SPRING HILL VOICE
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"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time ... but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson, aboriginal educator and activist, Brisbane
* Other Things *
We don't think of KKK as Christians, so why think #ISIS are representative of Muslims?
Image: @MiraWroblewski [20/9/14]
Passenger ejected from flight after being dobbed on for satirical sketch
Brisbane Times [20/9/14]:
A Melbourne man was hauled off a Tiger Airways flight by federal police on Saturday after claims he was seen doodling and writing sentences in a notebook satirising the current terrorism threat.
The incident has highlighted the growing sensitivity among officialdom and the public following the decision of the Abbott government to raise the national threat level and a series of raids were staged against alleged home-grown Islamic fundamentalist terrorists linked to the Islamic State movement.
Oliver Buckworth, 28, claims he was removed from a Gold Coast-bound flight after a fellow passenger saw the contents of his notebook over his shoulder and informed Tiger staff.
"The irony is I was writing a sentence about the absurdity of the fearmongering when we live in such a happy country of ice-cream and beaches and fluffy things," he said.
A page of Mr Buckworth's notebook seen by Fairfax Media contains the sentence: "In a land of melting ice-creams, sandy feet and fluffy bears, how could anyone be fearful of terrorism."
Other doodles include a sketch of a chandelier Mr Buckworth is an interior designer and the play on words: "Terrorismadeup." In a cartoon of a child clutching his head, Mr Buckworth wrote in a thought bubble: "Tyrannosaurus Rex. Terodactyl. Tarantula. Terrorist."
Mr Buckworth said a neighbouring passenger told a flight attendant: "Look what he's writing." "I turned to him and said, 'Yes, look what I'm writing. Read the whole sentence. I'm just writing some notes.' "
Tiger Airways notified the Australian Federal Police, who "offloaded" Mr Buckworth. After being interviewed and undergoing a background check, Mr Buckworth was released.
An AFP spokesperson confirmed they had "responded to a request for assistance" from an airline at Melbourne Airport. "The AFP briefly spoke to the individual concerned. No further AFP action will be taken."
Mr Buckworth has branded Tiger's conduct "ridiculous", especially after learning he had been "blacklisted" by the airline for an indeterminate time.
"My concern is what it looked like to the rest of the people on the plane. I did tell them as I was leaving, 'I'm not a criminal. This man simply took something out of context that I was writing in my book. Just so you know and this whole fear thing isn't instilled even further.' "
A spokeswoman for Tiger has defended the airline's conduct, claiming air crew were responding to a "disruptive passenger".
"Tigerair has a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate and antisocial behaviour. Safety and security of staff and passengers underpins the operation at all times and is never compromised," she said.
The airline declined to comment on whether Mr Buckworth had been expelled from the flight for the contents of his notebook.
For about 20 years after Vietnam we never wore a uniform in public.
Other people's wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror by Nicky Hager [Craig Potton Publishing, 2011]:
... by 2001 the New Zealand military had personnel deployed on peacekeeping duties in 15 countries around the world, including about 700 troops in East Timor. A younger generation of military personnel from all services had grown up appreciating and feeling pride in these roles. 'We struck a chord,' an army officer said. 'For about 20 years after Vietnam we never wore a uniform in public. I can remember being here in the 1980s and if you wore your uniform on a bus someone would have a go at you ... We'd change into it in the building.' But that attitude began to change in the 1990s. 'It seemed in the last 20 years that the whole attitude to defence had completely shifted. New Zealanders like the idea of peacekeeping. They like the idea of having soldiers who could go out and do that useful job.
What a crock of shit.
Some commanding officers in the Australian Defence Force have been advising their personnel not to wear their uniforms to and from work and on public transport for safety reasons in the wake of increased terror alerts.
The move may be extended around the country at the discretion of individual officers, although it will not become official ADF policy, as it would be seen as a victory for the Islamic State (ISIL).
If Australia really wanted to help Iraqi women we would not be invading their country, again
Nine MSN [20/9/14]:
Women and girls in Iraq will get special humanitarian aid from Australia.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has pledged $2 million to help displaced women and girls and victims of gender-based violence, via the United Nations Population Fund.
Women and girls were bearing the brunt of the conflict with the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL), Ms Bishop said.
The funding comes on top of $5 million Australia provided in emergency humanitarian assistance to people fleeing violence in northern Iraq, $130 million for people in need in Syria and $20 million to support refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Ms Bishop made the announcement from New York, where she has addressed the United Nations Security Council on the threat IS poses.
The "murderous terrorist organisation" was not only a threat to the Middle East but to Australia and the rest of the world, she said.
Anbar: Fallujah Hospital has received a dead body and 18 wounded persons including 4 children and 4 women injured in the intended and random bombing of government's army .......... [Iraqi Spring Media Center - 20/9/14]
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, visited the injuries of the terrorists bombings in Kadhimiya city on last Thursday.
A statement by Abadis office received by IraqiNews.com cited Abadi checked on the injuries of the citizens and security elements, stressing that Defeating the terrorists in the battlefields made them to target the civilians and the cities.
Turkey secures release of 49 hostages seized in northern Iraq [Reuters - 20/9/14]
Documentary tracing 1975 fall of Saigon has echoes in today's Iraq
Irish Times [20/9/14]:
The release of Last Days in Vietnam, a new documentary about the messy American withdrawal from the country in April 1975, could not have arrived at a more fitting time. The United States is now grappling with planning and funding what many see as a third war in Iraq, caused by what President Barack Obamas critics say was a ham- fisted exit from the second.
This compelling account of the humiliating American retreat from southeast Asia two years after the Vietnam war ended was made by filmmaker Rory Kennedy, youngest daughter of the late Robert F Kennedy who was assassinated three months before her birth.
Kennedy pulls no punches on the calamitous errors made by president Gerald Fords administration, but out of the mayhem she finds heroes among a handful of US military and intelligence personnel who acted independently of their government when their government failed to act.
Covering the final days before the fall of Saigon to North Vietnam, the film charts attempts by the Americans to evacuate, initially covertly, thousands of South Vietnamese who had helped the US, rather than leaving them to an uncertain fate under the communist north.
The story is told in a riveting narrative by the Americans who scrambled to get people out by vans, aircraft and boats and also recalled by the South Vietnamese themselves, some of whom did not make it out.
Present-day interviews are intercut with remarkable footage unearthed by Kennedy of panicked South Vietnamese hanging on to the steps of an aircraft as it takes off or scaling the walls of the US embassy hoping to find a way out. There are those famous images of US navy men pushing South Vietnamese helicopters overboard on their ship to free up space for more helicopters ferrying fleeing civilians.
There were also bizarre moments, reminiscent of the fall of an empire. A number of US marines were assigned to burn $1 million in cash held on the US embassy complex. It took them eight hours.
The film untangles a misconception around one of the iconic photographs of Saigons fall the helicopter landing on the top of a narrow building with a queue of people snaking up a staircase to the roof laden with suitcases. The building was not in fact the US embassy, as many believe, but an apartment building that was home to a CIA officer who had called in a helicopter during the chaotic exodus.
As we began to contemplate evacuation, the question, the burning question, was: Who goes and who gets left behind? said Stuart Herrington, an army captain and one of those who defied orders.
When the signal came Armed Forces Radio broadcasting the words, the temperature is 105 degrees and rising, followed by the playing of Bing Crosbys recording of White Christmas the official evacuation began. Vietnamese girlfriends and mistresses of US personnel were rounded up to be airlifted out along with the tailors who made clothes for the Americans and the chefs who cooked their meals.
The films most tragic figure, the late US ambassador Graham Martin, is portrayed as an honourable man unwilling to accept defeat. Martin refused to accept Saigon would be overrun and delayed an evacuation until the citys airport was shelled, severely limiting his options.
One contributor attributes Martins failure to the fact that his only son had been killed in the war his emotional ties to the country meant he wouldnt let go until it was too late.
A US Congress still reeling from an unpopular war was never going to rescue Saigon with financial aid.
Fords press secretary recalled that when Congress refused his request for $722 million in military aid it was the only time he heard the president swear.
The most affecting accounts in Kennedys dramatic film are those of the South Vietnamese left behind, some of whom were deceived into thinking there would be one more US helicopter to take them away. They ended up being re-educated in labour camps run by the former north.
It was so serious and deep a betrayal, says Herrington of the 420 South Vietnamese left at the embassy to whom he had promised there would be other helicopters coming for them. He quietly slipped away, into the embassy and left on one of the last helicopters.
It was the whole Vietnam involvement in a microcosm, Herrington says. Promises being made in good faith, promises being broken, people being hurt because we didnt get our act together.
The Americans are returning again, to Iraq this time, to take on Islamic State militants in a new, open-ended strategy that Obama has vowed will not involve US combat troops.
Last Days In Vietnam shows the failure in retreat from a conflict without a clear exit strategy. It will make for uncomfortable viewing for those preparing to escalate a fight on an uncertain front.
Taliban execute school students over espionage charges in Kunar
Taliban militants executed two high school students over espionage charges in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.
According to local government officials, the two students were accused of spying for the central government by Taliban militants.
Deputy provincial police chief Abdul Qadir Khan Omid confirmed that Taliban militants executed two students in Nari district early Saturday.
He said Afghan forces have launched an operation to detain those involved behind the assassination of the two students.
Taliba militants group has not commented regarding the incident so far.
Kunar is among the volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating and frequently carry out insurgency activities.
35 killed, 25 injured in counter-terrorism operations [Khaama - 20/9/14]
Israeli drone crashes in south Lebanon
Daily Star [20/9/14]:
An Israeli drone crashed in the southern region of Marjayoun Saturday near the border with Israel, a security source told The Daily Star.
The plane fell in the Saradah Valley, which is about 15 kilometers from the Blue Line, at a farm belonging to Mohammad al-Jalil Seet, the source said.
The Israeli army confirmed the incident, saying the plane had a technical malfunction while on a regular security mission causing it to crash along the border with Lebanon, Haaretz reported.
The report said that Israeli authorities were investigating the crash.
The Lebanese Army transported parts of the plane to a military headquarters in Marjayoun with help of UNIFIL personnel. Soldiers were seen gathering parts of the plane, which remained relatively intact following the crash.
Israeli reconnaissance planes fly over Lebanon on a regular basis, violating the countrys airspace in contravention to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.
Philippines: Ilocos under state of calamity
The province of Ilocos Norte was placed under the state of calamity on Saturday afternoon after heavy rains and strong winds brought by Tropical Storm Mario (international name: Fung-Wong) destroyed more than P21 million worth of goods, agricultural and fishery products including livestock and properties.
Jun Arvin Gudoy, head of the Communications and Media Office of the provincial government, said the damage was mostly in the agricultural sector, particularly in rice production amounting to P19.95 million.
The damage to fisheries was at P434,000 while P89,000 in livestock and P1.5 million in infrastructure.
On Saturday morning, heavy rains and strong winds battered the entire province due to the tropical storm and torrential monsoon rains.
Gudoy, however, said no casualty has been reported as of 11 a.m. but several residents have been evacuated.
Residents at Barangay (village) Catagtaguen in Banna town were evacuated due to flooding while the municipal amphitheater at Barangay (village) Caribquib in the same town was totally damaged.
In Batac City, some residents were also evacuated due to flooding.
Partially damaged houses were reported in the towns of Banna, Solsona and Pagudpud while the Pinili Amphitheater was partially damaged.
Power supply was also cut in several towns of the province while landslides and road closures were also reported.
According to the latest bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Ilocos Norte remains under public storm Signal No. 2.
Mario was spotted at 143 kilometers north-northwest of Laoag City with maximum winds of 105kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.
It was forecast to move north-northeast at 15 kilometers per hour was expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday evening.
