Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lakota Sioux Nation Leaves America


Lakota Sioux Nation Leaves America

by Stephen Lendman

America betrayed them and all Native Peoples. Throughout US history and earlier, genocide was policy. 

Historian Ward Churchill explained four centuries of systematic slaughter. It went on from 1492 - 1892. It continues today against Native culture.

Churchill estimated around 100 million Native People throughout the Americas "hacked apart with axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty, hanged on meathooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea, worked to death as slave laborers, intentionally starved and frozen to death during a multitude of forced marches and internments, and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected with epidemic diseases."

Destruction of their culture continues in new forms. "The American holocaust was and remains unparalleled, in terms of its scope, ferocity, and continuance over time."

Silence and denial suppress what happened and goes on today. Try finding coverage anywhere by America's major media. Virtually nothing is said, let alone explained. 

Survivors represent a tiny fraction of original numbers. They also symbolize a longstanding US tradition of butchery and viciousness.

After centuries of systematic slaughter, Census Bureau data estimated around a quarter-million US survivors. Those living struggle to get by.

Raphael Lemkin defined genocide as:

"the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group" that corresponds to other terms like "tyrannicide, homicide, infanticide, etc." (It) does not necessarily mean the destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings....It is intended....to signify a coordinated plan (to destroy) the essential foundations of the life of national groups" with the intent to eradicate or substantially weaken or harm them." 

"Genocidal plans involve the disintegration....of political and social institutions, culture, language, national feelings, religion, economic existence, personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and" human lives.

The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Convention defines it legally as:

"any (acts like those above) committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the national, ethnical, racial or religious group (by) killing (its) members; causing (them) serious bodily or mental harm; (or) deliberately inflicting (on them) conditions" that may destroy them in whole or in part. 

Destroying peoples' cultures, preventing them from practicing their religion, speaking their language, and/or passing on their traditions to new generations are genocidal acts.

Constitutional provisions don't let government abuse people or deny them their rights. They don't authorize genocide, either within or outside the country. They don't permit theft and occupation of their lands or any others. 

Nonetheless, binding principles are spurned. America, Israel, and rogue NATO partners violate them with impunity. Crimes of war, against humanity, and genocide are official policy. Millions of corpses bear testimony.

On December 17, 2007, a delegation of Lakota people went to Washington. They declared independence. They called it "the latest step in the longest running legal battle" in history.

It's not a cessation, they said. It's a lawful "unilateral withdrawal" from treaty obligations permitted under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. 

At the time, American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means said:

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us."

"We offer citizenship to anyone provided they renounce their US citizenship."

"United States colonial rule is at an end."

Signed documents were delivered to the State Department. Sovereignty was declared. The Republic of Lakota was established. It's based on the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. It created the Great Lakota (Sioux) Nation. It states in part:

"The territory of the Sioux or Dahcotah Nation, commencing the mouth of the White Earth River, on the Missouri River; thence in a southwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; thence up the north fork of the Platte River to a point known as the Red Buts, or where the road leaves the river; thence along the range of mountains known as the Black Hills, to the head-waters of Heart River; thence down Heart River to its mouth; and thence down the Missouri River to the place of beginning."

It gave Lakota people portions of northern Nebraska, half of South Dakota, one-fourth of North Dakota, one-fifth of Montana, and another 20% of Wyoming.  

Unilateral withdrawal from all treaties and agreements became policy. America never honored its own. More on that below.

Earlier events led to the 2007 declaration. In 1974, 5,000 International Indian Treaty Council delegates, representing 97 North and South American Indigenous People, signed a Declaration of Continuing Independence.

It was a "Manifesto representing the wisdom of thousands of people, the Ancestors, and the Great Mystery supports the rights of Indigenous Nations to live free and to take whatever actions are necessary for sovereignty."

Numerous elders approved it. They represented ancestors born to live free. They gave delegates two mandates:

(1) Gain international recognition. In September 2007, the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights affirmed it.

(2) "We must always remember that we were once a free People. If we don't, we shall cease to be Lakota."

The right to return to their original free and independent status was asserted. On December 17, 2007, they declared it formally.

In United States v. Sioux Nation (1980), the Supreme Court upheld a $105 million award to eight Sioux tribes. It was compensation for lost land. It was lawlessly taken.

The Court, however, denied what Sioux people most wanted - their land back. As a result, they refused the money. They reasserted their sovereign rights. 

Thirty-two years of compound interest makes the 1980 award worth $400 million today. It's a tiny fraction of what Sioux people lost. They demand and deserve what's rightfully theirs. America's highest court has no sovereignty over their rights. Neither does political Washington.

Lakota people say US law supports them. America systematically broke treaties and stole their land. It's theirs and they want it back. The Republic of Lakota claims it.

On September 29, 2012 Means reiterated what he and others declared in December 2007, saying:

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five state area that encompasses our country are free to join us."

He cited longstanding problems and grievances. They include land theft, resource plunder, poverty, unemployment, repression, and overall human depravation. All of it remains out of sight and mind.

The Republic of Lakota described ongoing genocide as follows:

(1) Mortality

Life expectancy for Lakota men is less than 44 years. It's the lowest of all sovereign countries. It's the highest in America. Infant mortality is threefold higher than the US average. Diseases are a major problem. "Cancer is now at epidemic proportions."

Teenage suicide is150% higher than America's average. One-fourth of Lakota children are fostered or adopted by non-Native people. Doing so destroys their identity and culture. Ward Churchill calls it killing the Indian, saving the man.

(2) Disease

Tuberculosis is 800% higher than America's average. Cervical cancer is fivefold higher. Diabetes is eight times the national average. The Federal Commodity Food Program provides high-sugar foods. They contribute to poor health.

(3) Poverty

Annual median income is $2,600 - $3,500. Poverty affects 97% of Lakotans. Many families can't afford essentials most people take for granted. In winter, many use ovens for heat. Simple luxuries are unheard of. Life is hard, merciless, punishing, and unrelenting.

(4) Unemployment 

It's 80% or higher. Government corruption, cronyism, and indifference destroy normal living opportunities.

(5) Housing

In winter, elderly people die from hypothermia. They freeze to death for lack of heat. One-third of homes lack clean water and sewage. About 40% have no electricity. About 60% of families have no telephone.

Another 60% of homes are infected with potentially fatal black molds. On average, 17 people reside in each household. Many have two to three rooms. Some homes built for six to eight people have up to 30 in them.

(6) Drugs and Alcohol

Over half of adults battle addiction and disease. Alcoholism affects 90% of families. Two known methamphetamine labs operate. Authorities haven't closed them.

(7) Incarceration

Indian children imprisonment exceed whites by 40%. Native People comprise 2% of South Dakota's population. They account for 21% of those imprisoned. 

Indians have the second highest state prison incarceration rate in America. Most live on federal reservations. Less than 2% are where states have jurisdiction.

(8) Culture

It's threatened with extinction. It's federal policy to destroy it. Only 14% of Lakotans speak their language. It's not shared inter-generationally. 

The average fluent Lakotan speaker is 65 years old. In another generation or less, perhaps few or none will remain. Lakotan language skills aren't allowed or taught in US government schools. Nor is much of anything about native history and culture. America wants it destroyed and forgotten.

Lakotan struggle began with the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. They call it "fantasy" US history. France sold America 530 million Native land acres for $15 million. Lakotans owned part of it. They and other Native people weren't consulted.

They've been systematically ignored and violated. From 1778 - 1871, Washington negotiated 372 treaties. Their provisions were systematically spurned. 

America's winning the West involved invading, encroaching, stealing, and occupying their lands. That's how imperialism works. It's the same everywhere.

Throughout the 19th century (and earlier), Washington engaged in military, legal, and political battles against Native Peoples. Their rights were contemptuously denied. They were displaced and exterminated. That's how today's America was created.

The 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie was systematically violated. So were provisions of all other treaties. From 1866 - 1868, Washington let the Bozeman trail go through the "Heart of the Lakota Nation."

It was a short cut to Montana's gold fields. Military forts were built on stolen land along its route. Doing so violated 1851 treaty provisions. Battles ensued. Washington negotiated peace. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty followed. Native People thought they won. Victory was pyrrhic and illusory. 

The Supreme Court's 1883 ex parte Crow Dog decision made no difference. The Court recognized Lakotah freedom and independence. It ruled that tribes held exclusive jurisdiction over their internal affairs. It didn't matter. 

The transcontinental railroad facilitated development, land and resource theft.

In 1885, Congress passed the Major Crimes Act. It extended US jurisdiction into Lakota territory. The same year, the last of the great buffalo herds were exterminated. At one time, they numbered 60 million. Native People relied on them for food.

In 1887, Congress passed the General Allotment Act (the Dawes Act). It ended communal ownership of reservation lands. It distributed 160-acre "allotments" to individual Indians. Tribes lost millions of acres. Wealthy ranchers exploit them today.

In 1888, Congress began prohibiting Indian Spiritual and Prayer Ceremonies. It was part of destroying Native culture. In 1891, a Commissioner of Indian Affairs was authorized. It was to assure Native People obeyed white man's laws.

Many more abuses followed. In Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903), the Supreme Court extralegally recognized near absolute plenary congressional power over Indian affairs. 

It let US authorities steal tribal lands and resources freely. They did so on the pretext of fulfilling federal responsibilities.

Doing so abrogated fundamental indigenous rights unilaterally. The ruling was used to violate hundreds of treaties. Like other Native Peoples, Lakotans were grievously harmed.

Their sacred Black Hills were stolen. So were valued resources on them. Lakotans want back what's rightfully theirs. Their ancestors thought the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty granted them victory. They were wrong.

Yet in 1904, even after Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, some believed the Treaty was "the only instance in the history of the United States where the government has gone to war and afterwards negotiated a peace conceding everything demanded by the enemy and exacting nothing in return."

Until the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, Native People got what no one had the right to deny them in the first place. In fact, rights afforded them nominally never existed in fact.

The entire history of Native People in America reflects horrific struggles lost. From 1492 to today, they experienced promises made and broken. Disenfranchized people remain. Most are bereft of hope. 

On reservations or assimilated, they're out of sight and mind. Once they lived peacefully on their own land. White settlers changed things. Western civilization destroyed their way of life. There's nothing civilized about it.

They're either ignored, mocked, or demonized in films and society. They're called drunks, beasts, primitives, and savages. America always was a white supremacist society. 

Rich powerful elites run it. Native People and most others don't matter. They're systematically used and abused. They're not served. It's the American way.

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

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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

Pressure Builds for Full-Scale War on Syria


Pressure Builds for Full-Scale War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Rhetoric hides intent. Turkey wants safe zones, and perhaps a no-fly zone. Britain and France both said no options are ruled out, including a no-fly zone. Ahead of US November elections, Washington is more low key, but not entirely.

Obama stresses he's open to all options. On September 27, Hillary Clinton met openly with Assad opponents at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. She did also privately with so-called Friends of Syria.

