.


By law, executive agreements apply only to sole presidential authority issues. Treaties must be ratified by a two-thirds Senate supermajority. As a result, a circulating petition demands Senate consideration. By February 21, 25,000 are needed. So far, thousands are recorded. Dozens of legal scholars support it.


So far, the administration's stonewalling. It's circumventing the law like it always does and breaking a campaign pledge in the process. Post-SOPA/PIPA, Obama diktat authority rammed it through illegally.


In contrast, the Mexican Senate rejected it in a non-binding resolution. On January 26, Poland's Japan ambassador, Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska, signed it. It's yet to pass parliament.


Public anger raged across the country against it. The hacktivist group Anonymous targeted signatory countries' official web sites. It threatened to reveal sensitive information about officials in countries passing it.


Anti-ACTA sentiment affected Poland's parliament. Opposition MPs wore masks to reflect their refusal to back it. Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he'll submit the treaty to parliament and sign it provided "the government is sure Polish law guarantees freedom on the Internet...."


On January 26, infojustice.org headlined, "EU Signs ACTA, But Treaty Remains in Doubt," saying:


The European Parliament (EP) has final say. Consideration begins late February or early March. Committee voting follows in April or May. In June, Parliament decides.


After SOPA and PIPA's derailing, expect a close vote.


On January 23, 2012, FFII headlined, "EP (European Parliament) legal service consistently overlooks known issues with ACTA," saying:


In a letter to members of the European Parliament, FFII said:


"The legal service fails to see major issues with damages, injunctions and provisional, border and criminal measures. The legal service consistently overlooks known issues." Clearly, "ACTA goes beyond current EU law, the acquis."


According to FFII's Ante Wessels:


"ACTA will negatively impact innovation, start up companies, mass digitization projects, access to medicines and Internet governance. ACTA threatens the rule of law and fundamental rights."


FFII asked Parliament to reject ACTA. Issues cited included:


(1) Violating EU law.


(2) Unjustifiably discriminating. Threatens access to generic drugs and local foods.


(3) Criminalizes "everyday computer use." Liability extends to private individuals, newspapers, web sites, office workers forwarding files or documents, and whistleblowers revealing information in the public interest.


(4) Civil measures also apply to the digital environment. ACTA pressures ISPs to preemptively censor online communications. It also "incites privatized enforcement outside the rule of law."


"The ARTICLE 19 organization" said ACTA's "fundamentally flawed from a freedom of expression and information perspective. If enacted, it will greatly endanger the free-flow of information and the free exchange of ideas, particularly on the internet."


(5) Endangering public health by restricting access to medicines. It cracks down on generic drugs, makes food patents more extreme, enforces global standards on seed patents, empowers agribusiness, and threatens small farms and food independence.


(6) Global pricing and cultural life issues aren't addressed.


(7) Violates Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), stating:


"The Union's action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles (of) democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms...."


Negotiations were conducted secretly. Civil society, public interest groups, and legislatures were entirely shut out. Major decisions were made extralegally. They violate established laws and fundamental freedoms.


On December 27, 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said:


ACTA threatens personal and digital freedoms. It creates an extralegal "global IP enforcement institution to oversee its implementation." It turns ISPs into enforcers.


The agreement requires signatories "promote cooperative efforts within the business community" on issues regarding copyright and trademark infringement.

As a result, Internet access, censoring, and lost freedom may result.


"ACTA suffocates collaborative creativity and innovation, and less explicitly, but just as gravely, threatens free speech through provisions that may lead to Internet access restrictions for the 'sake' of combating 'imminent violation' of intellectual property laws."


Worst of all, secret negotiations facilitate similarly drafted future international agreements, benefitting powerful interests at the expense of personal freedoms. For ACTA, heavy-handed Washington pressure forced through draconian provisions.


Civil society organizations are outraged. In addition, some nations exposed gross political treachery in back-room dealmaking. For example, Brazil called ACTA "illegitimate." The Dutch Parliament refused to consider it. India strongly opposes it. So do other emerging economies saying it stifles their development.


Other nations are undecided. They all have until May 2013 to vote up or down. As a result, Washington's exerting immense pressure to bring opponents on board.


EFF calls back room dealmaking "an affront to a democratic world order." It's committed to work with other anti-ACTA groups to defeat ACTA.


The Inquisitr calls the agreement worse than SOPA and PIPA. It "takes a fairly bland idea - the right of companies to profit from their own intellectual property - and turns it into a governmental power grab and an excuse to weaken" Internet privacy.


La Quadrature du Net (Internet & Libertes) says ACTA "has absolutely no democratic legitimacy." Unelected bureaucrats drafted it. It urges mass actions to defeat it.


A Final Comment


ACTA potentially criminalizes almost anything online. It lets government and corporate predators censor, shut down sites, and prosecute owners if they object to posted content. Imagine the effect on free thought and opinion.


Criticize government or corporate lawlessness and be silenced behind bars. That's why stopping ACTA is crucial. SOPA and PIPA outrage was round one. ACTA's the main event.


A truth emergency exists. So far, it's mostly below the radar. Exposing it widely is crucial. Now's the time to act before it's too late.


Internet freedom's on the chopping block for elimination unless mass public outrages stops it. EFF cites other plurilateral deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). It's more draconian than ACTA.


Secret negotiations again drafted it. Bureaucrats alone were involved. Civil society, public interest groups, and lawmakers had no say.


Internet freedom's on the line. The stakes are immense. Jefferson understood by saying that:


"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."


Now's the time to assure it doesn't happen. Spread the word! Mobilize! Agitate! Involve Congress! Stop this monster! It's our Internet! Get in the fight to save it!


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.