batcountryword:

I’ve never begged for anything to be reblogged and forgive me for the annoying pin but PLEASE reblog this for me if you see it. I don’t want my cousin to suffer for nothing. 

It was just reported on NPR that John Kiriakou’s lawyers will enter a guilty plea deal tomorrow. People ask me why I refuse to support Obama (or Romney) and one reason I tell them is it’s personal. But it’s much more than that. This man is part of this admin’s family and our government stripped him of the right to defend himself and now of the right to be free. I will watch these two lying bastards tonight with no respect for either. If you think you are free, you are deluded. You just are hiding well enough and being silent enough to not be noticed.

We have covered the story of John Kiriakou extensively (More here). In short, John Kiriakou, a CIA agent of 14 years, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, the same statute used to prosecute people like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Daniel Ellsberg, whose release of The Pentagon Papers to The New York Times was a seminal moment in ending the war in Vietnam. This is not a case about spying or espionage – John is not accused of sharing anything with a foreign government, selling information or enriching himself.

The charges against John allege that in answering questions from two reporters about suspicions that the CIA tortured detainees in its custody – the controversial Enhanced Interrogation Techniques that included waterboarding during the Bush-Cheney Administration – he violated this mostly obscure World War I-era law that aimed at punishing Americans who gave aid to enemies.

Most simply, the charges are that an American citizen answering questions from credible and mainstream American newspaper reporters somehow aided foreign enemies. While President Obama has since spoken out against and banned those techniques, no person who actually practiced torture will be punished, the only person even related with CIA led torture who might serve time in jail is John Kiriakou, the man who spoke out.

From the NY Times in August

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday that no one would be prosecuted for the deaths of a prisoner in Afghanistan in 2002 and another in Iraq in 2003, eliminating the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the bruta linterrogations carried out by the C.I.A.

Mr. Holder had already ruled out any charges related to the use of waterboarding and other methods that most human rights experts consider to be torture. His announcement closes a contentious three-year investigation by the Justice Department and brings to an end years of dispute over whether line intelligence or military personnel or their superiors would be held accountable for the abuse of prisoners in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The closing of the two cases means that the Obama administration’s limited effort to scrutinize the counterterrorism programs carried out under President George W. Bush has come to an end. Without elaborating, Mr. Holder suggested that the end of the criminal investigation should not be seen as a moral exoneration of those involved in the prisoners’ treatment and deaths.

While no one has been prosecuted for the harsh interrogations, a former C.I.A. officer who helped hunt members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan and later spoke publicly about waterboarding, John C. Kiriakou, is awaiting trial on criminal charges that he disclosed to journalists the identity of other C.I.A. officers who participated in the interrogations.

Journalist Peter Van Buren writes in the Tom Dispatch

Many observers believe however that the real “offense” in the eyes of the Obama administration was quite different. In 2007, Kiriakou became a whistleblower. He went on record as the first (albeit by then, former) CIA official to confirm the use of waterboarding of al-Qaeda prisoners as an interrogation technique, and then to condemn it as torture. He specifically mentioned the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah in that secret prison in Thailand. Zubaydah was at the time believed to be an al-Qaeda leader, though more likely was at best a mid-level operative. Kiriakou also ran afoul of the CIA over efforts to clear for publication a book he had written about the Agency’s counterterrorism work. He maintains that his is instead a First Amendment case in which a whistleblower is being punished, that it is a selective prosecution to scare government insiders into silence when they see something wrong.

If Kiriakou had actually tortured someone himself, even to death, there is no possibility that he would be in trouble. John Kiriakou is 48. He is staring down a long tunnel at a potential sentence of up to 45 years in prison because in the national security state that rules the roost in Washington, talking out of turnabout a crime has become the only possible crime.

One of Kiriakou’s representatives, attorney Jesselyn Radack, told me, “It is a miscarriage of justice that John Kiriakou is the only person indicted in relation to the Bush-era torture program. The historic import cannot be understated. If a crime as egregious as state-sponsored torture can go unpunished, we lose all moral standing to condemn other governments’ human rights violations. By ‘looking forward, not backward’ we have taken a giant leap into the past.”

