Thursday, April 12, 2018

Julian Assange remains a political prisoner

Julian Assange.
My mom's “Julian Assange needs to be free ” says it all. 
His being disconnected from the internet is appalling but his being a political prisoner at all is even more so.
More than two weeks have now passed since the Ecuadorian government of President Lenin Moreno made the decision to shut off WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange from the outside world by cutting his access to the Internet, cell phone and visitors.
For the last six years, Assange has been confined to Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he was granted political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden on trumped-up sexual assault allegations and ultimately to the United States, which is seeking to prosecute him for publishing documents that exposed war crimes.
Under pressure from the United States and its imperialist allies, which are preparing to launch a new war in Syria that could result in a direct conflict with nuclear-armed Russia, Ecuador cut Assange off from the Internet under the pretext that he was interfering in the politics of other countries. Silencing dissidents and those who question the official narrative has always been critical for the ruling elites in the lead-up to the launching of new wars.
The censorship of Assange has been met with an approving silence from the mainstream media, the pseudo-left and many human rights organizations. Very few in these upper- and middle-class circles have found it necessary or beneficial to stand up for the rights of the publisher and journalist.
Give him back the internet, absolutely, but also set him free.  The charges were dropped.  Let him go.  This is such utter nonsense. 

In other news . . . 

In 1945, Sonia Klein walked out of Auschwitz. Every day of the 73 years since she has been haunted by the memory of what happened there, and the fate of the millions who never made it out of the Nazi death camps.
But Klein wonders, once she and the few survivors still alive are gone, who will be left to remember?
"We are not here forever," said Klein, now 92. "Most of us are up in years, and if we're not going to tell what happened, who will?"
Klein's worries are borne out by a comprehensive study of Holocaust awareness released Thursday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which suggests that Americans are doing just the opposite.
Schoen Consulting, commissioned by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, conducted more than 1,350 interviews and found that 11 percent of U.S. adults and more than one-fifth of millennials either haven't heard of, or are not sure if they have heard of, the Holocaust.


But ask them who Stormy Daniels is and watch everyone raise their hands.  We don't have a media that addresses what's really important.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, April 12, 2018.  Executions increase in Iraq, Mad Maddie Albright gets free p.r. from a media desperate to help her sell another of her poorly written books, and much more.

Starting with Amnesty International which has released it's annual look at executions.

Top 5 executioners list 2017: * China * Iran * Saudi Arabia * Iraq * Pakistan Not a list you want to be a part of. End the now. Read more in our latest report →

In the Middle East, only Saudi Arabia had more executions (146) than Iraq did.  At least 125 executions were carried out in Iraq last year.  125 was a significant increase from 2016 -- Amnesty International recorded 88 executions that year in Iraq.  In Iraq, if you are executed you face the noose.

If you steal?  You're usually serving in the government.  Corruption remains a huge issue and on that topic we'll note the following.

It is not only precious artifacts and relics from Iraq’s ancient history that were smuggled to the United States. The United States pillaged millions of documents belonging to the Iraqi state. Another important collection of official records was seized
  • by an Iraqi-American. The itinerary of this archive and the rhetoric legitimizing its “acquisition” is quite telling. In April 2003, Kanan Makiya, one of the cheerleaders of the war (during its first few weeks he wrote that the bombing was music to his ears) made his way
  • to the basement under the Ba`th Party’s headquarters in Baghdad. Makiya removed the records he found there to his family home in what became later the Green Zone. The house supposedly became the Baghdad office of the Iraq Memory Foundation, a Washington, DC-based institution
  • he established. The entire staff of the Iraq Memory Foundation is comprised of five persons, two of whom are not Iraqi. It has no advisory board of any sort, nor does it have any links to any Iraqi historians. It has no presence on the ground in Iraq outside the Green Zone.
    In 2005, the foundation reached an agreement with the US army to ship the documents to the United States. Considering the rampant corruption of both the US occupation and the Iraqi puppet regime it installed in Iraq none of this is surprising. Nevertheless, it does not change
    the fact that these documents are not anyone’s private property. They belong to the Iraqi people and their seizure and transfer to the United States. was a violation of international law. Despite calls from Saad Eskander, the Director General of Iraq’s National Library
  • & Archive back then to return these documents to Iraq, the Iraq Memory Foundation decided otherwise. In January of 2008, the foundation signed an agreement with the Hoover Institution to transfer the documents there. Opposition did not only come from inside Iraq.
  • In April of 2008, the Society of American Archivist (SAA) and the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA), the world’s largest organization of archivists with 5100 members, expressed its “deep concern about [these] records and others obtained by the United States. . . in actions
  • [that] may be considered an act of pillage, which is specifically forbidden by the 1907 Hague Convention.” The letter stressed that these records must be returned to Iraq “to be maintained as part of the official records in the National Library and Archives.”These plundered
  • documents are a treasure for scholars. They illuminate the inner dynamics of the Ba`th regime and trace its growth and detail its various visceral effects on Iraqi society. But, alas, neither Iraqi scholars, nor Iraqi citizens, the victims of the Ba`th regime, have access
  • to these important documents from their visceral past. One of the “happy” stories about the benefits of this plunder to “our knowledge” speaks about the intensity with which some scholars are working on these “recovered” documents. “Recovered” is the key word here.
  • The plunder is conveniently erased. But not for Iraqis. They have to live with the loss and fight to retrieve their plundered memory. And not a year has passed without plunder in Iraq. As for the concerned scholars who mine this archive to “understand” the barbarism of the Ba`th
  • regime, I wonder if they will find time to contemplate the "barbarism [that] taints the manner in which it was transmitted from one owner to another," to borrow Benjamin`s words.