She announced millions of dollars more aid. She claimed it's mostly for humanitarian purposes. America does nothing that way. Everything it does has ulterior motives.

Washington will also supply more communication equipment. It "includ(es) satellite-linked computers, telephones, and cameras, as well as training for" opposition elements and supporters, she said.

She expressed frustration about lack of more aggressive Security Council action. She suggested Washington may bypass the body, saying:

"It is no secret that our attempts to move forward at the UN Security Council have been blocked repeatedly, but the United States is not waiting." She said it before. She left little doubt what she means. Obama's UN address was also belligerent against Iran and Syria. 

Expect military intervention ahead against both countries. It's longstanding policy. Post-November 6 elections, it's coming. All independent governments are vulnerable. 

Syria and Iran top Washington's target list. NATO countries and regional allies are pressured to go along. Some need no prodding. Israel urges it. Britain willingly partnered with America's imperial agenda for decades. 

It's always ready to go to war if asked. It has a belligerent reputation to uphold. David Owen once served as foreign secretary. On September 27, he headlined a London Telegraph op-ed "Only a no-fly zone brokered with Russia can bring peace."

Establishing a no-fly zone or safe havens in Syrian territory assures war. Washington's war on Libya proved what Owen and other observers understand well. 

Effectively he advocated belligerent intervention. He quoted Prime Minister David Cameron in New York saying: "The blood of these young (Syrian) children is a terrible stain on the reputation of the United Nations."

He avoided explaining US and UK involvement. Their bloodstained hands are too obvious to ignore. He was silent on Western aggression on Syria. His government is directly responsible for lost lives. 

He pointed fingers the wrong way. He blamed Security Council members with veto power.  He wants Russia and China to yield to US/UK/French rage for war on Syria.

He wrongfully called conflict there civil. There's nothing civil about it. Syria was invaded. Mercenary death squads were recruited from regional countries. They're given safe havens in bordering countries.

Washington, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and perhaps other imperial allies have been arming, funding, training, and directing them. They're responsible for thousands of deaths. Assad's doing his best to restore peace. He faces stiff headwinds.

Owen said he "was one of the first to argue for a no-fly zone over Libya." He knew full well what would follow. He wants it repeated for Syria. "NATO is the only organization" able to enforce no-fly zone protection, he added.

He wants Russia pressured to go along. His notion of restoring peace is first wage war. Hasn't he paid attention to what's happening in Libya? At age 74, perhaps he's prematurely senile. 

More likely, he wants another country ravaged and dominated by Western powers. He's comfortable perhaps with tens or hundreds of thousands more deaths to make it possible.

In 2011, The New York Times promoted war on Libya. It backs intervention now against Assad. It practically mocked the cold-blooded murder of Press TV correspondent Maya Naser.

A Western-recruited death squad sniper assassinated him. He was doing his job. He was alone and live on air at the time. He was vulnerable from where he reported. 

The Times claimed he was embedded with Syrian forces. None were close by when he died. Press TV's Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada was attacked and injured at the same time.

Both were covering twin Damascus blasts and ensuing fighting. Heroically, they put their lives on the line daily doing it.

Press TV News Room Director Hamid Reza Emadi said:

"We hold Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who provide militants weapons to kill civilians, military personnel and journalists, responsible for killing Maya.

"Press TV will pursue the matter of the murder of Maya and would not let those who killed the correspondent feel like they can kill the media people and get away with it."

Last February, The Times claimed its Syrian correspondent, Anthony Shadid, died from asthma complications. It seemed far-fetched at the time. Death by drowning is more likely. Perhaps cover-up was Times policy.

Shadid's cousin Ed Shadid said he told his wife: "If anything happens to me, I want the world to know that The New York Times killed me." By that he meant he didn't want to go and got little support while there. 

That aside, Times executive editor, Jill Abramson, praised him, saying:

"Anthony died as he lived - determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces." 

On the one hand, Abramson lied both about Shadid and what's ongoing regionally. On the other, Shadid was praised in contrast to how Maya Naser was mocked.

Most important is what's been ongoing in Syria since March 2011, where it's likely heading, and how consistently The Times misreports. 

Russia's been out in front trying to restore calm and peace. On September 28, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressed the UN General Assembly. He reiterated comments he made earlier. The way to end conflict is to adhere to last June's Geneva Agreement, he said. 

"We proposed to adopt a resolution in the UN Security Council that would endorse the Geneva communique as the basis for negotiations at the beginning of the transitional period, but this proposal had been blocked."

"Those who oppose the implementation of the Geneva communique in fact push Syria even deeper into the abyss of bloody sectarian strife."

"Extremist organizations including al-Qaeda have become more active in Syria – they perpetrate terrorist attacks against innocent civilians and civil infrastructure."

He also condemned any unilateral sanctions "imposed by a state or a group of states sidestepping the United Nations to advance their political goals."

Without naming names, he left little doubt he blamed Washington and key NATO allies for ongoing Syrian conflict.

On September 28, China's Xinhua New Agency headlined "Outside Meddling in Syria Threat to Whole World Order: Russian Official," saying:

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said:

"The attempts to look for ways out of the crisis in Syria outside the U.N. Security Council would have very destructive and dangerous consequences for Syria itself, for the Middle East region and, eventually, for the current world order as a whole."

"Implementation of the Libyan model, supporting only one side in this confrontation is a way to nowhere."

He also warned about worrisome regional "deep changes." They'll cause serious repercussions elsewhere for a long time, he added.

On September 28, Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva called "inadmissible clauses" in the UN Human Rights Council's (HRC) Syrian resolution unacceptable, saying:

"One can’t agree with the unilateral conclusions concerning the tragedy in El-Houleh as well as with the fact that these murders are similar to other such incidents in Syria."

She added that other powers supported and encouraged Syrian violence. She left little doubt which ones she meant. It's no secret.

It's also well-known the HRC provided cover for Washington's war on Syria since last year. Its reports are shameless and one-sided. They have no credibility whatever.

On September 28, it extended the mandates of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria, saying:

On September 24, its resolution A/HRC/21/L.32 addressed human rights in Syria. It was adopted 41 - 3. Russia, China and Cuba voted no. India, Uganda, and the Philippines abstained.

Supportive countries will have to explain why they supported bald-faced lies. It's not first time and won't be the last. 

HRC "condemn(ed) in the strongest terms the massacre of the village of Al-Houla near Homs, where the forces of the Government of Syria and members of the Shabbiha were found by the Commission of Inquiry to be the perpetrators of outrageous and heinous crimes…."

HRC and voting countries know Assad had nothing to do with it. Eyewitnesses blamed death squad killers. HRC lied saying otherwise. Doing so support imperial lawlessness.

It called on all parties to cease violence. Mercenaries are entirely responsible. Well-known facts are suppressed. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay defiled her mandate. 

Instead of responsibly "strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights," she spurned them in deference to Western interests.

HRC's so-called COI is an imperial body established to lie. It suppresses truth and full disclosure. It consistently points fingers the wrong way. Its reports ignore credible eye-witness testimonies. Clear evidence is consistently left out.

Washington said it was proud to co-sponsor the resolution. No doubt it's gratified by ravaging one country after another and the millions of deaths it caused. 

HRC systematically avoids condemnation. Instead it welcomes a rogue state member in good standing. How many more millions of corpses will it tolerate?

America's responsible for more global violence, deaths and destruction than the rest of the world combined. Perhaps HRC can explain why this goes entirely whitewashed and unnoticed. 

Perhaps one day a real HRC will replace the sham one now in place. Perhaps truth and full disclosure will have a chance it's been denied for so long.

Syria commented on HRC's latest act of shame, saying:

"(S)peaking as the concerned country, (Syria) condemned the presentation of the draft resolution because it made libelous statements and because the Human Rights Council was based on fundamental principles of dialogue and cooperation, and those were the ways to promote human rights."

"This draft resolution did not reflect the reality in Syria; on the contrary, it was based on accusations and fictitious reports, such as on the Al-Houla massacre, which the Government had condemned in the strongest terms."

"The Commission of Inquiry had not visited Syria, had not arrived to definite conclusions concerning the massacres and had not taken into account the results of the Ad Hoc Committee established by Syria to investigate the crimes."

"The seven co-sponsors had ignored aspects of the Commission of Inquiry’s report on the barbaric acts committed by armed groups in Syria."

"Moreover, the Commission of Inquiry had highlighted the adverse impact of sanctions on Syria, and those were also not included in this draft resolution."

"Some of the co-sponsors forgot that they did not have the right to give advice because they were directly involved in killing the Syrian people and could not call on others to respect human rights before they respected them at home."

"Syria rejected the draft resolution and urged all countries that sincerely wished to help the Syrian people to vote against."

Imperial countries, supportive bodies, and go-along media never say they're sorry. Hegemons ravage humanity for wealth, privilege, and dominance. Supporters back what they should condemn. 

Millions everywhere suffer horrifically. They're on their own to survive and change things. Hopefully they'll try before it's too late.

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

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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, September 29, 2012

Julian Assange Declared Enemy of the State


Julian Assange Declared Enemy of the State

by Stephen Lendman

America is Exhibit A on how democracies aren't supposed to work. Of course, the US isn't one now and never was. 

Contrary to popular myth, it wasn't established as one. America's founders had other ideas. From May to September 1787, 55 self-serving wheeler-dealers met in Philadelphia. Today we'd call them a Wall Street crowd. What they designed fell far short of common beliefs.

Duplicitous politicians, bankers, lawyers, and merchants created a document serving them. Its Preamble gave it away, saying: "We the people of the United States….do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America."

In fact, "the people" were left out then and now. The ones they meant were themselves and other privileged elites. Only white male property owners mattered. They alone were enfranchised. At the time, they comprised less than 15% of the electorate.

Women were considered homemakers and child bearers. Blacks were property, not people. Native Americans were in the way. Slaughtering and displacing them was policy.

From 18th century America to today, democracy has been pure fantasy. The American revolution was little more than operating a similar system under new management. Everything changed but stayed the same.

Government by "the people" was no different than under monarchal or autocratic rule. Constitutional provisions are whatever government does or does not do in whatever way it wishes. Ordinary people had no say then or now. They're entirely left out by design.

They don't govern. They are governed. The supreme law of the land, in fact, was a huge flop. Bill of Rights provisions enacted in 1891 made little difference for ordinary folks. Privileged ones wanted them for themselves.

John Adams said government should be run by "the rich, the well born, and the able." According to John Jay, America's first Supreme Court chief justice, the nation should be governed by people who owned it. It's been that way from inception.

Madison is wrongfully called "the Father of the Constitution." In Philadelphia, he was practically a nobody compared to others there.

Besides later becoming America's fourth president, he was best known for having kept detailed notes. From them, we know what happened.

A year after the Constitution was adopted, he said he wasn't among those who thought it was a "faultless work." Not at all. Given conflicting personal and states' interests, it was the best framers could agree on at the time.

Ten years later, he became extremely critical about how the document was written. None of the founders called the Constitution a glorious achievement. They went along because it was better than nothing.

Jefferson and Adams weren't involved. Both were abroad as ambassadors to France and Britain respectively. 

Adams was consider the leading constitutional theorist of his time. His views mattered. Throughout his government service and thereafter, he criticized the Constitution in private correspondence.

Jefferson was just as displeased. Until it was added, he objected to omitting a Bill of Rights. He and Madison wanted additional provisions neither got. 

They urged "freedom from monopolies and commerce (corporate giants) and "freedom from a permanent military (standing armies)." Adams and Hamilton disagreed and prevailed.

Why does all this matter? Because it's preamble to America today. From inception, it's been more hypocrisy than democracy. Now, in fact, what few rights remain are threatened. They're eroding fast en route to disappearing altogether.

Targeting Assange is one of many examples. Doing so means we're all threatened. Free expression and dissent are endangered. Revealing ugly truths power brokers want suppressed risks putting your freedom and perhaps life in danger.

Assange is a political refugee. Since mid-June, he's been holed up in Ecuador's UK embassy. In mid-August, he was granted political asylum. Britain's acting on America's behalf. So is Sweden.

Alleged rape charges were fabricated. A Swedish prosecutor found no wrongdoing and dismissed the case. Another on orders from her own government or perhaps Washington reopened it and issued an extradition order.

At issue is getting Assange to Sweden on false pretenses. Once there, he'll be shipped off to America for prosecution.

An earlier New York Times report said a secret grand jury convened. A sealed indictment charges Assange with spying under the 1917 Espionage Act. 

Doing so contradicts the law's intent. It doesn't deter Justice Department officials from using it. It passed shortly after America's entry into WW I. Over time, it's been amended numerous times. 

Originally it prohibited interfering with US military operations, supporting the nation's enemies, promoting insubordination in the ranks, or obstructing military recruitment.

In 1921, its most controversial provisions were repealed. In 2010, Bradley Manning was charged under the Act. Technically its under Articles 104 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It includes parts of the US Code.

Assange's indictment is ready to be made public whenever Washington wishes to do so. Espionage Act violations will be charged. 

Stratfor Global Intelligence suggested it last year. A case against him has been building for some time. At issue is getting him out of circulation for life or perhaps executing him. Doing so would send a powerful message to deter other whistleblowers.

Obama waged war more aggressively against them than all previous US presidents combined. Assange and Bradley Manning are best known. Anyone exposing dirty secrets officials want suppressed is vulnerable.

The message delivered is we know who and where you are or will find out. We'll throw you in gulag hell, keep you there, or kill you. Dare challenge their resolve and find out they're not kidding.

America twists legal meanings to serve its interests. Bogus charges facilitate hanging innocent victims out to dry. Headlines portray Assange as public enemy number one. For months, he hasn't had a moment's peace.

According to declassified Air Force counterintelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), he and military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or its supporters may be declared "enemies of the state."

The charge carries a possible death sentence if convicted. Article 104 of the US Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) states:

"Any person who….aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy" in any way, "with proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly, shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct."

On September 27, Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights president emeritus and Assange's legal adviser, was interviewed on Democracy Now.

He said FOIA obtained information revealed that a UK-based US analyst, "a soldier who had top security clearance, (became) sympathetic with Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks."

An investigation followed under UCMJ Article 104. She met with friends of Assange. From "the face of the documents, it appears that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are looked at as the enemy."

If so, "it has serious consequences. We all know what you can do with an enemy. You can drone him. You can capture him. You can put him in a cell forever." 

"So it’s very, very serious. That’s one possibility, or possibly very likely, from reading these documents, (it appears) that WikiLeaks is an enemy and Julian Assange is an enemy."

"The other possibility is that WikiLeaks is the means by which this military analyst is communicating with the enemy. She’s turning over documents." 

"She never did, but she’s allegedly possibly going to turn over documents to WikiLeaks, which then, by doing that, she’s communicating with the enemy, because WikiLeaks is going to publish them, and al-Qaeda or somebody who the US has already designated an enemy is going to read them."

Either possibility is terrible for Assange, WikiLeaks, and journalists. 

"It’s terrible because if WikiLeaks is an enemy—I’ve already said how serious that would be if Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are an enemy—if they’re the means of communicating with the enemy, they could still be charged—WikiLeaks could be charged—with aiding the enemy, could be arrested under the National Defense Authorization Act, could be kept at Guantánamo, etc."

Washington refuses to say one way or another if Assange is targeted for prosecution. If not, why not say so? Why persist with the ruse of extraditing him to Sweden on bogus charges. The scheme, of course, is first get him there. Then ship him off to gulag hell in America.

It's no secret. Obama officials want blood. They want Assange, Manning and other whistleblowers hung out to dry. They want no interference in imperial plans abroad or repressive homeland ones.

Doing so makes perpetrators vulnerable. Hegemons show no mercy. US ruthlessness is well known. It's longstanding. It's worse now than ever. Millions of corpses and the largest prison gulag in the world attest to is viciousness.

Aiding or communicating with the enemy charges are fraudulent. Nonetheless, Bradley Manning faces one count under UCMJ's Article 104. He's also charged with numerous other UCMJ violations.

Washington wants him imprisoned for life or perhaps dead. Assange is likely targeted the same way. Habeas, due process, and  overall judicial fairness are dead letters. Hanging military and right-wing court judges show no mercy.

Kangaroo justice is policy. That's how police states work. Whatever Washington says goes. It doesn't matter what's true or false, right or wrong. 

Fairness isn't in America's vocabulary. Victims are guilty by accusation. Manning, Assange, other whistleblowers, and targeted supporters haven't a chance. America's framers created the ways and means. 

Modern-day scoundrels could teach them a thing or two. America was never beautiful. Now it's unsafe to live in.

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

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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

Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution


Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed Terry's fight for life. He was scheduled to die on October 3. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina spared him for now. More on her ruling and what's next below.

Terry was raised violently. His mother abused him physically and emotionally. She beat him mercilessly for any reason. She used fists, belts, extension cords, switches, anything she could get her hands on.

His siblings got similar treatment. His clemency petition recounted one incident his half-sister Theresa described:

"One time my mother poured hot boiling water on me when I was a toddler. I remember being in the hospital after my mother burnt me. The nurses would put white towels on the floor and try to help me walk."

"I would look behind me and see my own bloody footprints on the towels. For a long time after I got out of the hospital, layers of skin would peel off my feet when my mother bathed me."

Terry's mother (Pat Kemp) beat him at home and at school. His elementary school classmates and teachers recalled one incident. On a flight of stairs, she "wail(ed) on him as hard as she could."

She beat him on the head and back. He tried putting his arms up for protection. He begged her to stop. She ignored him. Blood flowed freely from areas struck.

At age 10, his mother married Ernest Kemp. He was alcoholic and violent. His older siblings, Theresa and Thomas, fled home to escape. Terry was alone. He'd hide in his room. He locked his door. Ernest broke through and beat him. No one was there to help.

At age 6, an older boy raped him. So did a former teacher and another older man. He was raped multiple times for years. He was traumatized. He lived in constant fear. He suffered terribly. He turned to alcohol, drugs, and self-mutilation to cope.

His lawyer said years of "unrelenting abuse and neglect made (him) an easy target for sexual predators." They took full advantage.

He never got counseling or other supportive help. Instead, people he turned to abused him. Tragedy resulted. At age 16, he was convicted on burglary charges. 

He was interned at a juvenile detention center. Two older males gang raped him. He said he "always felt that just around the corner someone might be coming." He had nowhere to hide or anyone to turn to for help.

At age 17, he struck back. Rage overwhelmed him. 

He killed one of his abusers. He stabbed Herbert Hamilton multiple times to death. He got 27 years imprisonment on third-degree murder charges.

Sexual abuse expert David Lisak said he "suffered a succession of sustained traumas over the course of his childhood…." They "utterly undermined his development" and affected his behavior.

The way he killed Hamilton reflected "desperat(ion and) rage that (he) was increasingly feeling towards all of the men who had exploited, abused, and raped him over the course of his life."

At age 18, he killed Amos Norwood. He raped Terry multiple times. He directed a Youth Theater Fellowship. He also led acolytes (alter boys) at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. He took full advantage. Terry was one of many children he raped. 

He did so violently. He'd pin Terry down, hit him in the face with his belt, and bite his ears. Over time, beatings worsened. On June 10, 1984, the day before Terry killed him, Norwood violently assaulted him. He drove him to an isolated unlit parking lot. Terry described what happened as follows:

"He made me lean against his car and he penetrated me from behind….He was rough….I felt hurt and mad because he was rough with me that night. He forced himself into me. I told him to stop. He kept on. I was clenching my anus so tight trying to stop him, but he wouldn't stop, and it hurt so bad I screamed."

At home, his underwear was bloodstained. The next day, he was still in pain. His anger built steadily for months. He described how he felt, saying:

"I was very angry and very scared, and I just snapped. I wanted him to feel the pain that he made me feel. I couldn't think clearly. I felt such anger and betrayal at everyone who used me and betrayed me. I couldn't think of anything else."

His lawyer called his first 18 years devastating for his psychological and emotional development. Those years "were nothing short of tragic." 

"He was physically (and emotionally) abused by his mother and stepfather and was raped and sexually assaulted repeatedly by adults who should have protected him."

Over time, he became confused, conflicted, scared and enraged. Years of abuse took its toll. The juvenile center gang rape incident traumatized him further. 

He suffered nightmares about being raped or attempts to do it. He awoke in "utter terror." He became increasingly broken, withdrawn, and angry.

Lisak said "the violence and abuse (he) suffered was so severe, and so sustained, that I would not expect any child subjected to such unrelenting trauma to emerge without severe and long-lasting psychological damage."

He suffered from PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and major depression. At age 44, he still has secondary PTSD symptoms, constant anxiety, uneasy sleep, and nightmares.

As a high school senior, his behavior was erratic. He'd scream and yell for no reason. He was paranoid. He thought everyone was out to get him. At night, he'd cry himself to sleep. He thought he was someone no one could love or respect.

On the day he killed Norwood, he was three and a half months past his 18th birthday. Legally he was an adult subject to the death penalty if convicted and so ordered.

Lisak said the killing was caused by his acutely traumatized state. Fear, terror and rage built up for years. Norwood's death resulted. So did Hamilton's months earlier.

On September 17, Williams' clemency plea was denied. His lawyers re-petitioned. On September 27, his second hearing was held. On September 28, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons took his plea under advisement. It didn't say when it would rule.

The same day, Judge Sarmina stayed his execution. She cited prosecutorial suppression of evidence. It might have persuaded jurors to spare him. 

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold or reject her ruling. District Attorney Seth Williams denounced it. That's what prosecutors do. They want convictions, not exonerations. They don't like having their malfeasance exposed to public view.