One former CIA covert officer, who uses the pen name “Ishmael Jones,” lays out a potential defense for Kiriakou: “Witness after witness could explain to the jury that Mr. Kiriakou is being selectively prosecuted, that his leaks are nothing compared to leaks by Obama administration officials and senior CIA bureaucrats. Witness after witness could show the jury that for any secret material published by Mr. Kiriakou, the books of senior CIA bureaucrats contain many times as much. Former CIA chief George Tenet wrote a book in 2007, approved by CIA censors, that contains dozens of pieces of classified information — names and enough information to find names.”

If only it was really that easy.

Never Again

For at least six years it was the policy of the United States of America to torture and abuse its enemies or, in some cases, simply suspected enemies. It has remained a U.S. policy, even under the Obama administration, to employ“extraordinary rendition” — that is, the sending of captured terror suspects to the jails of countries that are known for torture and abuse, an outsourcing of what we no longer want to do.

Techniques that the U.S. hanged men for at Nuremburg and in post-war Japanwere employed and declared lawful. To embark on such a program with the oversight of the Bush administration, learned men and women had to have long discussions, with staffers running in and out of rooms with snippets of research to buttress the justifications being so laboriously developed. The CIA undoubtedly used some cumbersome bureaucratic process to hire contractors for its torture staff. The old manuals needed to be updatedpsychiatrists consulted, military survival experts interviewed, training classes set up.

Videotapes were made of the torture sessions and no doubt DVDs full of real horror were reviewed back at headquarters. Torture techniques were even reportedly demonstrated to top officials inside the White House. Individual torturers who were considered particularly effective were no doubt identified, probably rewarded, and sent on to new secret sites to harm more people.

America just didn’t wake up one day and start slapping around some Islamic punk. These were not the torture equivalents of rogue cops. A system, a mechanism, was created. That we now can only speculate about many of the details involved and the extent of all this is a tribute to the thousands who continue to remain silent about what they did, saw, heard about, or were associated with. Many of them work now at the same organizations, remaining a part of the same contracting firms, the CIA, and the military. Our torturers.

What is it that allows all those people to remain silent? How many are simply scared, watching what is happening to John Kiriakou and thinking: not me, I’m not sticking my neck out to see it get chopped off. They’re almost forgivable, even if they are placing their own self-interest above that of their country. But what about the others, the ones who remain silent about what they did or saw or aided and abetted in some fashion because they still think it was the right thing to do? The ones who will do it again when another frightened president asks them to? Or even the ones who enjoyed doing it?

The same Department of Justice that is hunting down the one man who spoke against torture from the inside still maintains a special unit, 60 years after the end of WWII, dedicated to hunting down the last few at-large Nazis. They do that under the rubric of “never again.” The truth is that same team needs to be turned loose on our national security state. Otherwise, until we have a full accounting of what was done in our names by our government, the pieces are all in place for it to happen again. There, if you want to know, is the real horror.

Today,  Jessylyn Radack, director of the Government Accountability Project which supports Kiriakou and other whistleblowers wrote the following in the Daily Kos.

We are reposting in full and repeat strongly her plea to Call Attorney General Holder (202) 514-2001) to express your displeasure at the Justice Department’s protecting torturers and awarding investigators who decline to prosecute torturers while prosecuting whistleblowers.

Daily Kos. MON OCT 22, 2012 AT 05:32 AM PDT
CIA Whistleblower to Spend Years in Jail for Revealing Torture
byJesselyn Radack

DO NOT let this become the headline.

As reported over the weekend, (here and here) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblowerJohn Kiriakou is inches from being put in jail for allegedly “outing” a torturer. (“Outing” is in quotes because the allegations are not that Kiriakou told the public the torturer’s name, just that Kiriakou allegedly confirmed the name and eventually Guantanamo victims of torture learned the name and defense attorneys put the name in a sealed court filing.)

