Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kiev Junta Ascendancy to Power Big Lies

Kiev Junta Ascendancy to Power Big Lies

by Stephen Lendman

It's no secret most governments lie. Some much more than others. Washington and other Western ones hugely on issues mattering most.

Kiev putschists told Ukrainians whoppers. Their policies are polar opposite promises made right down the line.

They lied saying they'd "reduc(e) the level of political and societal tension."

Fact: They elevated it to levels highest in modern Ukraine history.

They'd "restor(e) legality and order."

Fact: Rule of law in Ukraine no longer exists. Disorder is worse than any time since WW II.

They'd restor(e) constitutionality of governmental activities, reduc(e) corruption, increas(e) the legal protections and security of the citizens."

Fact: Constitutionality is pure fiction. Corruption is perhaps worse than ever. Government and military officials and are stealing the country blind - practically everything they can get their dirty hands on.

Legal protections and security for Ukrainians don't exist. Illegitimate junta power runs things. Mob rule explains it.

They'd "strengthen national unity and civic consensus."

Fact: No civic consensus exists. Disunity and then some describes things.

They'd "prevent the collapse of the national economy."

Fact: Ukraine is bankrupt. Its economy teeters on collapse. Without IMF loan-shark funds, it would disintegrate altogether.

Money not used to pay bankers first goes for weapons and war-making. Virtually nothing is used to help ordinary Ukrainians.

They're stuck under junta rule not caring if they live, die, or endure unspeakable human misery.

They'd show "(u)nconditional respect for citizens and civil society('s) right to develop…national languages and cultures."

Fact: Civil and human rights were systematically abolished. Anything related to Russia is considered anti-Ukrainian.

They'd "(f)acilitat(e) a comprehensive modernization of the state using European models."

Fact: Junta policies have Ukraine on a fast-track toward destabilizing  demodernization. 

They'd "expand the growth of the informational, educational, cultural space for Ukrainian citizens, and their ability to pursue self-fulfillment."

Fact: They instituted total information control. Independent media are prohibited. State propaganda all the time substitutes.

Education is mind-manipulating indoctrination, not real learning. Self-fulfillment is pure fantasy.

Millions of Ukrainians are deeply impoverished. Growing numbers are unemployed. Social services are disappearing altogether.

Illegitimate prime minister Yatsenyuk nows tells Ukrainians "the country does not have resources as (they're) spent on defense, the army, tanks, (other) weapons, on strengthening security, (and) building a border."

In other words, people needs don't matter. Waging war against ordinary Ukrainians wanting democratic freedoms Kiev denies comes first.

At the same time Ukraine's currency is crashing toward worthlessness. Hyperinflation threatens and all the misery it entails. 

Rationing was instituted. Europe's "breadbasket" can't feed its own people. Last year's harvest was sold abroad. Food reserves are gone.

Essentials to life are in short supply or nonexistent. Ukrainians are dying for lack of medical care. 

The entire country is on life support headed toward collapse - under fascist lunatics tolerating no opposition.

Maidan's broken promises may precipitate greater protests than a year ago for real change hoodlums in charge won't tolerate.

The best way to distract people from economic misery is by scaring them to believe nonexistent threats are real. 

Expect junta propaganda to try convincing Ukrainians that renewed war is justified. Whether they'll buy it is something else entirely. 

When stomachs are empty, people want butter, not guns, peace not war, officials in charge serving them, not their own interests exclusively.

Maidan 2014 may turn out a warmup for what's coming. In the meantime, fragile ceasefire could unravel any time.

Peace is anathema to Washington. Kiev under Poroshenko reflects stooge governance serving US interests.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Expect war to resume at Obama's discretion. Kiev is frantically regrouping and rearming.

At the same time, Washington and Britain not involved in Minsk are trying to rewrite its terms.

On the one hand, Poroshenko wants NATO doing his fighting for him. On the other, Obama and Cameron want OSCE's mandate changed.

After a Friday closed-door Security Council meeting, Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained what they're up to.

Saying they're trying to "rewrite" Minsk. They intend "lectur(ing) the OSCE on what to do." Their scheme is way "out of scope of the existing mission mandate."

The want OSCE observers they control monitoring Russian/Ukrainian border areas. "There are Minsk agreements in place, where the question of borders is explained," said Churkin.

"Why would this question be brought up at the" Security Council, he asked? "All of this is probably to add psychological pressure and divert attention" from efforts to assure a very shaky ceasefire holds.

Washington and Britain irresponsibly inserted themselves into the Minsk process they had no role in crafting - including resources OSCE may need.

"It is not the role of the (Security Council) to discuss the supply (of) those resources," said Churkin. "The OSCE Permanent Council is in charge of that."

Churkin stressed calls for ceasefire and peace are being subverted by out-of-line meddling. Kerry said new sanctions against Russia are ready to be implemented.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow is "leaving all of the options open, including those that have been used in the past." 

"(I)f necessary, fairly painful countermeasures will be used," he stressed. "We are continuing to prepare for possible new sanctions, but at the same time we are not seeing the connection between the US sanctions and what is happening in the real world."

Russia will announce its response to whatever Washington has in mind at an appropriate time, Ryabkov explained.

Poroshenko warned "at any moment, our troops are ready (to resume fighting to) repel the enemy…Military threat from the east remains" even if truce holds, he claimed.

These and similar comments show what previous articles stressed. Chances for sustainable, durable Donbass peace are virtually nil.

