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URUK Net 15 December, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:38

Welcome to Gitmo North
Glenn Greenwald
December 15, 2009 – The Obama administration announced today that it will create a new “supermax” facility in Thomson, Illinois, and will transfer to it many of the detainees currently held at Guantanamo. Critically, none of those moved to Thomson will receive a trial in a real American court, and some will not be charged with any crime at all. The detainees who will be given trials won’t go to Thomson; they’ll be moved directly to the jurisdiction where they’ll be tried. The ones moved to Thomson will either (a) be put before a military commission or (b) held indefinitely without charges of any kind. In other words, they’ll have exactly the same rights — or lack thereof — as they have now at Guantanamo…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61110

America’s new homeless
Elizabeth Schulte
December 15, 2009 – MAJOR CITIES across the country—including places largely known for their wealth and abundance—are becoming centers of hunger and homelessness. Requests for emergency food assistance increased a staggering 26 percent last year in cities across the country, according to the recently released findings of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Hunger and Homelessness Survey. This is the largest average increase in demand in the last 18 years…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61115

Red Cross gain access to Taleban jail
By Jerome Starkey in Kabul
December 15, 2009 – IN A move described as a “breakthrough”, Red Cross officials have finally gained admission to a jail on the Taleban side of the conflict in Afghanistan. Staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited three Afghan policemen held by the Taleban in the north-west of the country last month, in the first independent visit to an insurgent jail since their regime was swept from powe r more than eight years ago. Reto Stocker, the head of delegation, said: “We welcome this breakthrough. We plan to conduct and repeat visits in other regions … with the aim of ensuring that everyone detained in relation to the armed conflict is treated humanely.”

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61116

Iraq snapshot – December 15, 2009
The Common Ills
Tuesday, March 15, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, the Iraq Inquiry gets censored, Jeremy Greenstock testifies to being a victim of some form of date-diplomacy while stationed in Iraq, Tony Blair’s remarks (and Barack’s prize) continue to garner criticism, Camp Ashraf residents state they’re not leaving, and more…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61117

Britain apologizes to Livni over arrest warrant
By Barak Ravid
December 15, 2009 – British Foreign Secretary David Milliband yesterday apologized to MK Tzipi Livni and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for the arrest warrant issued against Livni in London earlier this week. He also promised Lieberman to begin working immediately to change the UK laws that enable the issue of arrest warrants against Israeli officials accused of war crimes. Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Tom Phillips, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem for a reprimand over the matter. He also received a phone call from an infuriated Uzi Arad, Israel’s national security adviser, sources in Jerusalem said. In London, Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor met with Milliband and demanded a change to the laws…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61112

Canada ‘defended’ torturer
Whistleblower report says Afghan governor’s abuses might have stopped earlier if Ottawa didn’t shield him
Toronto Star
December 15, 2009 –A former governor of Kandahar who is accused of personally torturing Afghans might have been removed from office as far back as 2006 if Canadian officials hadn’t defended him, according to diplomatic memos that have never been made public by the Canadian government. The revelation about Asadullah Khalid, who stayed on as governor two years after concerns about his reputation were raised, opens up another embarrassing avenue of inquiry over Afghan prisoner abuse…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61111

Miraculous Organ: Blair, Obama and the Narcissist’s Defense
Chris Floyd
December 15, 2009 – In recent days we have all witnessed two vomitous eruptions of moral nullity that would tax the powers of a Voltaire or a Vidal to do them proper justice; they quite o’er-crow the meager gifts of a hack like me. But I will sketch a few observations here nonetheless, if only to add one more small voice to those few who bear witness to the evils perpetrated by our unaccountable leaders. We speak of course of Barack Obama’s Nobel speech and Tony Blair’s recent comments on the Iraq War. Let’s take the lesser figure first…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61091

U.S. tax dollars fund rabbi who excused killing gentile babies
By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent
December 15, 2009 – The White House condemns the torching of a mosque, yet respectable Americans contribute to a yeshiva whose rabbi said it’s okay to kill gentile babies. It is no surprise that the American administration tacitly, if unenthusiastically, accepted the excuse that the map of national priority zones the cabinet approved on Sunday does not violate the decision to freeze construction in the settlements. How can President Barack Obama object to furthering education in a settlement like Yitzhar, located in the heart of the West Bank? After all, his own tax revenues contribute to the flourishing of the Od Yosef Chai Shechem yeshiva, the settlement’s crowning glory. This is the same yeshiva whose rabbi said it is permissible to kill gentile babies because of “the future danger that will arise if they are allowed to grow into evil people like their parents.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61094

Stop the death penalty in Iraq
Maliki’s election platform: 900 Iraqi prisoners face summary execution
Statement of the BRussells Tribunal
December 15, 2009 – The machine of repression and death in Iraq continues unabated. The Presidential Council of Iraq has reportedly ratified the death sentences of some 900 detainees who languish on death row. Some 17 of them are confirmed to be women. None of the condemned had a fair trial. The Iraqi judicial system has been deemed corrupt, fundamentally dysfunctional and plagued with sectarianism by responsible international agencies and all major human rights organisations. Hundreds of lawyers have been assassinated since 2003. The Association of Iraqi Lawyers has publicly declared that it cannot reach the detainees. In a bid to eliminate its political opponents, further terrorise the Iraqi people, ostensibly into submission, and to be casted the “tough leader” the US pretends it is currently seeking for Iraq, Nouri Al-Maliki has pledged to carry out these executions ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled in March of 2010.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61101

Baath Party Statement
The oil agreements with the occupation government are nul and illegal
The Arab Baath Socialist Party
December 15, 2009 – The Maliki government and the so called ‘Kurdistan regional government’ continue putting into action every US, Zionist, pagan Persian alliance’ plans, and projects, in a feverish attempt to kill the eternal Oil Nationalisation Resolution, throughout an evil objective to destroy Iraq as a people, as a soil and as a civilisation harming its economic infrastructure and its intellectual and cultural supra structure. This evil alliance has even harmed the whole ethical and educational systems in Iraq. For this reason the puppet government through its hysterical behaviour has undertaken to sign many contracts with the foreign greedy and immoral oil companies to invest into gaz and petrol in most Iraqi oil fields such as Tayyeb, Majnoon, northern and the southern Rumaila, the western Qurna, and Zubair fields. etc. Many of these contracts are based on what they call participation contracts according to which the Maliki puppet government which has no legitimacy whtasoever, grants the petrol of Iraq in long term agreements over fifty years, giving more than seventy per cent of the Iraqi oil and gaz production to these greedy and immoral foreign companies while the remains will be pocketed by the stooges and the traitors…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61100

Obama Plans To Hold Detainees Indefinitely At Thomson Facility
Sam Stein
December 15, 2009 – The Obama administration plans to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely at the newly-assigned facility in Thomson, Illinois, senior administration officials told reporters on Tuesday. In addition, President Obama will likely ask Congress for the authority to hold people indefinitely without charges at the domestic location. The White House ordered the federal government on Tuesday to acquire the prison facility that currently exists at Thomson for the purpose of housing federal inmates as well as a “limited number” of terrorist detainees. The facility will be converted first into a “supermax” — safer than the one that currently exists in Florence, Colorado…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61098

Report: Prisoner going blind as Israel refuses treatment
Ma’an News
December 15, 2009 – The People’s Movement for Prisoners and Palestinian Rights demanded that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) allow a Palestinian detainee, held at Nafha prison, undergo treatment for his deteriorating health, a statement said Tuesday. Shawqi Abu Athera, 37, is going blind as a result of the Israeli Prison administration’s refusal to allow him to undergo treatment, according to the movement. Despite having surgery on his right eye nine months ago, IPS prohibited Abu Athera from pursuing further necessary treatment for his condition, the general director of the movement said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61105

Heroism in a Vanishing Landscape
Resistance in Bethlehem’s Villages
By ELLEN CANTAROW
December 15, 2009 – Christmas is coming. My e-mail has returned at least one plea to help Bethlehem – Christ’s birthplace crucified by Israel’s segregation wall; 25 foot-high concrete punctuated by militarized watch towers surrounds the entire town. PEACE BE WITH YOU reads a huge legend on the wall without (apparently) the slightest trace of irony; stenciled in English. Hebrew, and Arabic, it’s signed, ISRAELI MINISTRY OF TOURISM. What lies beyond Bethlehem – the Bethlehem province or “governate,” – is equally shocking, though invisible to the casual visitor. According to a May, 2009, UN report, Bethlehem governate’s total land mass is 660 square kilometers, but only 13 per cent remains for Palestinians to use. The rest has vanished under the Greater Israel’s ever-expanding colonies and “outposts”; its ever-lengthening wall (declared illegal in 2004 by the International Court of Justice: Israel and its US backer have simply ignored the ruling); and Israel’s designation of most of Bethlehem’s region as “Area C”. (The Oslo Accords diced the West Bank into Areas “A” — Palestinian Authority (PA) rule; “B” –PA and Israel joint rule; and “C” – Israeli rule. Area C is 60 per cent of the West Bank)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61097

Afghanistan, Drugs & Bank Bailouts
RedBedHead
December 15, 2009 – EVER WONDER WHERE SOME OF THE BANK BAILOUT MONEY CAME FROM? According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it came from the Afghan opium trade. Foreign Policy in Focus has a fascinating article analyzing the recent UNODC study on the drug trade, entitled “Addiction, Crime, and Insurgency: The Transnational Threat of Afghan Opium.” While the original study headlines the role of the Taliban in the Afghan opium trade, the FPF article notes that buried deep in the study is the admission that the Taliban receives less than 15% of its funding from drugs and that it likely only benefits from 4% of the Afghan drug trade. Poppy farmers, for instance, take about 21% of the drug trade’s earnings. And the rest? “…the remaining 75% is captured by government officials, the police, local and regional power brokers and traffickers — in short, many of the groups now supported (or tolerated) by the United States and NATO are important actors in the drug trade.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61096

Palestinian Man Prevented By Jewish Municipality From Building On His Own Land
Saed Bannoura
December 15, 2009 – Aadel Suad, a Palestinian resident of the town of Mitzpe Ramon in southern Israel, has been prevented for twelve years from building on his own land, and continues to live in a temporary shack with his family. When Suad first applied for a permit to build a home in 1997, he says a senior official told him “Don’t waste your time. We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.” He said that they made the reason very clear: they do not want Palestinians in their otherwise all-Jewish town…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61095

Blistering Indictment Leveled Against Obama Over His Handling of Bush-Era War Crimes
Jason Leopold
December 15, 2009 – …To many human rights advocates, however, Obama’s high-minded declaration rang hollow in light of fresh reports that his administration continues to operate secret prisons in Afghanistan where detainees have allegedly been tortured and where the International Committee for the Red Cross has been denied access to the prisoners. Obama has substituted words for action on issues surrounding torture since his first days in office nearly one year ago. Last June, on the 25th anniversary of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Obama said the US government “must stand against torture wherever it takes place” and that his administration “is committed to taking concrete actions against torture and to address the needs of its victims.” But it’s clear that his pledge does not apply to torture committed by Bush administration officials. That’s the point the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) made shortly after Obama’s acceptance speech..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61099

Report: “Excavations Ongoing At The Al Aqsa Mosque Area”
Report by the Al Aqsa Foundation
December 15, 2009 – The Aqsa foundation for Waqf and Heritage has revealed large scale Israeli excavations being executed in the area adjacent to the southern wall of Al-Aqsa mosque, the area is also known as the Umayyad Palaces area. The foundation confirmed that some of the excavation works were being carried out at night, especially in one of the water cisterns located in the area that leads to the subterranean of the Aqsa mosque. The foundation warned of the risks and the impacts of the excavations on the Aqsa mosque and also warned of “the occupation escalatory efforts to judaize the area, especially because of its adjacency to the Marwani prayer hall of the Aqsa mosque”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61093

“Model Prisoner” at Guantánamo, Tortured in the “Dark Prison,” Loses Habeas Corpus Petition
Andy Worthington
December 15, 2009 – On Monday, District Court Judge Thomas F. Hogan handed the government its ninth victory (against 31 losses to date) in the habeas corpus petitions of the prisoners held at Guantánamo, ruling that the government had established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Musa’ab al-Madhwani, a 28-year old Yemeni, could continue to be held indefinitely, because of his connections with al-Qaeda. As the Washington Post explained, however, although Judge Hogan “said that the government had met its burden in proving the accusations … he did not think Madhwani was dangerous.” Noting that he has been a “model prisoner” since his arrival at Guantánamo in October 2002, he explained, “There is nothing in the record now that he poses any greater threat than those detainees who have already been released.”

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61092

Israeli occupation forces make mass arrests
Middle East Monitor
December 15, 2009 – Israeli occupation forces have launched another campaign of mass arrests in the occupied West Bank. Starting in the early hours of Monday morning, December 14, the target area encompassed several cities and villages. An Israeli army spokesman said that its troops arrested at least 21 Palestinians from different parts of the occupied territory. He did not reveal whether the detainees have any particular political affiliations, although he did say, “The detainees were referred to the relevant security authorities for investigation.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61108

Patient died in Gaza, Death toll due to the siege reaches 366
Ghassan Bannoura
December 15, 2009 – A Palestinian patient died on Tuesday after he was prevented by the Israeli military to leave the Gaza Strip for medical care. Walied Madi, 38 years old, had Tuberculosis. Palestinian doctors were unable to treat him locally because of the siege. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip announced that with Madi death the number of patients that died because of the Israeli siege have reached 366…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61102

UN-Backed Congo Troops Killed More Civilians Than Rebels, Says Human Rights Watch
MICHELLE FAUL
December 15, 2009 — A U.N.-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said Monday. Human Rights Watch said it had documented “vicious and widespread” attacks against civilians by soldiers and rebels between January and September. Soldiers being fed and supplied with ammunition by the United Nations have killed civilians, gang-raped girls and cut the heads off some young men they accuse of being rebels or supporting the enemy, groups said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61103

Iraq bombings leave several dead
Aljazeera.net
December 15, 2009 – At least four people have been killed and several others injured in a series of car bombs in central Baghdad. Three explosions went off in separate locations across the city on Tuesday, an Iraqi interior ministry official said. A police source said the first explosion occurred near the Iranian embassy and the other two near the foreign and immigration ministries…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61089

Would Barak Have Protested if he Knew Who I Am?
Kawther Salam
December 15, 2009 – Yesterday, the Israeli minister of war Ehud Barak, the Israeli commander of the occupation arrived in Vienna on an official visit as a guest of Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos. The press office at the Austrian Defense Ministry announced the visit only a few days before his arrival. The news of the visit of Barak to Vienna was not interesting, it shocked the Arab communities, especially the Palestinian community and many Austrian pro- Palestinian groups. They all called for a demo in front of the Austrian Ministry of Defense. They all released statements in which they described their disappointment about the visit of Barak and the invitation by the Austrian government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61090

A media reading of recent Jewish fatwas on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.
By Senussi Bsaikri
December 15, 2009 – Media and human rights sources have expressed their outrage at the teshuvah (Jewish legal opinion, literally a “response”) of the Israeli Sanhedrin (Rabbis’ council) to kill Palestinian prisoners and kidnap elected members of the Palestinian legislature. The Sanhedrin was prompted to issue this opinion by news of the recent negotiations for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who is being held prisoner by Hamas in Gaza. The teshuvah’s extreme recommendation would come into force, apparently, if Sergeant Shalit, who is a French citizen and was promoted in absentia, is not returned safe and well to his family…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61109

Obama holds stage-managed meeting with Wall Street bankers
By Tom Eley
December 15, 2009 – The stated aim of the gathering of Wall Street bankers at a private White House meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday was to cajole the nation’s largest financial institutions into offering loans to cash-starved businesses and consumers. In reality, the event was a media exercise designed to placate growing popular anger toward the Obama administration. The true nature of the event was not lost on its attendees. “It’s a PR [public relations] stunt,” an unnamed CEO flatly told Time magazine prior to the meeting…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61088

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan bomb attack
BBC News
December 15, 2009 – Two British soldiers have been killed by a suspected suicide bomber while on patrol with the Afghan army. The men, from the 3rd Battalion, The Rifles, were caught in the blast near Sangin in Helmand on Tuesday afternoon. Their families have been told. They were on foot at the time of the explosion, which also killed two Afghan army soldiers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61106

Um Bakir: I tasted the real suffering of my sons after two days in prison
Palestinian Information Center
December 15, 2009 — Um Bakir, a mother of five Palestinian prisoners, said Monday that she experienced the real suffering of her sons in Israeli jails after she spent only two days in detention. In a press statement to Safa news agency, Um Bakir, who was released yesterday from Israeli jails, added that her sons told her what they face in prison, but she did not expect before that the bitterness of detention would be like that, expressing her hope that she could be reunited with her sons through a prisoner swap deal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61104

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