One of EmptyWheel’s two must-read pieces on the Kiriakou case over the weekend:

I flat out guarantee the import of that is the court put the brakes on the entire case as a result of an off the record joint request of the parties to facilitate immediate plea negotiation. As in they are doing it as you read this… . What I hear is the current offer is plead to IIPA [Intelligence Identities Protection Act] and two plus years prison. This for a man who has already been broken, and whose family has been crucified (Kiriakou’s wife also worked for the Agency, but has been terminated and had her security clearance revoked). Blood out of turnips is now what the “most transparent administration in history” demands.

EmptyWheel drilled down on what the Kiriakou case is really about – covering up the CIA’s torture program:

The CIA panicked because the subjects of CIA torture were learning the identities of their torturers. DOJ did an investigation to see whether any crime had been committed, and determined it hadn’t. CIA then started politicizing that decision, which led to Fitzgerald’s appointment.Fitzgerald confirmed what DOJ originally determined: the defense attorneys committed no crime by researching who their clients’ torturers were.

But along the way Fitzgerald gave the CIA a head–John Kiriakou’s–based partly on old investigations of him. And, surprise surprise, that head happens to belong to the only CIA officer who publicly broke the omerta about the torture program.

This entire case was an attempt to punish someone to restore the omerta on CIA’s illegal activities.

Do not let Kiriakou take the fall for the entire torture program, a program which Kiriakou refused to participate in and helped expose.

Call Attorney General Holder (202) 514-2001) to express your displeasure at the Justice Department’s protecting torturers and awarding investigators who decline to prosecute torturers while prosecuting whistleblowers.  

According to press reports, Kiriakou’s “to plea or not to plea” decision hinges on the never-litigated Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

To date, there have been no reported cases interpreting the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), but it did result in one conviction in 1985 pursuant to a guilty plea. In that case, Sharon Scranage, a former CIA clerk, pleaded guilty for providing classified information regarding U.S. intelligence operations in Ghana, to a Ghanaian agent, with whom she was romantically involved. She was initially sentenced to five years in prison, but a federal judge subsequently reduced her sentence to two years. That. Is. It.

The IIPA charge is based on Kiriakou’s allegedly confirming the name of one “Officer A” and that name eventually ending up in a SEALED Guantanamo defense filing.Who is this “Officer A” that the CIA and Justice Department are working hand-in-hand to protect? Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake writes:

The identity of this individual is “not so secret.” In fact, as the former government official informed Firedoglake, at least ten individuals in the human rights community have known of this key CIA official for years.These individuals in the human rights community have known that the agent allegedly ensured detainees were “properly rendered and tortured,” according to the source, who alleges they have known he took part in “sadistic acts of horrendous conduct against the detainees” and have engaged in what appears to be a “code of silence” protecting the individual while the Justice Department prosecutes Kiriakou.

The name of “Officer A” showed up on Cryptocomb last week:

Source Sends – The CIA officer listed as “Officer A” in the John Kiriakou complaint has been revealed to be Thomas Donahue Fletcher. Born in 1953. Fletcher is currently a resident of Vienna, VA.Further – source states journalists have known identity of this person prior to August 2008, when Kiriakou allegedly confirmed
the identity in an email to Matthew Cole, formerly of ABC News.

As Marcy Wheeler put it:

That’s the background of this plea negotiation. I realize in the normal world of legal representation, pleas look really great.At this point, however, DOJ has serially served not to achieve justice, but to cover up the CIA’s illegal torture program. John Kiriakou and his lawyers will decide what they will. But that doesn’t make this plea deal a legitimate exercise of justice.

To Support John Kiriakou, go here or “like” the Defend John K Facebook page.

Source…

anoncentral:

Source: http://pastebin.com/cJVTJd5W

#OpAwakening: #GlobalMindVirus/#PM2012GoesMainstream

Fellow RATs and /b/ees:

This is an Anonymous call to raise awareness about the existence and goals of #PM2012 among the general public (i.e. people not acquainted with the Anonymous idea).

“Supreme…

The best way to predict the future is to CREATE IT.

October 22, 2012

Hello our relatives. Our dad and husband, now walks among our ancestors. He began his journey to the spirit world at 4:44 am, with the Morning Star, at his home and ranch in Porcupine. There will be four opportunities for the people to honor his life to be announced at a later date. Thank you for your prayers and continued support. We love you. As our dad and husband would always say, “May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones.”

The wife and children of Russell Means
444 Crazy Horse Drive
Pahin Sinte, Republic of Lakotah

(At 4:44 a.m. my brother stepped into the stars with Grandfather) 

anarcho-queer:

By Jess E. Hadden

Yesterday afternoon, via Facebook, I heard about a solidarity march, being organized by an autonomous group. The reason: Leah from the Red & Black Cafe was being imprisoned for refusing to testify before a Grand Jury. I didn’t personally know Leah, but philosophically I supported the stand she was taking against the Federal government’s witch-hunt, targeting activists.

So, I hit “share,” passing the invitation along.

I observed the march as it approached SE Hawthorne Blvd, via 35th Ave. Since I did not recognize the people in the march (it’s hard to recognize a black bloc, especially at night, without my glasses) — and since I myself wear very bright colors — I decided to watch while maintaining a distance. Technical difficulties prevented me from livestreaming, but I still wanted to be able to report the real story.

As the marchers took the east-bound lanes of Hawthorne, I watched a growing crowd of curious people, in regular attire, following the march along the sidewalk, and inquiring about this unexpected sight.

Then, I heard, rather than saw, the sound of glass shattering. Immediately, the disastrous anti-police brutality march of last February 6th came to mind, when Occupy Portland and an autonomous group mixed like oil & water. I expected to see marchers, locals, and lookie-loos arguing and fighting with one another over tactics, and the definition of “violence.”

But that’s not what I saw. I saw the windows of Umpqua Bank — a bank that tries to present a local image, but really isn’t — smashed. And to my astonishment, I saw regular people, watching from sidewalks & bars, cheering. I found myself no longer observing the march, so much as I was observing the people observing the march.

Smash. Wells Fargo. Smash. Chase Bank. Smash. US Bank. Cheers, each time, from regular people, watching. As I passed the tables outside of the Hawthorne Theater, across the street from the Chase Bank at SE Caesar Chavez & Hawthorne, I heard people laughing and talking about how much they hated that bank. One man stood up and yelled, “Yeah! Smash that up!”

The Walgreens, at Caesar Chavez Blvd. & Belmont, appeared to be the last target, before I lost sight of the march. I heard sirens in the distance, but as far as I could tell, the march had already dispersed, almost as quickly as it had begun.

Contrasted with the march from last February 6th, there was a noticeable lack of contention about the targets of this black bloc. The only contention that appeared to exist was in regard to some marchers dragging items like recycling bins & newspaper dispensers into the streets — ostensibly, to block traffic and slow a police response. Other people, not necessarily marchers themselves, quickly removed the items from the streets. The point ultimately was moot; police vehicles came from multiple directions, and were remarkably slow to arrive.

Local corporate media and Portland Police later reported that the marchers were also attacking passers-by with glass bottles. This is, in fact, not true.

To me, the story really wasn’t about the smashed windows. I headed back to Hawthorne, to put my ear to the ground.

People were still buzzing about what had just happened. Absent, was a sense of anger regarding the vandalism. It is curious, how astonishing the absence of something can be. Inner SE Portland is, after all, a sleepy urban community.

I stopped in at Nick’s Coney Island for a drink. Police arrived, and questioned the bartender. I asked her what that was all about, to which she replied, “Some protesters took one of our chairs and threw it through the Wells Fargo window.

Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “That’s awesome.”

She leaned in, smiling, and replied, “I know! Fuck Wells Fargo.

The beginning is near!

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss workers of the world ‘uniting’ to give up their rights and nations of the world ‘uniting’ to give up their sovereignty. And the IMF sees for Europe an Irish like future where JP Morgan, Citibank, Bank of America and the Big Four accounting firms write the laws. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Nick Verbitsky, director of CONFIDENCE GAME, about the civil mortgage fraud suit filed against JP Morgan.