On February 28, Sputnik News headlined "US to Send Arms to Ukraine Using Private Contractors - Hacker Group."

Besides heavy weapons Washington already supplied throughout months of conflict, the Ukrainian hacker group CyberBerkut said:

"We, CyberBerkut, got access to files stored on the electronic device that belonged to an employee of the private military contractor 'Green Group,' (that) recently visited Kiev with a US military delegation." 

"The documents reveal that the United States is still mulling over the idea of supplying lethal weapons to Kiev, but first, it would like to gain the support of its European allies."

Sputnik News explained Washington intends using private military contractor (PMC) paramilitaries it employs to deliver weapons and use them against rebels.

Earlier, CyberBerkut leaked information about junta mass casualties, huge loss of heavy weapons and equipment, low troop morale, growing resistance to war, and junta snipers' responsibility for 2014 Maidan killings, not Yanukovych's government.

Obama's Ukraine agenda hasn't gone as planned. On the one hand, it has a tiger by the tail. On the other, its client state is bankrupt headed toward collapse.

Growing public anger over broken promises and human misery may ignite Maidan 2.0. Ukrainians are on their own to get good governance impossible with fascist lunatics in charge.

A Final Comment

A separate article discussed Boris Nemtsov's overnight murder - with CIA false flag dirty hands all over it.

It was days after US ambassador to Russia John Tefft said:

"In my opinion, particularly such respected gentlemen as Navalny and Nemtsov can be really useful to us in establishing a new civil society in Russia. And in the very near future."

Did Tefft know more than he said? Clearly, Nemtsov's killing irresponsibly adds fuel to the Putin bashing fire.

Even though it's inconceivable he had anything to do with it. The propaganda effect will be short-lived. The chance for enlisting anti-Putin sentiment enough to matter is pure fantasy.

Don't think Washington and Kiev rogues won't stop trying. Will the next Putin bashing phase feature Je suis Boris campaigning?

Maybe on US streets? Putin had no reason to want him eliminated. He posed no political threat whatever. 

He was widely disliked. His political party has less than 5% support. His personal approval rating was around 1%. 

Tefft's comment suggests he was worth lots more dead than alive to Washington. It had clear motive and opportunity to take full advantage.

Stephen Lendan lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Nemtsov Murder: Anti-Putin False Flag!

Nemtsov Murder: Anti-Putin False Flag!

by Stephen Lendman

Overnight Friday, opposition politician/Putin antagonist Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed in central Moscow. 

Tass said he was "shot dead (by) four shots from a handgun from a car passing by him…"

He was RPR-Parnas party co-chair, a Yaroslavi Oblast regional parliament member, and Solidarnost co-founder/co-chair - modeled after CIA-financed anti-communist Lech Walesa's Polish Solidarnosc.

In the 1990s, he held various government posts - including first deputy prime minister and deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin. 

He served in Russia's lower house State Duma and upper house Federation Council. He ignored clear US responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. He lied calling Donbass "Vladimir Putin's war."

Before Washington's coup, he said "(w)e support Ukraine's course toward European integration…By supporting Ukraine, we support ourselves."

Along with Aleksey Navalny, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, and other Putin opponents, he had close Western ties.

He got State Department funding through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It wages war on democracy worldwide. 

It advances US interests. Its board of directors includes a rogue's gallery of neocon extremists.

In 2009, Nemtsov and Kasparov met personally with Obama. They discussed anti-Putin tactics - regime change by any other name.

Nemtsov's killing was strategically timed - ahead of Sunday's Vesna (Russian Spring anti-government) opposition march. 

I'll now be a Nemtsov memorial rally - turning an anti-Putin/pro-Western opportunist/convenient stooge into an unjustifiable martyr. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "Putin has stressed that this brutal murder has all (the) signs of a contract murder and is extremely provocative."

"The president has expressed his deep condolences to the family of tragically deceased Nemtsov."

Serial-killer/unindicted war criminal Obama "condemn(ed) (his) brutal murder." 

He ludicrously called him "a tireless advocate for his country, seeking for his fellow Russian citizens the rights to which all people are entitled."  

"I admired Nemtsov’s courageous dedication to the struggle against corruption in Russia and appreciated his willingness to share his candid views with me when we met in Moscow in 2009."

"(T)he Russian people…have lost one of the most dedicated and eloquent defenders of their rights."

John Kerry made similar duplicitous comments. Mikhail Gorbachev called his killing "an attempt to complicate the situation in the country, even to destabilize it by ratcheting up tensions between the government and the opposition."

Nemtsov was a Western financed self-serving opportunist. His killing has all the earmarks of a US-staged false flag. Cui bono remains most important.

Clearly Putin had nothing to gain. Rogue US elements have lots to benefit from trying to destabilize Russia.

If Putin wanted Nemtsov dead, it's inconceivable he'd order a Mafia-style contract killing. An "unfortunate" plane or car crash would have been more likely.

Perhaps cleverly poisoning him the way Obama murdered Chavez and Sharon killed Arafat.

Gunning him down in central Moscow automatically rules out Kremlin involvement. 

His demise has all the earmarks of a CIA-staged false flag. Expect no evidence whatever surfacing suggesting Putin's involvement.

Nemtsov's martyrdom is much more valuable to Washington than using him alive as an impotent opposition figure.

Despite challenging economic conditions, Putin's approval rating exceeds 85%. Nemtsov's party has less than 5%. He was no popular favorite. Most Russians disliked him.

Expect his hyped martyrdom to be fully exploited in the West. Does Washington plan more political assassinations to heighten the Nemtsov effect?

Expect Sunday's march to be nothing more than another US failed attempt to enlist anti-Putin support.

Russians aren't stupid. They know how Washington operates. How it vilifies their government. How neocon lunatics in charge are capable of anything.

They know Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. How Putin goes all-out trying to resolve them diplomatically.

Obama wants war, not peace. He wants destabilizing regime change in Russia - perhaps by nuclear war if other methods fail.

Killing Nemtsov changes nothing. Expect Western anti-Putin propaganda to fall flat after a few days of suggesting his involvement.

The New York Times practically accused him of murder calling Nemtsov's killing "the highest-profile assassination in Russia during (his) tenure."

His death occurred "just days before he was to lead (an anti-Putin) rally to protest the war in Ukraine."

The Times absurdly claimed "doors are now closing on the vision of a pluralistic political system of the type (Nemtsov) said he wanted for Russia."

It quoted discredited (on corruption charges) Putin opposition figure Gennady Gudkov saying "(t)hey have started to kill 'enemies of the people.' Mr. Nemtsov is dead. Who is next?"

The Times called him a "dashing, handsome young politician..often touted as an heir apparent to (Boris) Yeltsin."

Neocon Washington Post editors called his murder "another dark sign for Russia."

They flat-out lied saying he "was a courageous Russian politician who never gave up on the dream that the country could make the transition from dictatorship to liberal democracy."

They tried turning a nobody into a political icon. Ludicrously claiming he "be(came) one of the most enduring political figures of the post-Soviet era."

Disgracefully saying "he was by no means the first Putin opponent to be murdered in brazen fashion." Practically accusing Putin of ordering his killing.

Claiming he's "unwilling to tolerate opposition of any kind." Ignoring his overwhelming popularity. His opposition does a good job of rendering itself irrelevant.

Neocon Wall Street Journal editors proved true to form. They outrageously said "(i)n the gangster state that is Vladimir Putin's Russia, we may never learn who shot Boris Nemtsov in Moscow late Friday night."

They absurdly claimed "he might have steered Russia toward a decent future had he been given a chance."

"Instead, he was fated to become a courageous voice for democracy and human rights who risked his life to alert an indifferent West to the dangers of doing business with the man in the Kremlin."

Journal and like-minded editorials and commentaries repeated one Big Lie after another. Irresponsible Putin bashing substitutes for honest reporting and analysis.

Nemtsov's killing is Washington's latest attempt to destabilize Russia. It's part of its longstanding regime change strategy.

It bears repeating. Russians are too smart to fall for thinly veiled US schemes. 

Their overwhelming support for Putin shows flat rejection of what Washington neocons have in mind for their country. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Scourge of US-Installed Fascism in Europe's Heartland

The Scourge of US-Installed Fascism in Europe's Heartland

by Stephen Lendman

Obama bears full responsibility for replacing Ukraine's democratically elected government with Nazi lunatics.

Russia's lower house State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said "(t)he guilt of the United States of America for (what happened) is considerable and obvious to the entire world."

Ukraine's crisis "poses a risk to international security, first of all to European security."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey was clear and unequivocal saying:

"For a quarter of century, the key principles of the United Nations had been systematically violated." 

"The US and other Western nations neglected the fundamental rules of international law, widely used double standards and didn't hesitate to intervene directly into other nations' sovereign affairs." 

"The impact of this policy is fully felt by the peoples of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and now Ukraine."

He omitted Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, numerous other countries, and his own affected by the scourge of US policies.

The good news is Washington "failed to make up a global anti-Russian coalition," said Lavrov.

"We are engaged in a dialogue with the majority of the countries. Support of the world community for Russia’s balanced policy is growing."

America makes more enemies than friends. Pressure won't force Russia to change its foreign policy, Lavrov stressed.

Obama's new National Security Strategy reflects US business as usual, he said - permanent wars against invented enemies.

Obama's lunatic aim for "global dominance and readiness to use military force unilaterally to ensure American interests" threatens everyone, said Lavrov.

He "mentions over a hundred times the exceptional right of the US to exercise the notorious American leadership."

He believes it's "inevitable…(I)t looks like the White House forgot what seeking hegemony to the detriment of other countries' interests may lead to."

"…(T)he ferocity that we see in (Britain and other) Western capitals now exceeds the levels seen during the…Cold War."

Lavrov clearly sees the danger of heading things toward possible East/West war responsible leaders don't want.

Britain announced sending combat troops to Ukraine masquerading as military trainers.

An unnamed Kremlin source accused its government of "apparently prepar(ing) to derail" Minsk.

"Statements from London that say there's no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis amid this move appear to be at least hypocritical and a case of gambling with the security of all Europe in worst-case scenario," it added.

Ceasefire is largely holding, but for how long. Its fragility suggests conflict could resume any time at Washington's discretion.

It uses Kiev's military as a proxy force waging naked aggression in Europe's heartland. Battleground Ukraine is pretext for targeting Russia.

Anyone paying attention knows Washington's main objective is toppling its government. Replacing it with one it controls. 

Risking nuclear war to achieve its objective. No nation threatens humanity's survival more than America. None is governed more recklessly and ruthlessly.

Former Czech health minister Ivan David said Washington is turning Europe into a battlefield.

EU nations "whose elites are taking orders from an alien, American power, (are) leading the whole continent to the slaughterhouse," he stressed.

They should partner with Russia to survive, he believes. Europe needs "new elites." Current ones may set the entire continent ablaze.

They're "promised they will be allowed to survive if they diligently serve (US interests) at the expense of their own peoples."

If Europe wants to survive, it needs fundamental new policy, he stressed.

Tinderbox conditions remain in Donbass. Kiev beginning to withdraw heavy weapons may be more head-fake than willingness to observe Minsk.

On February 27, Sputnik News said its forces "will leave enough units and equipment along the line of contact (on the pretext of being able) to react to a possible ceasefire violation."

Fascists in charge violated previous ceasefire agreements straightaway. It takes a giant leap of faith to believe they'll observe what they systematically rejected before - regardless of what they agreed to in Minsk or say publicly.

Washington calls the shots. It's Kiev's paymaster. Obama deplores peace. He wants war. He wants total control over his newest colony. 

Expect conflict to resume at his discretion. Maybe this time potentially affecting the entire continent.

Canada and Australia saying they'll send combat troops to Ukraine under the guise of military trainers ups the stakes for more war.

Humanity's fate hangs in the balance. Paul Craig Roberts addressed the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow via Skype.

He discussed reckless neocon policies responsible for wrecking Reagan/Gorbachev rapprochement - saving the world in the 1980s from possible humanity destroying nuclear war.

Soviet Russia's dissolution "removed the only constraint on Washington's power to act unilaterally abroad," said Roberts.

The Gulf and Baltic wars followed. The rape of Yugoslavia was prelude for Bush/Obama post-9/11 permanent direct and proxy wars in multiple theaters.

America's maniacal drive for global hegemony may kill us all. Neocon lunatics making policy intend stopping at nothing to assure no nation challenges US dominance.

Life on earth is threatened like never before. Possible nuclear war should scare everyone. Western propaganda heads things toward the unthinkable.

Poroshenko wants US-led NATO doing his fighting for him in the next planned phase of war. It bears repeating.

It could start anytime at Obama's discretion. Perhaps it's a major US/Kiev false flag away. 

Something big like 9/11 to get US-NATO forces directly involved risking war with Russia.

Ukraine is rearming in preparation for more war. After contracting with the UAE for US-made weapons, it agreed to buy drones and electronic warfare from France's Thales Group.

Kiev official Oleg Gladkovsky said "contracts have been reached with US companies." He provided no further details.

Ukraine is broke. It's bankrupt. Where is it getting money to buy expensive weapons? 

IMF funds supposedly exclude using them for war-making. The idea being they're to pay bankers first. Apparently enough wiggle room permits virtually anything.

Bloomberg cited an unnamed source saying conflict in Donbass "would make it tougher for Ukraine to maintain its economic commitments to the IMF and (service its debt) while deepening the fund's involvement in the worst standoff in Europe sine the end of the Cold War."

Congress may provide a billion dollars more in aid. House legislation introduced authorizes the secretaries of defense and state "to provide assistance, including training, equipment, lethal weapons of a defensive nature (sic), logistics support, supplies and services, and sustainment to the military and national security forces of Ukraine through September 30, 2017."

The measure ludicrously says it's to help Kiev secure its "sovereign territory against foreign aggressors (and promote) conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict."

Providing funds for weapons assures more conflict. Initiating it depends on:

  • what lunatics in Washington have in mind;

  • whether US forces will be directly involved; and 

  • if or how efforts are made to draw Russia into a war on its border it wants ended once and for all.

For now, things are relatively (not entirely) calm. On Thursday, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharcehcko issued the following statement in good faith:

"In pursuance of the Declaration of 12.02.2015 and the 'Package of measures concerning implementation of the Minsk Agreement,'  the Donetsk People's Republic has withdrawn heavy armament to the agreed upon and registered by the given document distance." 

As of Friday morning, withdrawal of artillery, mortars and heavy equipment was 90% completed.

Zakharchenko said "(t)he Ukrainian side (so far) evades (its) commitments" beyond token withdrawals to positions not in compliance with Minsk.

"In case of violation by the Ukrainian side, (DPR) reserve(s) the right to return heavy armaments to the places of previous dislocation…"

DPR holds Kiev fully responsible if Minsk fails like previous ceasefires.

If sporadic "shelling and attacks do not stop," said Zakharchenko, "we reserve the right to consider the Minsk agreement wrecked by the Ukrainian side."

"Military equipment will be returned to their previous positions. All attempts to attack our settlements will be checked in the bud."

Zakharchenko said LPR leadership intends a similar announcement. Poroshenko's latest comment should give them cause for concern.

He lied claiming a continued rebel "military threat." Saying Kiev intends repositioning heavy weapons in front line positions any time he says they violated Minsk - whether true or false.

Throughout months of conflict, Kiev, Washington, other Western nations, Eastern European NATO members, and media scoundrels repeatedly accused rebels of Kiev crimes.

Expect a similar Big Lie to launch the next phase of conflict. Likely threatening Europe more than any time since WW II.

Will its leaders risk everything staying loyal to Washington’s imperial madness? Will their populations allow them to do it at the risk of their own demise?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Gitmo in Chicago

Gitmo in Chicago

by Stephen Lendman

What London's Guardian reported on Tuesday is shocking, disturbing, yet unsurprising given the scourge of neocon fascist governance in America.

Washington's war on humanity at home and abroad should be a wakeup call for everyone. Wars without end rage against one nation after another.

Independent ones are targeted for regime change. Washington's goal is total colonization of planet earth, stealing its resources and enslaving its people.