Philly.com (Philadelphia Inquirer) writer Joseph Slobodzian headlined "D.A. appeals stay of Terrance William' execution," saying:

He wants him killed, not spared. He'll have to wait until High Court judges decide. If they uphold Sarmina, Governor Tom Corbett "would have to sign a new warrant setting a new execution date."

"It's virtually new terrain for the Supreme Court and governor." Since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, Pennsylvania only executed three prisoners. 

They did so after "individuals gave up appeals and asked to die." The last one put to death was in 1999. "The last contested execution in which last-minute appeals were an issue for the state Supreme Court and governor was in 1962."

On September 28, attorney Shawn Nolan issued a statement following Sarmina's ruling. In part he said:

"On behalf of Terry Williams, we are extremely pleased that Judge Sarmina….vacated the death penalty based on misconduct by the prosecution….The Philadelphia District Attorney should stop appeal(ling) and stop fighting to have Terry executed."

Attorney General Seth Williams had detailed evidence of how Terry was abused for years. He and his assistants concealed "critical evidence from jurors and continued hiding it for 28 years."

Sarmina found that he "played games and took unfair measures to win."

Nolan expressed confidence that High Court judges won't overturn her ruling. It's "well-reasoned" and accurate based on clear evidence.

He's also "hopeful that Governor Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons will now grant clemency in light of Judge Sarmina's decision and the significance of" prosecutorial malfeasance.

Previous Attorney General Linda Kelly "voted in favor of clemency. Surely, after considering new evidence, they will not allow this execution to go forward."

A previous article said clemency isn't good enough. If granted, he'll be spared execution by lethal injection. He'll still face life imprisonment without parole. It's hard deciding what's worse - a living death or the real thing.

Terry endured torment from age six. Aren't 38 years enough? He deserves professional counseling, support, love, care, and release when able to cope on his own. 

Odds for a Black man getting this type justice are virtually nil. Jim Crow prosecutors and judges prefer throwing the book at them. Doing so increases their advancement prospects.

A Final Comment

As of April 2012, nearly 3,200 US prisoners are on death row. California, Florida and Texas are top ranked. Pennsylvania is number four with 204 sentenced to die. Most nationwide are Black or Hispanic.

Many were wrongfully convicted. Rarely do any get second chances. While heading Northwestern University's Medill Innocence Project, Professor David Protess and teams of students uncovered 13 wrongful death penalty convictions. One was just hours from execution.

In 2000, their work got then Illinois Governor George Ryan to declare a capital punishment moratorium. On January 11, 2003, two days before leaving office, he cleared death row.

He commuted sentences for 163 men and four women to life in prison. He extended a moratorium on future executions. In March 2011, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation prohibiting them henceforth. He did so saying it's impossible "to create a perfect, mistake-free death penalty system."

Protess' landmark work created a media and university firestorm. It unfairly led to his dismissal. He literally was suspended by email with no explanation. Doing the right thing got him fired. In the process, he rattled powerful cages.

Prosecutors, judges, and other state and local officials don't like being held to account. Dirty linen goes with their territory. They want it buried and forgotten. Protess revealed what they wanted concealed.

His treatment constituted textbook academic lynching. His distinguished work deserved praise, not denigration and banishment.

He now heads the Chicago Innocence Project (ChIP). He continues his non-profit investigative work. Its mission statement explains:

"The Chicago Innocence Project investigates cases in which prisoners may have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, with priority to murder cases that resulted in sentences of death or life without parole." 

"We involve college students, community residents, private investigators and journalists in the reporting process." 

"We do not represent clients in criminal cases, but after our investigation is completed, outside counsel may bring new evidence of innocence to court." 

"Our fundamental goal is to expose and remedy wrongdoing by the criminal justice system."

Isn't that what judicial fairness is supposed to be? In America and too often elsewhere in so-called democracies, it falls woefully short. 

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

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Warmonger Netanyahu at UN


Warmonger Netanyahu at UN

by Stephen Lendman

Some Israeli officials around him think he's deranged for good reason. His satanic eyes alone give him away. He's a world class thug, a menace. He heads Israel's most extremist ever government.

He exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon and previous hardline leaders. He's an embarrassment to democratic governance. He should have been kept out of New York instead of let in. He should be locked up for humanity's sake.

He represents state terrorism, occupation harshness, racist hate, neoliberal rapaciousness, and potential catastrophic regional war able to go global if waged.

He deplores peace. He's all take and no give. He calls diplomacy a four-letter word. He turns a blind eye to equity and justice. He's contemptuous of human and civil rights. He maliciously calls Iran's peaceful nuclear program an existential threat. 

He's silent on Israel's stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. He won't say it's state policy to use them if threatened.

He's unfit to serve. He's a menacing danger to humanity. On September 27, he proved it in New York. At the same time, he made a fool of himself before a world audience.

His cartoon bomb went viral. It bombed. He looked more cartoonish than his prop. One cartoonist showed a picture of Daffy Duck's head exploding. An observer referred to Bibi's "Clint Eastwood chair" moment.

Another compared his explosive to what Warner Bros.' animated character Wile E. Coyote used in Looney Tunes cartoons. A London Guardian commentator said his stunt succeeded but not the way he intended. 

The New Yorker said "the ridiculous deserves ridicule." His "graphic, which he apparently made at Kinkos, is so ridiculous."

A Washington Post op-ed asked if his stunt was a "poor choice of a ridiculously-looking, over-simplified bomb cartoon (or) a calculated choice (to) create (an) indelible image….everyone would be talking about?"

He didn't calculate what they'd say. The Wall Street Journal compared him to Nikitia Krushchev's shoe-banging incident.

What's at stake, of course, is war or peace. Netanyahu's "red line" bluster wore thin long ago. 

The Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more 380 groups with thousands of members. It asked: "Bibi, where's the red line on apartheid?"

Activist Ozzy BonHalen posted a green and white graphic showing Palestinian land lost since 1946.

Then, Palestine was all green. After the 1947 UN partition Plan, 44% remained. After June 1967, it was 22%. All that's left now are  isolated occupied cantons and besieged Gaza.

Netanyahu's claims about Iran developing nuclear weapons, and the Islamic Republic posing an existential threat are falsified, and he knows it.

So do world leaders. Few have the courage to say so. Even fewer denounce Israel's nuclear stockpile.

Like he always does on television and other interviews, Netanyahu raged against Iran. He unjustly accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of anti-Semitic rants. He also falsely claimed he called the holocaust a lie and wants Israel destroyed.

"This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries."

"In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others."

Iran threatens no one. Netanyahu knows it. It hasn't attacked another country in over two centuries. In contrast, Israel is a modern-day Sparta. It was created in blood and shed it ever since. 

It commits daily violence against defenseless Palestinians. It threatens regional conflict able to go global. He menaces Jews as well as Muslims. Most Israelis want no more of him.

A Haaretz poll days earlier revealed that half the Israeli public "greatly fear(s)" for Israel's survival in case of war against Iran. Most respondents think the chance it may happen "medium" or "high."

Tel Aviv University statistician Camil Fuchs conducted the poll. Only one-fourth of those interviewed aren't afraid for Israel's future. Less than one-fifth favor war without US support.

Nearly five in six Palestinians and 77% of Israelis believe attacking Iran will launch a regional conflict.

As long as Netanyahu remains prime minister, war remains prioritized. He compared Israeli "civilization" to Iranian "barbarism." Doing so inverts truth. Iran promotes peace, diplomacy, and cooperation. Israel can't wait to start another war.

Like Obama, Netanyahu is a serial liar. They're both world class thugs. They claim aggressive wars are liberating ones or waged in self-defense. They call mass slaughter and destruction humanitarian intervention.

They think inviolable rule of law principles are quaint and out of date. They believe "do unto others" no longer matters. They champion might over right. 

They dismissively ignore human need. They believe their way alone is the right way. They target non-believers with death and destruction.

"The hour is getting late, very late," Netanyahu raged. Iran represents "a fanatic ideology bent on world domination." 

"It makes little difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world's most dangerous terrorist regime, or the world's most dangerous terrorist organization."

His entire anti-Iranian rant sounded more like a bad film script no respectable producer would approve.

Make no mistake. He's hell bent for war and intends to get it. Obama's no different. Disagreement between them is only over timing. 

Both leaders ignore over 100 participating Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries expressing support for Iran. 

In late August, they met in Tehran for six days. The New York Times said NAM "handed….Iran a diplomatic victory." The Christian Science Monitor suggested efforts to isolate Iran failed. 

The Russian International News Agency (RIA Novosti) said participants supported Iran and its peaceful nuclear program. The Tehran Times said "NAM summit set back US-Israeli campaign to isolate Iran."

Press TV called the summit the "most important" political event in the Islamic Republic's history. Iran emerged standing tall. Its government gained prestige. America, Israel, and rogue allies got long overdue black eyes. 

A final communique contained around 700 clauses. Topics addressed included: 

opposition to the misuse of human rights;

global nuclear disarmament; 

opposition to racism and Islamophobia;

support for Iran's peaceful nuclear program;

opposition to US sanctions;

opposition to outside interference in Syria's internal affairs;

support for national sovereignty; and

solidarity with and support for Palestinian rights.

Perhaps countries at a future summit will denounce US and Israeli lawlessness and distance themselves from it.

Netanyahu spoke two days after Obama. He suppressed the worst of US crimes. He couldn't disguise longstanding American imperial arrogance. 

He railed unjustifiably against Iran. He barely stopped short of declaring war. He came close, saying:

"Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained."

"It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear arms race in the region and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty."

"That is why….the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (There's) still time, (but it's) not unlimited."

He has reelection on his mind. He won't act until post-November 6.

War plans are longstanding. All independent governments are targeted. World dominance depends on replacing them with pro-Western puppet ones. Syria and Iran are prime targets.

On September 28, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "White House irked by Netanyahu's 'red line' speech, reverts to Iran diplomacy," saying:

Hillary Clinton "berated" his presentation. "Neither released a statement" following their post-speech conversation.

DF sources claim "Clinton made it clear that (Obama won't) tolerate" red line rants. He's focused on reelection. Then he'll act in a second term. So will Romney if he wins. Increasingly it looks unlikely.

DF cited "Washington sources" saying "White House and Israeli emissaries (agree) that Israel will hold back" until post-election. Netanyahu, of course, wouldn't dare attack Iran without US approval and support. Threatening otherwise is meaningless bluster.

In the mean time, Obama established a "special team." It'll set out an "end game for Iran."

It was set out long ago. Only its timing is unknown. It's also subject to change. So are tactics to achieve objectives. That's how wars are planned and waged even after launching them. 

Obama and Netanyahu are ruthless and irresponsible. They're mad dog leaders. Both threaten humanity. Anything ahead is possible. Risking regional conflict able to go global is madness. 

Watch for diplomatic toing and froing to play out ahead of bombs away in some form. It's practically written in the stars. It's been in Pentagon plans for years. The same goes for Syria and other targeted countries. Washington has a long list.

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

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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