Follow Max Keiser on Twitter: http://twitter.com/maxkeiser

1.) This “Zero Percent” Interest Rate Policy of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank is coupled with the FED’s money printing, into the many trillions of dollars of worthless paper. This is called “monetizing the debt” as the FED simply uses this printed paper to buy 70% yo 80% of our government treasury’s United States Bonds. This policy debases the dollar and syphons off value from the wealth of humanity. This may not appear brutal here at home in the USA, but since the dollar is the worlds reserve currency, lets look at some of the effects of this fascism.

(Fascism is the merger of private corporations and government power)

2.) By keeping interest rates at zero, the Privately Owned Central Bank sucks all the value off of every City, County, State, and Private Pension Fund, that has money, and requires a growth rate of 6% to 8% to be able to pay out pensions. That zero percent means all growth is limited to less than 2%, which depletes money from the reserves of the pensions and delivers that value to the FED. It’s a skimming operation based on interest rates. Simple.  When you or anyone else retires, there will be no money in the pensions, as the FED will have already taken it all thru this low rate standard.

3.) Student Loans at 6% and up, will not be repaid as there will not be money with value remaining in the economy to cover the spread. This means that everyone borrowing money for education is signing up for slavery to the Banks over the lifetime of their debts for education.

4.) Mortgages at 3% to 5% or more, will in turn simply are contracts of indentured servitude to the banks.  And you thought slavery was illegal? Think again.

5.) Outside the USA, the inflation hits in the commodities as the debased dollar really become violently brutal in real human prices. Food cost two to 4 or 5 times what it used to. Same with fuel for heating and cooking. The real cost is starvation where over 2 billion are already suffering in ability to survive on what they have. Within a year, one billion will die. Who needs work camps like Auschwitz to exterminate people when monetary policy will serve the same end thru physical starvation. And we thought Hitler was bad killing 10 to 12 million, if that. And with Stalin, and Mao, Stalin killed 20 to 30 million and Mao killed over 80 to 120 million respectively. Those rates of genocide are nothing compared to what Wall Street is dishing out to humanity now, over the next 24 months. 

6.) No Economist is being honest with people thru their silence.

7.) What the Central Banks are doing is removing the financial-life-blood from the political body of our economies.  

8.) Who owns these “Central Banks”? What a surprise. Not one Central Bank is publicly owned and not one issues credit based currency, with any reasonable 2% to 3% interest rate required for people to accumulate and then grow their own individual net worth.

9.) This fraud is called a systemic control fraud. Franklin Roosevelt recognized this and created the Glass Steagle Act as one way to prevent this, without removing privately owned banks from the markets. It’s now time to terminate privately owned banks, confiscate their criminal gains, and establish a new financial system based on publicly owned banks, with credit based currencies, controlled by a board of governors for each nation, accountable to democratically elected governments. 

thepeoplesrecord:

Glenn Greenwald: Iraqi-American is imprisoned by US for saving his family from US sanctions
September 29, 2012
I’m currently traveling around the US on a speaking tour, and as I’vewritten before, one of the prime benefits of doing that is being able to meet people and their families whose lives have been severely harmed by the post-9/11 assault on basic liberties. Doing that prevents one from regarding these injustices as abstractions, and ensures that the very real human costs from these government abuses remain vivid.
Such is the case with the treatment of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, an Iraqi-American nuclear engineer who just began a three-year prison sentence at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas penitentiary for the “crime” of sending sustenance money to his impoverished, sick, and suffering relatives inIraq - including his blind mother - during the years when US sanctions (which is what caused his family’s suffering) barred the sending of any money to Iraq.
Yesterday in Columbia, Missouri, I met with Hamoodi’s son, Owais, a medical student at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, and Hamoodi’s son-in-law, Amir Yehia, a Master’s student in MU’s School of Journalism. The travesty of this case - and the havoc it has wreaked on the entire family - is repellent and genuinely infuriating. But it is sadly common in post-9/11 America, especially for American Muslim communities.
Hamoodi came with his wife to the US in 1985 to work toward his PhD in nuclear engineering from MU and, not wanting to return to the oppression of Saddam’s regime, stayed in the US. He was offered a research professor position at the university, proceeded to have five American-born children, all of whom he and his wife raised in the Columbia community, and then himself became a US citizen in 2002.
But US-imposed sanctions after the First Gulf War had decimated the value of Iraqi currency and were causing extreme hardship for his large family who remained in Iraq. That sanctions regime caused the death ofat least hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, including 500,000 Iraqi children. In 1991, the writer Chuck Sudetic visited Iraq, wrote in Mother Jonesabout the pervasive suffering, starvation and mass death he witnessed first-hand, and noted that the US-led sanctions regime “killed more civilians than all the chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons used in human history”.
The sanctions regime decimated Hamoodi’s family. His elderly blind mother was unable to buy basic medication. His sister, one of 11 siblings back in Iraq, suffered a miscarriage because she was unable to buy $10 antibiotics. His brother, a surgeon, was earning the equivalent of $2 per month and literally unable to feed his family.
Hamoodi was earning a very modest salary at the time of roughly $35,000 per year from the university, but - as would be true for any decent person of conscience - could not ignore the extreme and growing suffering of his family back in Iraq. Because sending money into Iraq from the US was physically impossible, he set up a bank account in Jordan and proceeded to make small deposits into it. From that account, small amounts of money - between $20 and $100 - were dispersed each month to his family members.
When other Iraqi nationals in his Missouri community heard of his helping his family, they wanted to help theirs as well. So Hamoodi began accepting similar amounts of money from a small group of Iraqis and ensured those were disbursed to their family members suffering under the sanctions regime. From 1993 until 2003, when the sanctions regime was lifted after the US invasion, Hamoodi sent an average of $25,000 each year back to Iraq, totaling roughly $250,000 over the decade: an amount that fed and sustained the Iraqi relatives of 14 families in Columbia, Missouri, including his wife’s five siblings.
Nobody, including the US government, claims that these amounts were intended for anything other than humanitarian assistance for his family and those of others in his community. Everyone, including the US government, acknowledges that these funds were sent to and received only by the intended recipients - suffering Iraqi family members - and never got anywhere near Saddam’s regime, terrorist groups, or anything illicit. As a Newsweek article on the Hamoodi case made clear:

“The cash … was doled out mostly in dribs and drabs, even the authorities concede; $40 a month to the son of a friend trying to eat while attending medical school, $80 to Hamoodi’s blind mother. There was no suggestion that Hamoodi … aided terrorists, or that the money wound up in Saddam Hussein’s hands; his elaborate email trail served as receipts, as tidy as his bookkeeping at the store.
“‘I would get messages from my sisters, I have 11 siblings,’ he says, as he shares a somber meal - piquant red peppers from South Africa, French cheeses, crusty baklava - with his wife and sons at the long dining room table. ‘They would be starving. Starving. So I did what anyone, any American, would do.’”

But in 2002 and 2003, Hamoodi was not just a nuclear engineer. He was also a very outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s plan to attack Iraq. And his position as a nuclear engineer made him a particularly potent threat to the case for that invasion, as he continuously insisted that Saddam did not have an active nuclear weapons program and that the case for the war was grounded in lies. In his antiwar activism, he emphasized how much already-suffering Iraqi civilians would suffer more, and how the invasion would lead to mass instability.
Finish the article here

thepeoplesrecord:

Glenn Greenwald: Iraqi-American is imprisoned by US for saving his family from US sanctions

September 29, 2012

I’m currently traveling around the US on a speaking tour, and as I’vewritten before, one of the prime benefits of doing that is being able to meet people and their families whose lives have been severely harmed by the post-9/11 assault on basic liberties. Doing that prevents one from regarding these injustices as abstractions, and ensures that the very real human costs from these government abuses remain vivid.

Such is the case with the treatment of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, an Iraqi-American nuclear engineer who just began a three-year prison sentence at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas penitentiary for the “crime” of sending sustenance money to his impoverished, sick, and suffering relatives inIraq - including his blind mother - during the years when US sanctions (which is what caused his family’s suffering) barred the sending of any money to Iraq.