US cities are virtual battlegrounds like never before. America is unsafe to live in. 

Washington provides police nationwide with enormous amounts of combat weapons, related equipment and supplies - making them virtual military units.

The line between cop and combat ready soldier is less clear than ever in US history. Militarized police wage war on freedom. It's a hair's breadth from disappearing altogether.

When cities become battlegrounds, ordinary people risk being treated like enemies - losing all constitutional protections mattering most.

The alarming state of today's America should scare everyone. Fundamental rights don't matter. Anyone can be targeted, arrested and disappeared. Perhaps never heard from again.

This writer's home city Chicago may be ground zero for some of the most disturbing practices. London's Guardian broke the story demanding world coverage and outrage.

On February 24, it headlined "The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site.' "

It's an "off-the-books (Homan Square) interrogation compound," said the Guardian - some miles west from where this writer lives.

A "nondescript warehouse (is) the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site." People are lawlessly arrested, detained, denied access to lawyers up to 24 hours, and tortured during secret interrogations.

Detainees are kept off "official booking databases. Some young as 15 are painfully shackled for long periods, beaten and terrorized.

Homan Square is in Chicago's west side North Lawndale district. It's home to the original 1905 Sears, Roebuck and Co. property. 

Many of its buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Perhaps Gitmo in America will be included one day. More on the Guardian's report below.

Chicago police have a longstanding reputation for brutality. They have virtual carte blanche authority to operate with impunity.

They take full advantage. From 1972 - 1991, detective Jon Burge got away with torturing over 200 detainees. Instead of dismissal and prosecution, he was promoted.

Dozens of victims complained. Suits followed. Finally, after 21 abusive years, he was fired. 

Community outrage stopped a March 1993 Fraternal Order of Police plan to honor him with a float in Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day parade.

On October 21, 2008, he was indicted on two counts of obstructing justice and one count of perjury. On June 28, 2010, he was convicted on all counts. He's the exception proving  the rule. 

It took decades for partial justice. Few police are prosecuted -  almost never one of high rank. Burge rose from street cop to detective commander. Over two decades, he got 13 commendations and a Justice Department letter of praise. 

His crimes were well-known. A code of silence hid them. He was honored until his luck ran out. He got off mildly. 

He received four and half years in prison. His crimes and similar ones committed by other rogue cops should never have been allowed in the first place.

This writer personally knows a Chicago cop torture victim. He committed no crimes. Yet he was lawlessly arrested, detained and brutalized for being Black in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He remains justifiably outraged. Rogue cops weren't punished. Nor their superiors. During Chicago's May 2012 NATO summit, Chicago police viciously assaulted peaceful protesters.

Dozens were hurt. Victims had head injuries, broken bones and teeth knocked out. Many required hospitalization.

In Black and Latino communities, police brutality rages. Cracked skulls, arrests and brutality in detention reflect longstanding practice.

Chicago is a mini-police state. Last year, a Chicago organization called We Charge Genocide produced a report charging city police with "systematic horrific & punitive police violence against Black and Brown youths on a daily basis."

ACLU human rights program director Jamil Dakwar says "(i)t's time for systemic policing reforms and effective oversight that make sure law enforcement agencies treat all citizens with equal respect and hold officers accountable when they cross the line."

Chicago police lie saying "CPD abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility." 

"If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them." 

"It also houses CPD’s Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property.”

The Guardian report explained systematic abuse of power and denial of fundamental constitutional rights.

"At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square (so-called) 'interview room' and later pronounced dead," it said.

Brian Jacob Church was one of the 2012 NATO Three protesters. He was arrested and held incommunicado at Homan Square for nearly 24 hours before being booked at local police station.

He commented to the Guardian as follows, saying:

"Homan Square is definitely an unusual place. It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East." 

"The CIA calls them black sites. It's a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what's happened to you."

"…I wasn't allowed to make any contact with anybody." He was painfully shackled for about 17 hours.

"I had essentially figured, 'All right, well, they disappeared us and so we're probably never going to see the light of day again."

Lawyers seeking access to Homan Square are routinely turned away. According to Chicago attorney Julia Bartmes:

"It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place - if you can't find a client in the system, odds are they're" at Homan.

Civil rights attorney Flint Taylor accused Chicago police of Fifth and Sixth Amendment violations.

He omitted 8th Amendment prohibitions against "cruel and unusual punishments."

He said Homan Square reflects "an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years, of violating a suspect or witness' rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement."

When a Guardian reporter tried gaining access to Homan, a guard "refused any entrance and would not answer questions," the paper said.

"This is a secure facility. You're not even supposed to be standing here," the guard said.

Detainees taken there "just disappear," said criminal defense attorney Anthony Hill.

Their whereabouts is unknown "until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street."

Chicago police guidelines prohibit Homan Square practices. A "Processing Persons Under Department Control" directive says the following:

"(I)nvestigation or interrogation of an arrestee will not delay the booking process." 

Anyone arrested must be allowed "a reasonable number of telephone calls (to attorneys straightaway) after their arrival at the first place of custody."

"Arrestee and In-Custody Communications (must) allow visitation by attorneys." According to the Guardian:

"The combination of holding clients for long periods, while concealing their whereabouts and denying access to a lawyer, struck legal experts as a throwback to the worst excesses of Chicago police abuse, with a post-9/11 feel to it."

Former Chicago public defender/current Valparaiso University Law School dean Andrea Lyon calls Homan Square "analogous to the CIA's black sites,"

Chicago Justice Project's Tracy Siska says "(t)he real danger in allowing practices like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects."

"They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices." 

"That's how we ended up with a black site in Chicago." A follow-up February 26 Guardian report said city police didn't respond to its questions.

What's ongoing in Chicago likely happens elsewhere across America. US jails, detention facilities and prisons are notoriously brutal.

An earlier article discussed a 2005 UK Deborah Davis Channel 4 report titled "Torture, Inc., America's Brutal Prisons."

It explained prisoners brutally shocked with cattle prods, burned by toxic chemicals, harmed by stun guns, beaten, stripped naked and abused in various other ways.

Sound familiar, it asked? Welcome to Guantanamo in America..

Videos Britain's Channel 4 aired made disturbing viewing. They show guards yelling and abusing prisoners.

"(O)rdering them to lie on the ground and crawl. (If not) fast enough, a guard kicks (them) or stomps on (their) back."

One man screamed when a dog bit his lower leg. Another had his ankle broken, couldn't crawl fast enough, and was painfully taserred on his buttocks.

Hours later, his body still shook uncontrollably. Images revealed reflected Gitmo or Abu Ghraib practices in US prisons.

Horrifying evidence of America's brutality. Commonplace abroad and at home at the federal, state and local levels.

Chicago is a microcosm of systemic US ruthlessness. Torture without accountability is the clearest example. 

Sadism writ large best explains it. Nothing in prospect suggests change.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can b reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grand Theft Netanyahu?

Grand Theft Netanyahu?

by Stephen Lendman

When he arrives in Washington for his March 3 congressional address, lawmakers showing up will welcome a war criminal/serial liar/thief.

A scathing Israeli State Comptroller report provided evidence of significant financial improprieties.

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira believes a criminal investigation is warranted. Perhaps an indictment on misuse of state resources for personal gain will follow.

A political firestorm erupted close to Israeli March 17 elections. How it'll affect them remains to be seen.

Whether Netanyahu wins or loses won't help Palestinians. All Israeli regimes since 1948 persecuted them viciously. 

Expect nothing different ahead no matter who wins. The loser is certain like always.

Netanyahu remaining prime minister may improve things for Palestinians sooner by sparking greater public anger for change.

A friendlier face replacing him following business as usual likely means more lost years for long delayed justice.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has more than critics to face ahead of fast approaching elections. 

Shapira's report says his expenditures for two personal residences (in Jerusalem and Caesarea on weekends) were excessive and improper without integrity or transparency.

It's one thing getting prime ministerial perks. Quite another spending large sums improperly. Former health minister Yael German called him "thoroughly disconnected from the people."

Opposition elements say he's unfit to serve. Anyone following his policies knew that long ago. 

He's ruthless, irresponsible, lawless and guilty of genocidal crimes no matter how much money he did or didn't steal. He remains unaccountable. 

He belongs in prison, not high office. He has buckets of blood on his hands he'll never be able to wash off. 

Stolen shekels are minor crimes compared last summer's genocidal high ones alone.

Plus daily persecution throughout Occupied Palestine. Netanyahu's vendetta against Iran threatens regional peace.

He risks war on the Islamic Republic that could embroil the entire region in conflict. He's capable of ordering a nuclear strike on Iran.

Someone like him in power threatens world peace. Especially allied with Washington.

Meanwhile he has questions to answer. Shapira's report showed he used government funds for personal expenses.

His cleaning ones doubled from $138,000 in 2009 to over $250,000 in 2011. They dropped slightly in 2012.

His overall expenses rose from $475,000 in 2009 to $615,000 in 2010 to $798,000 in 2011. Then slightly lower in 2012 and 2013, but remaining inordinately high.

Spending for food and hospitality more than doubled in 2010 and 2011 compared to 2009.

According to Shapira: "In light of the large cleaning costs, the PMO should examine…(its) prudence and act to avoid unnecessary expenditures." He stopped short of calling him a thief.

At the same time, he believes evidence he compiled warrants a criminal investigation. He spent hundreds of thousands of shekels on takeout food alone even though his official residence employed a cook.

Evidence on work done by electrician Avi Fahima was sent to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein - apparently on recommendation by Israel's state prosecutor.

Cleaning expenses on Netanyahu's weekend resident alone cost Israeli taxpayers around $2,000 a month - "even though Mr. Netanyahu and his family spent most of the year at the official residence," said Shapira.

His report explained Netanyahu's office employees were at times forced to pay for his personal expenses - without reimbursement.

Deficiencies in Knesset administrative practices were noted as well as financial mismanagement of human resources at Netanyahu's residences.

"The meaning of a failure to pay back these invoices from petty cash is that PMO employees absorbed the cost of private expenditures of the prime minister or his family," said Shapira. 

"When a PMO employee is forced to pay from his own pocket for an expenditure by the prime minister, this is improper administration, and it makes no difference whether the sum is large or small."

Netanyahu faces other criticism for spending $20,000 at his weekend home for water alone. Another $2,500 for ice cream.

Over $100,000 to install a bed in his plane for a five-hour flight. Shapira's audit found his budgeted expenses "were made without a process that analyzed needs or determined estimated expenses."

"This did not meet a single criteria for the rules of proper management, and hurt the ability to carry out proper auditing and oversight," Shapira said.

Netanyahu's household expenditures for "family and guests at the official residence, especially in 2010 and 2011, and to a lesser extent in 2012, did not meet a single criteria of the basic principles of proportionality, reasonableness, economy and efficiency,"  Shapira explained.

He was highly critical of out-of-line expenses for cleaning, water, food, makeup, hairstyling, electrical work, and other expenditures taxpayers had to pay.

Israeli commentator Udi Segal believes Shapira's report won't spoil Netanyahu's chance for remaining prime minister. He's in a close race at this stage he looks likely to win.

Haaretz said he won't disclose the foreign bank recipient of $145,000 transfer he made in 2002.

Journalist Uri Blau published information on it. Netanyahu refuses to explain what's important to disclose.

Blau published the following, saying: 

"Dear Mathew - Please forward to Lehman Brothers in New York the sum of $145,000 from my account at the Royal Bank of Scotland."

According to Blau, "reports from the Swiss leaks continue to uncover tax shelters and other bank accounts." 

"It's important to remember that Netanyahu also had an account in a tax shelter. Documents pertaining to this account are being revealed here for the first time."

"Last year, journalist Lilach Weissman exposed in Globes' that between the years 1998-2003 Netanyahu held an account at a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the Channel Islands of Jersey, known for their comfy tax regime." 

"During the majority of that time, Netanyahu was off politics, though he returned to hold a public position as Foreign Minister at the end of 2002."

"According to Weissman, Netanyahu used this account to pay the  $2,468.45 to Shimron, Molho, Persky & Co. law firm; to transfer $8,000 to the bank account of IDF Colonel (reserves) Yehuar Gal, his Chief of Staff in 2000 and to transfer $1,800 to Aviv Bushinsky, his former spokesperson."

"But the biggest amount we know to have transferred from Netanyahu's account has reached an unknown destination."

He referred to the $145,000 mentioned above. It went to a Lehman client account identified only by a number - no name. 

Netanyahu refuses to explain further. Israelis have a right to know if he acted legally or otherwise.

On March 3, he'll deliver what's called the most controversial address ever by a foreign leader to a joint session of Congress.

During his Washington stay, no White House welcome mat will greet him. Obama, Biden and Kerry intend boycotting his speech. Reports suggest so will dozens of Democrat lawmakers

Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice called his congressional appearance "destructive" of US/Israeli relations.

He's combining a pre-election PR stunt with efforts to sabotage ongoing Iranian P5+1 talks. 

He repeatedly lies about Tehran's nuclear weapons program his own Mossad says has no military component.

He'll grossly breach protocol two ways. By addressing Congress with no White House invitation. By urging lawmakers reject any P5+1 deal made. 

Reasons enough for any US president to want nothing to do with him. Obama and Netanyahu clearly don't like each other. 

The White House has more reasons than ever to want him defeated on March 17. Polls suggest otherwise.

A Final Comment

On February 26, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein met with state prosecution senior officials to consider whether Netanyahu's financial improprieties warrant a criminal investigation.

It's expected to follow. Netanyahu will be required to testify. An Israeli Channel 2 report said a formal investigation "appears inescapable…if only to clear away the cloud of suspicion."

On Thursday, Netanyahu hired top criminal attorney Jacob Weinroth to represent him in case charges follow.

Media reports suggest probing his spending excess might uncover more than what's already known. 

He's suspected of using large amounts of state funds for private expenses. Evidence proving it would likely mean criminal indictment. 

He'd face trial and possible prison time if convicted. He deserves that and more for his high crimes against peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

US Diplomats Paid to Lie

US Diplomats Paid to Lie

by Stephen Lendman

If Washington ran want ads tor diplomatic posts, they'd read something like this:

Wanted: Individuals for diplomatic positions. Foreign service experience preferred. Deception skills required. 

Comfortable spreading state propaganda. Willing to ignore hard truths. Eager to lie for their government.

John Kerry does it poorly. How he got the top diplomatic post is anyone's guess. Maybe he bought it. 

Together with his wife's enormous wealth, his net worth way exceeds a billion dollars. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates his alone at from $184 - 288 million.

It's hard remembering how many times he lied about Russia. On Tuesday, he did again saying Russian officials lied "to (his) face."

He's so habituated to lying he wouldn't know the truth if if bit him on the rump. Anti-Russian propaganda rages. Exceeding anything during the Cold War years.

Not according to Kerry. He lied telling lawmakers "Russia has engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I’ve seen since the very height of the Cold War."

"And they have been persisting in their misrepresentations - lies - whatever you want to call them - about their activities there to my face, to the face of others, on many different occasions."

He repeatedly accuses Russia of aggression in Ukraine despite no evidence whatever proving it. Plenty debunking it.

Big Lies don't need evidence. They have a life of their own. Repetition gets most people to believe them. Global wars start this way.

"Russia is engaged in a massive effort to sway nations, to appeal to them, reach out to them, and fundamentally, tragically, sort of reigniting a new kind of East-West zero sum game that we think is dangerous and unnecessary, frankly," Kerry claimed.

Washington does "a pretty good job of standing up for Ukrainian sovereignty." He urged lawmakers to authorize more support.

"We all need to be prepared to step up and be there economically for Ukraine as they reform and try to implement their dream and vision," he said.

"It’s not good enough to have Poroshenko come here and get 40 standing ovations, and then not step up and deliver what it’s really going to take to help him create the democracy he wants to create."

Anyone making minimal efforts to learn hard truths and stay current knows Kerry is a serial liar. 

Nothing he says holds water. He long ago lost credibility. He's a diplomatic embarrassment - shaming the office he holds.

He's paid to lie. He fronts for wealth power and privilege. He deplores peace. He supports war. 

He's fundamentally against democratic governance at home and abroad. He's for fascist ruthlessness replacing it.

His State Department spokeswoman moving up to White House communications director Jen Psaki repeats the same Big Lies.

It's her top priority. Her latest wrongfully accused Donbass rebels of Kiev crimes - again. 

Citing nonexistent "violations of the ceasefire around Debaltseve, the coastal city of Mariupol, and other locations in eastern Ukraine…"

Saying rebels won't let "OSCE monitors access" front line areas despite spokesman Eduard Basurin urging them to come and do their job.

She's dismissive about Kiev military forces refusal to withdraw heavy weapons mandated by Minsk. Only now are they pulling any back. 

How many, how far and to where isn't known. Or whether they'll reposition them back near where they were once OSCE monitors aren't around.

Psaki irresponsibly blames rebels for not withdrawing despite clear evidence they' complied unilaterally until February 26. Confirmed by video footage and independent journalists on the ground.

Psaki ludicrously repeats the Big Lie about Ukraine last February "cast(ing) off an authoritarian regime and chos(ing) a future based on democracy, free trade and the rule of law."

She blames Russia and rebels for Kiev's high crimes against peace. She calls premeditated Ukraine aggression "defending its sovereign territory." 

Despite rebels strictly observing each ceasefire agreement since last April, she blames them for nonexistent violations.

She turns a blind eye to repeated Kiev wrongdoing. She lied saying its military "abided by" agreed on terms despite flagrant violations too obvious to ignore.

She calls an illegitimate US-installed putschist regime democratic. Imagine what she'll say in her new capacity as administration communication director. 

Her new job puts her in charge of the White House lying machine. Expect her to take full advantage. She'll be hard-pressed matching her boss' demagoguery.

Sputnik News ran a piece about US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt''s "tweetplomacy." He "spends all day bashing Russia on Twitter," it said.

He fabricates unsubstantiated allegations. The same rubbish the White House, State Department and media scoundrels proliferate.

He lies repeatedly about nonexistent Russian aggression in Ukraine. His only proof are photos exposed as fakes. Unrelated to Ukraine. From years earlier by AP, AFP and other news sources.

His mandate is when you have no evidence, invent it. Fake it. Repeat Big Lies often enough to get people to believe them.

Sputnik News said it "rais(es) the ire of (twitter) posters weary of the constant claims of Russian involvement without the provision of any proof."

His "latest and most ridiculous" tweet "quoted a mysterious witness about the presence of Russian soldiers in Ukraine."

Saying "(i)t is no secret that the Russian army is here. My wife runs a small shop and some men only wanted to pay in rubles. They are Russian!"

Pyatt is in Kiev, not Donbass. He's far from front line areas. Whether or not some mystery men tried using rubles is irrelevant. 

Nor does it matter if real or invented shoppers were Russian. Ukraine has a large Russian population. It doesn't mean they're Russian soldiers.

Pyatt's tweet made himself look more buffoon-like than diplomat. He invented the Russian mystery shopper story out of whole cloth.

He provided no proof backing anything he said. Or corroborating his other anti-Russian tweets and comments.

It bears repeating. He's paid to lie. Truth-telling gets him fired. Another tweet claims "Russian military personnel have participated in the recent attacks on Vuhlehirsk and Debaltseve."

Again, no proof. Blanket uncorroborated statements polar opposite truth. Sputnik News posted a comment responding to Pyatt saying "(e)nough nonsense."

"Russian armed forces were not there. If they were, Psaki and co. would have flooded the world with pictures and commentary."

Propaganda claims without proof are bald-faced Big Lies. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Joseph Goebbels once said "(t)ruth is the mortal enemy of the lie…" 

Repeated enough makes liars like Obama, Kerry, Psaki and Pyatt irrelevant. If people no longer believe them, their message falls flat.  

It doesn't mean they won't keep trying. It does mean the more Big Lies they tell, the less their credibility.

One tweeter said "(b)elieving the statements made by American diplomats is a dangerous undertaking."

In response to Pyatt turning truth on its head tweeting "(t)he separatists in eastern Ukraine at this point are a de facto extension of Russian military and an instrument of Russian national power," responder Vyacheslav Morosov said:

"A question to you Mr. Pyatt: are you a diplomat or a worker in the ministry of propaganda, or is it the situation now in the #USA that all diplomats are propagandists?"

In February 2014, Pyatt gained notoriety with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland for their role in orchestrating coup violence resulting in replacing Ukrainian democracy with fascist dictatorship.

They were caught red-handed on tape discussing it. Nuland explained Washington spent more than $5 billion over the past 20 years on regime change - wanting puppet governance installed Washington controls.

Things so far haven't gone as planned. Pyatt tweets, Kerry and Psaki Big Lies, and Obama's whoppers won't change things.

Heroic rebel freedom fighters smashed Kiev's military. The country is broke. It's teetering on bankruptcy. 

It's rife with perhaps its worst corruption ever. Top regime and military officials are stealing the country blind.

Extreme social deprivation, mass impoverishment, growing unemployment, and fascist repression let increasing numbers of Ukrainians know they were had.

Maidan promises were fake. They meant nothing. Yanukovych's government looks like the good old days compared to hardline lunatics now running things.

Complicit with Washington and rogue NATO partners, they risk direct confrontation with Russia. 

They risk the unthinkable - possible humanity destroying nuclear war.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.