Colombia has received more US military aid — over $6 billion dollars in the past decade — than any country in the Western Hemisphere. For its part, Colombia allowed the Pentagon to build seven military bases, more than all the other countries in the region combined.
There are over 2,000 US military officers and private US ‘mercenary’ contractors engaged in military activities in Colombia – more than any other country in Latin America.
During the decade-long (2001-2010) regime of President Alvaro Uribe, (a drug trafficker and death squad jefe in his own right), more than one-thousand trade union leaders and activists were murdered — over one hundred a year.
Nevertheless, the ‘Colombian killing field’ regime under Uribe was described in glowing terms by all the major respectable Anglo-American newspapers, including the Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post for having brought “stability and peace” (of the graveyard) to the country and making Colombia “safe for investors”.
Eventually Uribe’s excesses, his policy of ‘peace through terror’ policies frightened and appalled many Colombians and (most important for the oligarchs) he failed to defeat the armed insurgency When the regime’s new extractive export growth strategy called for massive expansion of foreign investment in guerrilla-controlled mineral and oil-rich regions tactics and key political leaders had to change.
After two terms in office, President Uribe’s former Defense Minister Juan Santos was elected on the promise of renewed peace negotiations with the principal guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Guantanamo prisoner Zaher Hamdoun (aka Zaher bin Hamdoun) in a photo included in the classified military files released by WikiLeaks in 2011.On Friday, the Guardian published words from Guantánamo written by Zaher Hamdoun (ISN 576), also identified as Zaher bin Hamdoun (or Zahir bin Hamdoun), a Yemeni held at the prison since May 2002. Hamdoun’s words were interspersed with commentary by his lawyer, Pardiss Kebriaei, a Senior Staff Attorney at the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights.
I’m cross-posting the article below, which is worth reading not only for Hamdoun’s own words about his long ordeal, but also for Pardiss Kebriaei’s frustration with the review process — the Periodic Review Boards — established by President Obama in 2013 to examine the cases of all the prisoners still held when he took office who were not subsequently approved for release in 2010 by the high-level, inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force he appointed (44 of the 116 men still held) or who have not been put forward for trials (just ten of the men still held).
Hamdoun is one of 47 men awaiting a chance to pitch for his release through a Periodic Review Board, a process that, as Kebriaei notes, is appallingly slow. “At the rate prisoners’ reviews are going,” she writes, “the administration will not finish by the time Obama leaves office.”
Just 17 reviews have taken place since November 2013, and, as a result, ten men have been approved for release (but just two have been freed), four others have had their ongoing detention approved (but two are awaiting the results of a second review), and three others are awaiting the results of their reviews.
Kidnapper Caught on Tape: Soldier's Abduction Attempt Thwarted by Child's Family
by Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh Nabi Saleh on Friday saw a remarkable confrontation when an Israeli occupation soldier tried to kidnap a child (with arm in cast after an earlier attack on him ended up with a broken arm) but his family came to his aid and freed him.
Unist'ot'en Camp on "high alert" under rumours of police raid
by Elizabeth McSheffrey
RCMP say recent discussion on social media concerning
the Unist'ot'en Camp doesn't reflect "the situation."
Aug 27th, 2015
ACCESS DENIED:A still from video footage shows Houston RCMP officers requesting Unist’ot’en Camp spokesperson Freda Huson for access on July 15. When that failed, Chevron American officials tried on July 23 and got the same response.
Policers officers have not directly confirmed or denied rumours of an impending raid of the Unist'ot'en Camp in northwestern B.C., which has long been on their radar for repeatedly denying the oil and gas industry access to its territory.
Corporal Janelle Shoihet, a media relations officer in Surrey, said a press release issued by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) outlining the "mass arrest operation" is currently under review and no police action has been taken yet.
"We understand that there has been some discussions on social media that don't accurately reflect the RCMP's action or the situation," she told Vancouver Observer in an email statement.
"To date, there has been no police action. It is our understanding that discussions between industry and the Wet'suwet'en are still possible."