    Looting and theft of Iraq's history has been taking place since the start of the 2003 US-led invasion.  Craig Barker (ANCIENT ORIGINS) observes:

    On April 10 2003, the first looters broke into the National Museum of Iraq. Staff had vacated two days earlier, ahead of the advance of US forces on Baghdad. The museum was effectively ransacked for the next 36 hours until employees returned.
    While the staff - showing enormous bravery and foresight - had removed and safely stored 8,366 artefacts before the looting, some 15,000 objects were taken during that 36 hours. While 7,000 items have been recovered, more than 8,000 remain unaccounted for, including artefacts thousands of years old from some of the earliest sites in the Middle East.
    The looting is regarded as one of the worst acts of cultural vandalism in modern times, but much more of Iraq’s rich cultural history has been destroyed, damaged or stolen in the years since. Indeed the illegal trade in looted antiquities is growing.

    The Iraq War was a get richer scheme for many including Mad Maddie Albright, War Criminal Supreme.  Despite her repugnant nature, she's being pimped by the US media relentlessly.

    Former Sec. of State Albright calls Pres. Trump the "most undemocratic president" America has had, and says firing Robert Mueller would be a "disaster": "We cannot have a president who believes that he's above the law."

    The laughable VIEW is only one of Mad Maddie's many stops.  There she made nice with torture-supporting Whoopi Goldberg.  Stephen Colbert also hosted the War Criminal.  CNN, CBS THIS MORNING, MSNBC . . .

    Madeleine Albright: I'm warning the American public

    She's warning the American public, she insists.  Who warned the Iraqi people about her?  Who today bothers to hold her responsible for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children -- deaths she said were "worth it"?

    To pimp her hatred of Donald Trump, she's been brought on every outlet you can think of -- even Terry Gross has made room for her on NPR's FRESH AIR.  (Terry always has room for War Mongers.  The "even Terry Gross" refers to the fact that sexist Terry books so few female guests each year.)

    You write a bad book and you're guaranteed a platform?  I don't get that with a normal author, but especially not with a War Hawk.

    Very few have called Mad Maddie out.

    Madeleine Albright is one of the most deranged and bloodthirsty warmongers to occupy a high government position in decades (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. were worse only by a degree), so of course she praises Trump's hostile proclamations - just wants a better "strategy" for the war:

    There is a reason for the silence and John Stauber has long noted it.

    The Empire is bipartisan. The “peace movement” - - is a Dem front.

    Meanwhile, the self-declared “peace movement,” awash in millions from Dem oligarchs and foundations - - is busy lobbying against because, well you know, he’s evil and warlike. They take their marching orders from their Dem donors in the .
    The phony professional US peace movement led by is awash in millions from Dem . They’ll be wringing their hands but doing nothing.

    The fake assery has allowed the US government to continue their wars without end.  Democrats have controlled Congress, Republicans have controlled it.  Democrats have held the White House, Republicans have held it.  Democrats have controlled the White House and the Congress at the same time, Republicans have controlled the White House and the Congress at the same time. Yet the wars continue.  No one stops them.

    If you win primaries and elections the DNC will do what you want. The Dems didn't want to be against the Iraq War. Then that position started winning elections. Guess what happened next?

    And you get the fake asses like Oliver Willis.  "Guess what happened next?"

    Uh, the Democrats promised, in 2006, that if you gave them one house in Congress in that year's elections they would end the Iraq War.  The American people then gave them both houses of Congress.  Did the Iraq War end in 2007?




    Let's shorthand this and note the reality that the Iraq War continues to this day.

    To the fake asses, the great affront is not the Iraqis killed in the Iraq War -- over a million, way over a million -- it's the death of Hillary Clinton's dream of being president that most offends.

    Hillary who supported the war -- as did Mad Maddie -- and their support for Hillary goes a long way towards explaining their craven nature.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: