statism watch

Archive for April 20th, 2010

‘Vast’ biometric database prompts troops to open fire on vehicle, 4 unarmed Afghans killed

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The military in Afghanistan has, as revealed in this article, a biometric database which “includes tens of thousands of civilians as well as suspected insurgents” in the words of an army spokesman.

That technology is being field trialed and tested in Afghanistan, and along with supporting systems – surveillance cameras, drones, blimps, checkpoints, biometric ID, militarized police, face scanning – will be mounting a full-scale invasion of Canada before long. It’s already at the gates. Even if you don’t care about the war in Afghanistan, even if you don’t care that the brown people are being killed off over there – there are over a million dead Iraqis as a result of that war alone – you should care about this because the same military control system is coming for you.

Flashback: U.S. Troops Apologize For Wikileaks Massacre Video | Canadian forces covered up shooting of sleeping 17-yr old: Afghan translator | US special forces ‘tried to cover-up’ botched Khataba raid in Afghanistan | Pakistan air strike ‘kills 71 civilians’ | WikiLeaks releases video of alleged U.S. helicopter attack on Reuters reporters | 1 in 3 Killed by U.S. Drone Attacks In Pakistan Are Civilians | Afghan ministers voice anger as civilians killed in Nato air strike | Five civilians killed in Nato rocket attack in Afghanistan | Suspected US drone ‘kills 12′ in Pakistan | U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan | US Air Force confirms new ‘Beast of Kandahar’ drone | German army chief resigns over Afghanistan air strike | Clinton confronted by Pakistanis over attacks by aerial drones | UN: Drone attacks may violate international law | US drone ’shot down over Somalia’ | NATO pledges probe of deadly Afghan air strike; civilians killed | Pakistan remains silent as U.S. air attack kills 80 | Afghan Airstrike Video Goes Down the Memory Hole | Homing chips are CIA’s latest weapon against ‘al-Qaida’ targets hiding in Pakistan’s tribal belt | CIA: Our Drones are Killing Terrorists. Promise | US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians | NATO denies air strike killed Afghan civilians | Don’t-ask-don’t-tell Policy: Pakistan and U.S. Have Tacit Deal On Airstrikes | Death toll climbs after U.S. air strike in Pakistan

Elyas Wahdat, Reuters
April 20, 2010

KHOST, Afghanistan (Reuters) – NATO troops opened fire on a vehicle in southeast Afghanistan, killing four unarmed Afghans, the alliance said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of recent incidents the United Nations has called disturbing.

The father of two of the victims said three of those killed were teenagers and the fourth was a policeman. They were returning from a volleyball match, added Rahmatullah Mansoor, a judge in Khost’s provincial court.

NATO initially said two were “known insurgents” but later acknowledged all may have been civilians.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the incident in a written statement saying the four were civilians and the act went against foreign troops’ commitment to protect the public.

The issue of civilian casualties caused by foreign forces is an emotive one in Afghanistan and has undermined public support for their presence in the country. In the latest incident, troops fired on the vehicle after it accelerated toward their convoy in Khost province and ignored light signals and warning shots, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

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U.S. Troops Apologize For Wikileaks Massacre Video

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

It’s important to point out here that Kim Zetter of Wired also interviewed Ethan Cord, who stated that a firefight was in progress nearby and that “when I did come up on the scene, there was an RPG as well as AK-47s there…. You just don’t walk around with an RPG in Iraq, especially three blocks away from a firefight…. Personally, I believe the first attack on the group standing by the wall was appropriate, was warranted by the rules of engagement. They did have weapons there. However, I don’t feel that the attack on the [rescue] van was necessary.” You can watch the video below and make up your own mind.

Flashback: Canadian forces covered up shooting of sleeping 17-yr old: Afghan translator | US special forces ‘tried to cover-up’ botched Khataba raid in Afghanistan | Pakistan air strike ‘kills 71 civilians’ | WikiLeaks releases video of alleged U.S. helicopter attack on Reuters reporters | 1 in 3 Killed by U.S. Drone Attacks In Pakistan Are Civilians | Afghan ministers voice anger as civilians killed in Nato air strike | Five civilians killed in Nato rocket attack in Afghanistan | Suspected US drone ‘kills 12′ in Pakistan | U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan | US Air Force confirms new ‘Beast of Kandahar’ drone | German army chief resigns over Afghanistan air strike | Clinton confronted by Pakistanis over attacks by aerial drones | UN: Drone attacks may violate international law | US drone ’shot down over Somalia’ | NATO pledges probe of deadly Afghan air strike; civilians killed | Pakistan remains silent as U.S. air attack kills 80 | Afghan Airstrike Video Goes Down the Memory Hole | Homing chips are CIA’s latest weapon against ‘al-Qaida’ targets hiding in Pakistan’s tribal belt | CIA: Our Drones are Killing Terrorists. Promise | US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians | NATO denies air strike killed Afghan civilians | Don’t-ask-don’t-tell Policy: Pakistan and U.S. Have Tacit Deal On Airstrikes | Death toll climbs after U.S. air strike in Pakistan

Paul Joseph Watson, PrisonPlanet.com
April 20, 2010

Two soldiers who were in the same company as the culprits featured in the infamous Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” video, which showed troops in Apache helicopters slaughtering Reuters cameramen and children while laughing about it, have apologized for the massacre while stating that the footage only begins to depict the suffering inflicted upon innocent Iraqis as a consequence of the occupation.

The Wikileaks video provoked an international firestorm earlier this month after it showed U.S. troops slaughtering over a dozen innocent people, including two Reuters employees and the father of two children who were trapped in a rescue vehicle that also came under fire.

The two children, Sajad Salah and his little sister Duaa Salah, survived but were badly wounded. One of the soldiers who wrote the letter of apology for the massacre, Ethan McCord, was the man who rescued the children from the van after his colleagues had finished bombarding it with gunfire, conscious of the fact that children were inside, while chuckling and making excuses for themselves.

Former U.S. Army specialists Josh Stieber and Ethan McCord have now publicly apologized for the massacre, expressing in an open letter to the Iraqi people their sorrow at the incident while pointing out that it represents just one example of the brutal suffering inflicted on the Iraqis since the March 2003 invasion.

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The Economist On Why Copyright Needs To Return To Its Roots

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Flashback: Big Content’s dystopian wish-list for the US gov’t: spyware, censorship, physical searches and SWAT teams | Thousands condemn secrecy of New Zealand round of internet copyright talks | ACTA Draft: No Internet for Copyright Scofflaws | Entire Text of ACTA Treaty Leaks to Online Rights Website | Revealed: ACTA to cover seven categories of intellectual property | New ACTA Leaks Complete Picture of Oppressive Global Copyright Treaty | EU Parliament votes down ACTA global copyright resolution by overwhelming margin | ACTA Internet Chapter Leaks: Renegotiates WIPO, Sets 3 Strikes as Model | ACTA Is Called An ‘Executive Agreement’ To Implement Restrictive Copyright With Less Hassle Than A Treaty | ACTA One Step Closer To Being Done; Concerns About Transparency Ignored | UK MPs frozen out of super-secret ACTA copyright talks | Reading Between The Still Secret Lines Of The ACTA Negotiations | Beyond ACTA: Proposed EU — Canada Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Leaks | New Leaks of Secret ACTA Copyright Law Reveal Oppressive ‘Global DMCA’ | MPAA Says Critics of Secret Copyright Treaty Hate Hollywood | ACTA Threatens Made-in-Canada Copyright Policy | More ACTA Details Leak: It’s An Entertainment Industry Wishlist | Six Days Left: Canadian Net Users Caught As Copyright Consultation Nears Conclusion | MP Charlie Angus on copyright: industry lobby pulling for ‘dead business model’ | Ottawa denies altering public’s ECopyright Consultation submissions | Security guards stop MPs, students from distributing fair use flyers at Toronto copyright townhall | Can The Public Be Heard On Copyright Issues? | Copyright Consultation Launches: Time For Canadians To Speak Out | Third stab at copyright law ‘reform’ to kick off with consultations | Time to slay Canadian file-sharing myths | Canadian copyright lobbyists leaned on “independent” researchers to change report on file-sharing | Think tank plagiarizes, pulls report on Canadian piracy | Obama Administration Claims Copyright Treaty Involves State Secrets | Latest Round of Closed-Door ACTA Copyright Negotiations Wrap Up | Digital rights groups sue for access to secret ACTA treaty | Critics waging a cyber offensive to fight copyright changes | Canadian Industry Minister lies about Canadian DMCA on national radio, then hangs up | The Canadian DMCA: Check the Fine Print | Government ready to drop copyright bomb | Transparency needed on ACTA | Revamped copyright law targets electronic devices | New Attempt to Align Canada’s Copyright Act with USA Coming Soon | Canadian DMCA To Be Introduced Tomorrow Morning?

Greg Fenton, Techdirt.com
April 20, 2010

An article in The Economist from earlier this month highlights what many Techdirt readers know well: the current state vs the historical intent of copyright brought forward by The Statute Of Anne.

When Queen Anne gave her assent on April 10th the following year–300 years ago this week–to “An act for the encouragement of learning” they were less enthused. Parliament had given them rights, but it had set a time limit on them: 21 years for books already in print and 14 years for new ones, with an additional 14 years if the author was still alive when the first term ran out.

Thinking about the times, one could see how such a system might encourage the creation of more works of art. An artist is given a limited time on which they have a monopoly on the production of copies of their works, a limited time for exclusively monetizing their works via those copies. After 14, 21 or possibly 28 years, the author had better have another work available to copyright if they decide to continue living off the proceeds of their works.

But today’s rules give no such incentive. An artist that creates a popular work is almost guaranteed of being able to derive income from that single success well into their afterlife. Not only is the artist not incentivized to continue their creation, some of their descendant generations can rest on their laurels, allowing lawyers to gather income for them — often from well-intentioned future artists who actually are trying to create new work from the existing.

The Economist goes on to highlight:

Copyright was originally the grant of a temporary government-supported monopoly on copying a work, not a property right.

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Toronto police disclose Tasers often used on mentally ill

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Raccoons? Fine. Shock the monkey. This willingness to whip out a TASER, the modern day equivalent of the cattleprods in Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale – well, that’s just disturbed.

Flashback: PQ wants probe after Taser used on mentally challenged man

Kelly Grant, The Globe and Mail
April 20, 2010

New data, part of an annual report on the use of stun guns, being watched by human rights group

Toronto police zapped or threatened with stun guns at least 50 people with mental-health problems last year, according to a new report that provides the most detailed information yet on how local officers use the controversial weapon.

The 50 suspects escorted to a psychiatric facilities after tasering incidents in 2009 are part of a broader category of 80 “emotional disturbed” subjects who make up about one-third of those tasered by Toronto Police.

They narrowly edged out drunks and drug users as the most frequent targets of conducted energy weapons, but most of the at least 246 citizens who wound up on the wrong end of a taser last year had some combination of substance abuse, mental illness or emotional trouble.

Hilary Homes, a security campaigner for Amnesty International Canada, called the report a rare instance of hard numbers on tasers and the mentally ill that confirms the group’s suspicions.

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Climate sceptic wins landmark data victory ‘for price of a stamp’

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Which is about a stamp more than infinitely reproducible data that public decisions are being based on ought to cost. Open source or go home, because we don’t believe you anymore. The pattern of deceit and obfuscation exhibited by the climate science establishment – with its funding enticements and systemic confirmation bias – points to much more than mere mistaken or over-exuberant science.

Flashback: Climategate whitewash: Climate-change partisans find mere sins of omission | Climategate Investigation A Monumental Whitewash | New chief Climategate investigator failed to declare eco directorship| A perfect storm is brewing for the IPCC | UK: University at center of Climategate accused of misleading MPs, deleting information | Global warming panel to get independent review | Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels | Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995 | Leaked climate change emails scientist ‘hid’ data flaws | Canadian scientist says UN’s global warming panel ‘crossing the line’ | Manufactured ‘Science’: Another IPCC Scientist Reveals How UN Scientists talked about ‘trying to make IPCC report so dramatic that US would just have to sign Kyoto Protocol’ | Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified | UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters | The IPCC glacier meltdown: More global warming fraud exposed | Taxpayers’ millions paid to Indian institute run by UN IPCC climate chief | Climategate: A 2,000-page epic of science and skepticism – Part 2 | Climategate: Al Gore lies | Climategate: A 2,000-page epic of science and skepticism – Part 1 | If Climategate Is No Big Deal, Why Are Questions About It Met With An Armed Response? | Climategate: Investigations into climate fraud fixed | ‘Independent’ United Nations panel to examine Climategate evidence | Bombshell UN Climate Documents Reveal Planned “End Run” Around National Sovereignty | Climategate: Global Warming scientists placed under investigation | Latest Climategate revelation: Climate change data dumped | Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation | Obama’s ‘Science Czar’ John Holdren Friend of Climate Deception Lab | “Climategate”: Peer-Review System Was Hijacked By Warming Alarmists | Top Climatology Lab Hacked, E-Mails Reveal Biased Science | E-mails indicate EPA suppressed report skeptical of global warming | Polar bear expert barred from conference by global warming advocates | Top Japanese Scientists: Warming Is Not Caused By Human Activity | IPCC caught with false figures, doubt cast on accuracy of global temperature record

Fred Pearce, The Guardian
April 20, 2010

Belfast ecologist forced to hand over tree-ring data describes order from information commission as a ‘staggering injustice’

An arch-critic of climate scientists has won a major victory in his campaign to win access to British university data that could reveal details of Europe’s past climate.

In a landmark ruling, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has ruled that Queen’s University Belfast must hand over data obtained during 40 years of research into 7,000 years of Irish tree rings to a City banker and part-time climate analyst, Doug Keenan.

This week, the Belfast ecologist who collected most of the data, Professor Mike Baillie, described the ruling as “a staggering injustice … We are the ones who trudged miles over bogs and fields carrying chain saws. We prepared the samples and – using quite a lot of expertise and judgment — we measured the ring patterns. Each ring pattern therefore has strong claims to be our copyright. Now, for the price of a stamp, Keenan feels he is entitled to be given all this data.”

Keenan revealed this week that he is launching a new assault. On Monday, he demanded the university also hand over emails that could reveal a three-year conspiracy to block his data request.

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Goldman Sachs Eats Its Young

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

At 11:40 BST this morning, the Guardian reported that the FSA – the British financial services authority – was opening an official investigation of Goldman Sachs, which has places Fabrice Tourre on paid leave. At 18:17 BST, the Guardian was reporting that Fabrice Tourre had been delisted on the request of his employer. It remains to be seen whether a simple scapegoating will suffice to temper the indignation of the public, but it would be a pretty sad statement if, as a result of throwing this guy under the bus and paying a fine, Goldman got off scot-free and provided cover for Obama to get his anti-competitive banking regulations through a well. Absolutely none of this will hurt Goldman, which has got this all down to a fine art.

Flashback: Goldman Sachs charged with $1bn fraud over toxic sub-prime securities | Goldman fights accusations of greed | Wall Street: Looting Main Street | J.P. Morgan rolls into Calgary | JPMorgan, Citigroup Helped Doom Lehman, Report Says | Goldman role in Greek crisis probed | How EU Countries Cooked Books Using Derivatives | Goldman Sachs Helped Greece Obscure Debt Through Currency Swaps | America slides deeper into depression as Wall Street revels | How Goldman secretly bet on the U.S. housing crash | Goldman Sachs breaks record with $16.7bn bonus pot | More US Bank Failures and The Coming Deposit Insurance Bailout | Arrest Over Software Illuminates Wall St. Secret | The Lords of Time: Goldman Sachs and low-latency trading | Record quarterly profits and bonuses: Goldman Sachs makes out like a bandit on taxpayer’s dime | Goldman-Sachs: Pilfered trading code could be used to ‘manipulate markets’ | Taibbi: NYSE ends transparency to protect Goldman Sachs | Central banks to take off ‘training wheels’ | Goldman Sachs: The Great American Bubble Machine | 10 U.S. banks to repay U.S. bailout money | Top Senate Democrat: bankers “own” the U.S. Congress | Barclays, Lloyd’s, RBS join Goldman-Sachs in the black | Goldman-Sachs to repay TARP loan, resume private operations, bonuses, at “earliest time” possible | Which Banks Will Rule? | Wall Street’s Big Takeover | IMF may need to “print money”, act as “world’s central bank” as crisis spreads | Behind the panic: Financial warfare over the future of global bank power | Goldman-Sachs Alumni Hold Reins of Financial System | What Really Killed Bear Stearns? | Soros points out regulated markets fail to operate on market fundamentals, calls for more regulation | Competition study calls for lowered barriers to foreign ownership, bank mergers | Massive overhaul urged on foreign investment in airlines, media, and banks | Bilderberg Seeks Bank Centralization Agenda

Keith Johnson, Revolt of the Plebes
April 20, 2010

This should be a lesson to all those young, aggressive, upwardly mobile Wall Street wannabes who think they are somehow going to fast track their way into the stratosphere of high finance.

Sorry, kids! There’s no room left at the top, and soon you’re going to see even those old money families tearing each other apart for what’s left of a collapsing fiat money system that has just about run its course.

I submit to you the unfortunate tale of Goldman Sachs’ naïve boy protégé, Fabrice Tourre, the so-called ‘Fabulous Fab’ who is alleged to be the mastermind behind a scheme to sell toxic mortgage investments that were deliberately designed to fail in the US housing market crash.

Fabrice Tourre, 31, is the classic patsy and the kind of villain the American people love to hate. He’s foreign (French), flamboyant, young, rich and shrewd. He was only 22 and fresh out of college when he started working for Goldman Sachs in 2001. Just five years into his employment, he found himself at the center of a scheme devised by one of the world’s richest billionaires, hedge fund manager John Paulson.

Paulson had presented a roster of sub-prime mortgage deals that he was betting would fail in the housing market. He paid Goldman Sachs $15 million to find clients that would bet the other way. The scheme was packaged into what has come to be known as an ‘Abacus Deal’.

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Global bank tax urged by IMF

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

A Robin Hood tax? What a joke. Only if the motto is, steal from the rich and give to the global super elite using these international institutions as their fronts. Diversification and decentralization is the answer, not giving Dominique Strauss Kahn and the UN a massive new revenue stream to throw their weight around with. That’s central planning. The way these bodies are organized around round table groups and consular bodies, you may as well just call the G20 the Supreme Soviet of ComIntern and be done with the charade. But, never mind, let the consolidation of power continue apace, Gordon Brown and DSK say it’s a-ok. We are all being played to set up a global slush fund, emotionally manipulated in a way that’s bad news for this county’s economic sovereignty. And in case you’re worried about the banks – don’t be, you’ll be paying this.

Update (2010/04/21): The IMF has now decided it wants TWO taxes rather than just one, and the Guardian is reporting that these measures are ‘likely’ to be adopted by the G20. How will the socialist G20 protest faction react? This should be interesting.

Flashback: Flaherty stands firm against new bank tax | G20 sounds warning over lack of progress on global regulation | Banking reforms urgent, Harper says at G20 sherpas’ meeting | G20 ’sherpas’ meet with IMF, World Bank on Ottawa | Tories hand out $75 billion worth of ’spending restraint’ | Gordon Brown’s plan for global bank tax ‘a step closer | Global Bank Insurance Levy Wins Support over Transaction Tax at Davos | Harper urges G20 to follow economic accords | Bankers unite against Barack Obama and Gordon Brown in call for world regulation | IMF warns against retreat from stimulus spending | Banks find gaping loophole in Obama financial reforms | Obama talking tough with banks | EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Obama ponders bank transaction levy to recoup bailout shortfalls | No new stimulus, economy ’stabilized’: Harper | Explosive Leaked Emails Expose Treasury Secretary Geithner’s Deception in ‘Backdoor Bailout’ | Final Copenhagen Text Includes Global Transaction Tax | EU calls for tax on bank transactions | UK: Brown takes campaign for Tobin tax to Commonwealth | UK: Brown proposes global fund to kick-start Copenhagen climate change process | Flaherty, USA say no to global financial tax, yes to continued ’stimulus’ at G20 | Bernanke continues pressing for sweeping new powers for Fed | IMF chief wants global bank tax | G20 nations meet as protests flare on issue of international banking regulation | IMF approves $13bn gold sale to boost lending fund | China Set to Buy $50 Billion in IMF Notes | China calls anew for super-sovereign currency | No one talking about dumping dollar: China minister | China explores buying $50bn in IMF bonds | Chinese economists deem huge holding of US bonds “risky” as Geithner visits | A Bigger, Bolder Role Is Imagined For the IMF | UK PM reveals G20 plan to boost IMF by $1 trillion, hails new world order (again) | UN & IMF Back Agenda For Global Financial Dictatorship | IMF poised to print billions of dollars in ‘global quantitative easing’ | Gordon Brown seeks sweeping reforms to give IMF global ’surveillance role’ | IMF may need to “print money”, act as “world’s central bank” as crisis spreads | Globalists Exploit Financial Meltdown In Move Towards One World Currency | World needs new Bretton Woods, says Brown | IMF prescribes state regulation of ‘global financial order’ | Bilderberg Seeks Bank Centralization Agenda | Banks face “new world order,” consolidation: report

CBC News
April 20, 2010

Countries should consider imposing a two-pronged tax on banks and other financial firms to pay for bailouts the next time markets tank, the world’s financial body is proposing.

In a report to the G20 countries that was obtained by the BBC, the International Monetary Fund recommends a globally co-ordinated flat fee on every big bank, coupled with a tax on profits. [Ed. Note: Oh, like they haven't been pushing for it for over half a year once they figured out they wouldn't just be able to openly start printing currency.]

The money would be managed by governments and used to pay for economic rescue measures if the world ever again faces the kind of financial crisis that devastated economies over the last year and a half.

The fee would start off relatively flat, but over time shakier institutions would pay higher amounts. It would apply to banks, but also hedge funds, insurers and other financial institutions so that a bank couldn’t wangle out of the tax by reclassifying its activities.

The proposal is the IMF’s response to a request by G20 member countries for ideas on how to reform financial markets to alleviate future economic crises. The G20 finance ministers will discuss the scheme at a meeting this weekend, and will likely broach it again at their summit in Toronto in June.

The Canadian government has already said it is staunchly opposed to any new tax on banks, while the British government said it welcomes the notion.

Various ideas have emerged for how to make financial firms pay their own way for being bailed out, including a fee on every exchange of currency, and a financial transactions tax on every purchase and sale of stocks, futures and options. [Ed. Note: Hello, moral hazard: Oops, we need another bailout.]

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UN-led uranium deal still on table: Iran

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Hmmmn. Good point. If Iran is now willing to give up the jobs and sacrifice the various issues of economic sovereignty, national honour, etc, by sending its low grade uranium off for foreign enrichment but not in the exact way the IAEA wants, the question that must be asked is why? It’s fairly certain that Iran could never be a regional nuclear threat as if they were ever to develop a weapon – against the best intelligence of Russia and a coalition of US intelligence agencies – it could only ever be an effective deterrent as any offensive use of nuclear technology would result in Iran’s being turned into a ‘glass parking lot’ by Israel’s atomic arsenal. Perhaps they simply want to continue developing a domestic isotope capacity? Undoubtedly there is duplicity and manipulation on both sides of this issue to parse out.

Flashback: Robert Gates says White House lacks plan to deal with Iran nuclear threat | China sells petrol to Iran while talking at UN about sanctions | Nuclear summit urges anti-terror treaty | Enriched uranium going back to U.S.: PM | Iran unveils new uranium centrifuges | Barack Obama to limit use of US nuclear weapons | Russia claims breakthrough in historic nuclear reduction agreement with US | Israeli preparations for war with Iran troubling | Russia to push ahead on Iran missile deal | US media omission: Iran calls for global nuclear disarmament | Obama threatens actions against Iran over nuclear program | UN sanctions urged over Iran’s uranium plans | Western powers voice scepticism over Iran uranium offer | U.S. deploys land and sea-based missile shield in the Gulf to deter attack from Iran | UK: Tony Blair attempts to shift focus to Iran as ‘global threat’ at Iraq war inquiry | Chomsky says Israel, ‘US military base’ | Russia has no evidence of Iran nuclear bomb-Putin | IAEA members question Iran nuclear intel authenticity | US military could strike Iran, but at what cost? | Another War in the Works | Iran to allow nuclear site inspection | Iran plays into Obama’s hands with disclosure of nuclear facility | UN approves nuclear ‘disarmament’ resolution | Obama scales back missile defence shield in Europe | Israel ‘will attack Iran this year’ if West does not cripple Tehran with sanctions | Brookings Publication mentions possibility of ‘Horrific Provocation’ to Trigger Iran Invasion | Blast at Iranian mosque raises tensions in run-up to presidential election | Netanyahu: We may be forced to attack Iran | Proposed Missile Shield seen as Provocation by Russia | Neo-cons still preparing for Iran attack | Russia threatens to ’strike’ Poland in wake of U.S. missile plan | Cheney Considered False Flag Operation to Justify War with Iran | US scales up covert destabilization efforts in Iran, continues funding ‘al-Qaeda’ | Israelis ‘rehearse Iran attack’ | Israeli official says attack on Iran ‘unavoidable’ | Bush ‘plans Iran air strike by August’ | U.S. Navy starts exercises in Gulf waters | U.S. National Intelligence Estimate: Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in 2003 | Cheney Orders Media To Sell Attack On Iran | U.S. sending third aircraft carrier to the Middle East | US aircraft carriers in Persian Gulf | Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: US Indirectly Funding Al-Qaeda Linked Sunni Groups in Move to Counter Iran | How the USA Gave North Korea The Bomb | Former CIA Officer — US Plans Nuclear Attack On Iran

The Associated Press
April 20, 2010

Tehran’s foreign minister is calling a United Nations-backed nuclear fuel deal a chance to boost trust with Western countries, including Canada, which are calling for stiff sanctions against his country.

Canada and its allies fear Iran is using a nuclear program to build weapons. Iran has denied the charges, and says its program aims only to generate electricity.

Iran initially rejected the 2009 UN-backed plan, which offers to exchange nuclear fuel rods for Iran’s stock of lower-level enriched uranium, a swap that would curb Tehran’s capacity to make a nuclear bomb.

Though they continue to reject its terms, the country’s leaders have worked to keep the offer on the table by proposing variations. The move may aim to undermine support for sanctions in the UN Security Council, where the U.S. is lobbying heavily for Russian and Chinese backing.

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Censors threaten detainee hearings

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Some random government lawyer told the commission “documents will be given to the counsel when they are good and ready.” This appears to be the level of arrogance extended from the government to the Canadian people in this matter as a matter of course.

Related: Military Police begin Afghan detainee torture investigative hearings, reporters barred | Tories table thousands more censored Afghan files | MacKay knew of Afghan detainee concerns: diplomat | Tories flood Ottawa with blacked-out documents in response to Afghan torture scandal | Opposition threatens contempt motion over Afghan torture documents | NDP tables torture-prevention bill | Ottawa anticipated Afghan torture allegations: memo | CSIS secretly interrogated Afghan prisoners | Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer | Harper grilled over prorogation, Afghan detainee torture documents | MP threatens motion on Afghan documents | PM Harper downplays detainee torture scandal, prorogation | Claims troops mistreated prisoners unfounded: military police | Peter MacKay, Red Cross discussed detainees in 2006 | Canada’s troops investigated for Afghan abuse | Colvin disputes witnesses’ detainee testimony | Tories sabotage Afghan committee meeting | Canada ‘defended’ torturer | Ottawa won’t release Afghan torture documents | Top general’s Afghan detainee reversal hikes pressure for public inquiry | Richard Colvin’s Afghan torture memos reveal government concealed prisoner access issues | Torture claims unreliable, officials say, despite having found evidence of torture | MPs vote public inquiry into Afghan detainees, Tories ignore majority motion | Torture claims weren’t probed, official testified | Harper government changes tune on Afghan prisoner issue | Colvin’s testimony true: former Afghan MP | David Mulroney testifies war confused issue of torture | Hillier says he saw no credible reports of torture | Afghan torture emails reached MacKay’s office | Opposition wants documentation prior to government torture rebuttal, PM cries foul | Canadian officials discussed torture in 2006 | Canada shamed on Afghan prisoner torture | Canada ignored torture warnings: Diplomat | Military lawyer stonewalls on Afghan torture claims | Ottawa was warned Afghan detainees might be tortured | Military commission suspends torture hearings, gags witness | Torture probe delayed; Tories deny gagging witness | Federal court limits Afghan detainee torture probe | Watchdog rejects government bid to delay Afghan detainee inquiry | Ottawa moves to block Afghanistan detainee torture hearings again | Bid to Block Afghan Detainee Inquiry Slammed | What Ottawa doesn’t want you to know: Government was told detainees faced ‘extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial’

Allan Woods, Toronto Star
April 20, 2010

OTTAWA —A backlog of some 4,000 pages of documents under review by government censors could delay ongoing hearings into Afghan detainee abuse, a military watchdog is warning.

The documents, which include reports from diplomats, soldiers and corrections officials who either captured, transferred or monitored battlefield prisoners in Kandahar, are needed so that witnesses can testify before the military police complaints commission.

The arms-length agency is conducting hearings into whether military police officers failed to protect detainees from abuse at the hands of local prison guards and interrogators after they were captured by Canadian soldiers.

“We don’t know whether it’s going to stop us or not, but that I believe is what the panel was trying to get at,” said commission lawyer Nigel Marshman. “Please tell us when we’re going to get this so we know … how it’s fair to proceed or not.”

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Afghan torture allegations erupt in UK

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Beat the detainees until they ‘confess’. It’s how all the enlightened, progressive nations go about their business and treat POWs, random goatherds scooped up in sweeps, etc.

Note that another story regarding British Military Intelligence torture in Iraq emerged in the Telegraph on March 21.

Flashback: Report: Afghans in secret jail ‘made to dance’ to use bathroom | Military Police begin Afghan detainee torture investigative hearings, reporters barred | Tories table thousands more censored Afghan files | MacKay knew of Afghan detainee concerns: diplomat | Tories flood Ottawa with blacked-out documents in response to Afghan torture scandal | Opposition threatens contempt motion over Afghan torture documents | NDP tables torture-prevention bill | Ottawa anticipated Afghan torture allegations: memo | CSIS secretly interrogated Afghan prisoners | Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer | Harper grilled over prorogation, Afghan detainee torture documents | MP threatens motion on Afghan documents | PM Harper downplays detainee torture scandal, prorogation | Claims troops mistreated prisoners unfounded: military police | Peter MacKay, Red Cross discussed detainees in 2006 | Canada’s troops investigated for Afghan abuse | Colvin disputes witnesses’ detainee testimony | Tories sabotage Afghan committee meeting | Canada ‘defended’ torturer | Ottawa won’t release Afghan torture documents | Top general’s Afghan detainee reversal hikes pressure for public inquiry | Richard Colvin’s Afghan torture memos reveal government concealed prisoner access issues | Torture claims unreliable, officials say, despite having found evidence of torture | MPs vote public inquiry into Afghan detainees, Tories ignore majority motion | Torture claims weren’t probed, official testified | Harper government changes tune on Afghan prisoner issue | Colvin’s testimony true: former Afghan MP | David Mulroney testifies war confused issue of torture | Hillier says he saw no credible reports of torture | Afghan torture emails reached MacKay’s office | Opposition wants documentation prior to government torture rebuttal, PM cries foul | Canadian officials discussed torture in 2006 | Canada shamed on Afghan prisoner torture | Canada ignored torture warnings: Diplomat | Military lawyer stonewalls on Afghan torture claims | Ottawa was warned Afghan detainees might be tortured | Military commission suspends torture hearings, gags witness | Torture probe delayed; Tories deny gagging witness | Federal court limits Afghan detainee torture probe | Watchdog rejects government bid to delay Afghan detainee inquiry | Ottawa moves to block Afghanistan detainee torture hearings again | Bid to Block Afghan Detainee Inquiry Slammed | What Ottawa doesn’t want you to know: Government was told detainees faced ‘extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial’

CBC News
April 20, 2010

Detainees tell of ‘electrocution, beating, whipping, stress positions’

Afghan detainees handed over by British troops to Afghan secret police were regularly beaten with weapons, hung from the ceiling and electrocuted, according to detailed allegations made public in a London courtroom on Tuesday.

The allegations of abuse, similar to Canada’s detainee torture affair, came in the opening argument from Maya Evans, an anti-war activist seeking a judicial review of Britain’s detainee transfer policy in Afghanistan. The statement was submitted Monday but released only Tuesday in full.

According to documents submitted to the court, a number of detainees outlined allegations of systematic abuse at the hands of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan secret service.

One detainee, identified as Prisoner A, said that between September and November 2008, he had been “beaten every other day for 2½ months whilst hung from the ceiling, often with a thick stick.” He also said friends were beaten regularly and that the person who beat him with a stick was a “high-level NDS official.”

Prisoner B alleged he was put in stress positions and deprived of sleep. Since he made those allegations, he “has never been seen again,” according to the documents.

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