Rumours of the "mass arrest operation" outlined in the UBCIC release quickly gained traction among local leaders and activists, who discouraged police action against the peaceful residents of the Unist'ot'en Camp in any form.
The recent shooting of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul by two women who were claimed by Turkish authorities to be members of a far-left terrorist group, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), as well as a suspicious incident on a Thalys high-speed train bound for Paris from Amsterdam, indicate that the false flag operations conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s Cold War-era «stay behind network» known as Gladio may be back in full operation.
The DHKP-C is claimed to have carried out a suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Ankara in 2013, an attack that killed a Turkish security guard.
In that attack, a website called «The People's Cry», supposedly operated by DHKP-C, claimed that one of its members, Ecevit Sanli, carried out the suicide bombing at the embassy, which killed both Sanli and the Turkish guard.
Thistledown Farm - Just two days before our Sharing the Fire gathering of writers is scheduled to begin at Thistledown Farm B&B in Cedar, BC, bureaucrats from the Regional District of Nanaimo have threatened to shut it down.
The event involves about a dozen writers and artists gathering for three days (August 28-30) to discuss creative approaches to ecological and societal problems.
Five of us have been planning this event for a year. Some participants are travelling from as far away as Whitehorse, Toronto, and the United States to participate.
Regional District employees seem to think that a dozen writers getting together for a creative think-tank on private property is illegal. They have threatened to seek an injunction to bar the pre-registered guests from gathering this weekend at Thistledown Farm.
What will these bureaucrats next decide is illegal, dinner parties in one’s own home?
The gathering will, of course, proceed. It is not illegal for writers to meet in Canada. Perhaps the RDN bureaucrats are thinking they exist in some other era or some other country. If the RDN bureaucrats wish to dress up as jack-booted fascists and come kick the door down and haul away a dozen authors, perhaps they should wait until Halloween so we can give them some candy and send them on their way.
Kim Goldberg August 26, 2015
The following media release was issued today by the owners of Thistledown Farm B&B, Laurie Gourlay and Jackie Moad:
Americans got a glimpse of what policing is like in a more humane and civilized society last year when four young Swedish cops, on vacation in New York City and riding on a subway, found themselves faced with a bloody fight in the aisle by two angry black men.
A subway car full of New Yorkers watched in stunned disbelief as the four Scandinavian cops, all in civvies and unarmed, leapt into action . They used non-lethal techniques to pin the two combatants without hurting either one and then began trying to talk them down, calmly, never raising their voices, and avoiding any swearing or verbal abuse.
New York's Finest busting up a legally protected protest during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street Movement
Neither man was hit by any of the officers despite their struggling. As the Swedish cops waited for New York’s Finest to arrive, they gently rubbed and patted the distressed captives and spoke to them reassuringly.
It was not the way that situation would likely have gone down had it been four off-duty New York cops in that car.
by Greg Palast This week, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, The Palast Investigative Fund is offering my film, Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans as a FREE download.
Crashing global stock markets – punctuated by the bracing 1,000-plus point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the start of Monday’s trading before a partial bounce-back – are a reminder about the interdependence of today’s world economy and a wake-up call to those who think that the neocon-driven ideology of endless chaos doesn’t carry a prohibitively high price.
The hard truth is that there is a limit to the amount of neocon-induced trouble that the planet can absorb without major dislocations of the international economic system – and we may be testing that limit now. The problem is that America’s neocons and their liberal interventionist sidekicks continue to put their ideological priorities ahead of what’s good for the average person on earth. President Barack Obama talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (White House Photo: Pete Souza)
In other words, it may make sense for some neocon think tank or a “human rights” NGO to demand interventions via “hard power” (military action) or “soft power” (economic sanctions, propaganda or other non-military means). After all, neocon think tanks raise money from self-interested sectors, such as the Military-Industrial Complex, and non-governmental organizations always have their hands out for donations from the U.S. government or friendly billionaires.
But the chaos that these neocons and liberal interventionists inflict on the world – often justified by claims about “democracy promotion” and “human rights” – typically ends up creating conditions of far greater horror than the meddling was meant to stop.