Yesterday in Columbia, Missouri, I met with Hamoodi’s son, Owais, a medical student at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, and Hamoodi’s son-in-law, Amir Yehia, a Master’s student in MU’s School of Journalism. The travesty of this case - and the havoc it has wreaked on the entire family - is repellent and genuinely infuriating. But it is sadly common in post-9/11 America, especially for American Muslim communities.

Hamoodi came with his wife to the US in 1985 to work toward his PhD in nuclear engineering from MU and, not wanting to return to the oppression of Saddam’s regime, stayed in the US. He was offered a research professor position at the university, proceeded to have five American-born children, all of whom he and his wife raised in the Columbia community, and then himself became a US citizen in 2002.

But US-imposed sanctions after the First Gulf War had decimated the value of Iraqi currency and were causing extreme hardship for his large family who remained in Iraq. That sanctions regime caused the death ofat least hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, including 500,000 Iraqi children. In 1991, the writer Chuck Sudetic visited Iraq, wrote in Mother Jonesabout the pervasive suffering, starvation and mass death he witnessed first-hand, and noted that the US-led sanctions regime “killed more civilians than all the chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons used in human history”.

The sanctions regime decimated Hamoodi’s family. His elderly blind mother was unable to buy basic medication. His sister, one of 11 siblings back in Iraq, suffered a miscarriage because she was unable to buy $10 antibiotics. His brother, a surgeon, was earning the equivalent of $2 per month and literally unable to feed his family.

Hamoodi was earning a very modest salary at the time of roughly $35,000 per year from the university, but - as would be true for any decent person of conscience - could not ignore the extreme and growing suffering of his family back in Iraq. Because sending money into Iraq from the US was physically impossible, he set up a bank account in Jordan and proceeded to make small deposits into it. From that account, small amounts of money - between $20 and $100 - were dispersed each month to his family members.

When other Iraqi nationals in his Missouri community heard of his helping his family, they wanted to help theirs as well. So Hamoodi began accepting similar amounts of money from a small group of Iraqis and ensured those were disbursed to their family members suffering under the sanctions regime. From 1993 until 2003, when the sanctions regime was lifted after the US invasion, Hamoodi sent an average of $25,000 each year back to Iraq, totaling roughly $250,000 over the decade: an amount that fed and sustained the Iraqi relatives of 14 families in Columbia, Missouri, including his wife’s five siblings.

Nobody, including the US government, claims that these amounts were intended for anything other than humanitarian assistance for his family and those of others in his community. Everyone, including the US government, acknowledges that these funds were sent to and received only by the intended recipients - suffering Iraqi family members - and never got anywhere near Saddam’s regime, terrorist groups, or anything illicit. As a Newsweek article on the Hamoodi case made clear:

“The cash … was doled out mostly in dribs and drabs, even the authorities concede; $40 a month to the son of a friend trying to eat while attending medical school, $80 to Hamoodi’s blind mother. There was no suggestion that Hamoodi … aided terrorists, or that the money wound up in Saddam Hussein’s hands; his elaborate email trail served as receipts, as tidy as his bookkeeping at the store.

“‘I would get messages from my sisters, I have 11 siblings,’ he says, as he shares a somber meal - piquant red peppers from South Africa, French cheeses, crusty baklava - with his wife and sons at the long dining room table. ‘They would be starving. Starving. So I did what anyone, any American, would do.’”


But in 2002 and 2003, Hamoodi was not just a nuclear engineer. He was also a very outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s plan to attack Iraq. And his position as a nuclear engineer made him a particularly potent threat to the case for that invasion, as he continuously insisted that Saddam did not have an active nuclear weapons program and that the case for the war was grounded in lies. In his antiwar activism, he emphasized how much already-suffering Iraqi civilians would suffer more, and how the invasion would lead to mass instability.

Finish the article here

thepeoplesrecord:

Alright occupiers, trick or treat,

Let’s all go to Washington, DC, and have a Halloween night party!

Let’s celebrate the wonderful Coke/Pepsi presidential election now in progress … and the honest, feisty way our elected reps in Congress have conducted our nation’s business … pay tribute to the bold visions they’ve put forward.

At dusk on October 31, let’s gather on Capitol Hill, trick or treat Congress and party like we’ve never partied before.

Bring mask!

CJ HQ

PS And if you cannot make it to DC then party in front of the Bank of America in your community… outside your city hall… or in the squares.

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET
#OCCUPYMAINSTREET
#HALLOWEENPARTY

Tactical Briefing #38#37 and #36.

Invite your friends via the Facebook event: #HALLOWEENPARTY

Source

We’ll be there. Will we see you there too? 

thepeoplesrecord:

Portugal protests erupt over austerity measures
September 29, 2012

Thousands of Portuguese protested on Saturday against austerity, stepping up their opposition to the country’s 78-billion-euro bailout ahead of new spending cuts and tax hikes to be announced in the government’s 2013 draft budget.

The peaceful protest organized by the CGTP union came after the center-right government ignited widespread anger this month with a hike in social security taxes that threatened to end Portugal’s so far high social acceptance for austerity.

Facing criticism from unions, opposition politicians and businesses alike, the government reversed the tax hike. But it is now rushing to find alternative measures to adopt in its 2013 budget to ensure the country meets fiscal goals under its bailout from the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF, the so-called troika.

Protesters marched through downtown Lisbon, shouting “Let the fight continue” and carried banners reading “Go to hell Troika, we want our lives back.”

“A year ago the prime minister told us the solution to the country’s problems was the agreement with the troika,” shouted CGTP head Armenio Carlos in a speech.

“But we have already seen this film in Greece, this is a road without an exit, pushing us toward the precipice,” Carlos told the marchers that crowded into Lisbon’s main Praca de Comercio square on the banks of the Tagus River.

The protest in Portugal came after a week of similar anti-austerity marches in Greece, Spain andItaly as southern Europeans face increasingly grim economic conditions under hardship sparked by the euro debt crisis.

Carlos said the protest was one of the largest organized by the CGTP, Portugal’s biggest union, in recent years but he gave no figure of the number of people present. Praca de Comercio square has a capacity of about 100,000 people but it was not completely full on Saturday.

The protests were smaller than nationwide marches on September 15, immediately after the tax hike was announced, which prompted an estimated 500,000 people to take to the streets.

Portugal’s unemployment rate has hit record levels above 15 percent as the country descended this year into its worst recession since the 1970s under the weight of spending cuts and tax hikes.

Anger by the Portuguese at austerity is likely to rise further as the government now expects the recession to extend into next year with few signs of economic growth emerging from the bailout plan.

The government has to present its 2013 budget by the middle of October.

Source

anarcho-queer:

Portuguese Protest Against Austerity, Awaits More Measures

Thousands of Portuguese protested on Saturday against austerity, stepping up their opposition to the country’s 78-billion-euro bailout ahead of new spending cuts and tax hikes to be announced in the government’s 2013 draft budget.

The peaceful protest organized by the CGTP union came after the center-right government ignited widespread anger this month with a hike in social security taxes that threatened to end Portugal’s so far high social acceptance for austerity.

Facing criticism from unions, opposition politicians and businesses alike, the government reversed the tax hike. But it is now rushing to find alternative measures to adopt in its 2013 budget to ensure the country meets fiscal goals under its bailout from the European Union, European Central Bank and IMF, the so-called troika.

Protesters marched through downtown Lisbon, shouting “Let the fight continue” and carried banners reading “Go to hell Troika, we want our lives back.

Portugal’s unemployment rate has hit record levels above 15 percent as the country descended this year into its worst recession since the 1970s under the weight of spending cuts and tax hikes.

Anger by the Portuguese at austerity is likely to rise further as the government now expects the recession to extend into next year with few signs of economic growth emerging from the bailout plan.

The government has to present its 2013 budget by the middle of October.