Air France pilots extend strike to September 26
France 24 [20/9/14]:
Air France pilots are prolonging a walkout that has grounded more than half the airlines flights all week.
Unions are angry at Air Frances plans to shift much of its European operations to a low-cost carrier, Transavia.
The SNPL union announced Friday they are extending the strike through September 26.
The company, which is cutting costs to try to stay competitive with budget airlines, apologized to customers.
This is one of the longest strikes at Air France in several years. It reflects larger challenges for Europes airlines and European economies trying to maintain generous worker protections while allowing companies to adapt to evolving markets.
Assault charges, Brisbane City
QPS Media [20/9/14]:
Police have charged a man following an alleged robbery that occurred in Brisbane this afternoon.
A man was in a pharmacy on Queen Street around 3.30 this afternoon where it will be alleged he removed items from the store.
It will further be alleged that as the man attempted to leave the store with the items he has assaulted two of the staff members before fleeing the store.
A man was detained by an off duty police officer and was taken into custody a short time later.
A 26-year-old Mackay man has been charged with one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm, enter premises to commit an indictable offence and obstruct police and two counts of common assault.
He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Count on September 22.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Are IHMS under instructions from the Minister for Immigration to let sick asylum seekers on Manus suffer and die?
Brisbane Times [20/9/14]:
Asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei was kept on Manus Island for a week waiting for approval to be medically transferred to Port Moresby despite showing signs of septicaemia that killed him, it has been alleged, as leaked documents reveal a pattern of medical negligence on the island including untreated skin infections, tooth decay and tropical diseases.
A worker on the island, who has asked not to be named, said Mr Kehazaei, who died from severe septicemia, had been kept for a week on the island by the International Health and Medical Service (IHMS) after cutting his foot.
This coincides with witness statements from asylum seekers who have written to IHMS complaining of Mr Kehazaei's treatment, as anxiety grips the centre following the 24-year-old's death.
One asylum seeker claims an IHMS staff member said there was nothing more they could do for Mr Kehazaei, once he was brought to IHMS.
In a letter to IHMS, the asylum seeker said Mr Kehazaei's leg was swollen with pus and he couldn't walk.
He also appeared "yellow" and was lying on the ground in the compound before being taken to the IHMS clinic. Mr Kehazaei, then in a wheelchair, told his friend he was concerned his leg would have to be amputated.
The president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Liz Marles, said that as soon as a patient starts showing symptoms of septicaemia they should be treated as an emergency, needing an intravenous drip "immediately".
"The key thing is once you start showing symptoms of septicaemia, then you need treatment within hours," Dr Marles said.
It is unknown whether the IHMS clinic on the island has intravenous drips available.
Ben Pynt, director of human rights advocacy at Humanitarian Research Partners, said this was further evidence that asylum seekers were being "unreasonably denied" adequate health care.
"Mr Morrison's assertions that outstanding care has been given is false," he said.
In letter from IHMS addressed to another asylum seeker who is suffering from a skin condition, the IHMS manager writes: "I will investigate the issues raised in the coming days and provide a written response to you in one week."
The following week, the letter says they have sent off the biopsy results.
One 21-year-old Iranian asylum seeker told Fairfax Media that following Mr Kehazaei's death, anxiety in the compound had intensified.
"When Hamid died, I was so scared for my life," the Iranian man said. Fairfax Media has chosen not to publish his name, nor the names in the leaked emails.
It has been previously alleged that Mr Kehazaei was brain dead by the time he reached Brisbane's Mater hospital, after suffering five cardiac arrests in Port Moresby. A week later, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced that he had died.
Immigration Greens spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said it was clear that Mr Kehazaei was not given adequate, timely treatment.
"Hamid clearly didn't get medical help fast enough and, unfortunately, that delay had tragic consequences," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"The remoteness, the lack of medical services, the secrecy and the squalid conditions all contribute to the toxic mix on Manus Island."
Mr Morrison did not respond to inquiries. But a spokeswoman has maintained the government will wait until the coroner's report before issuing a statement about Mr Kehazaei's death.
The Doctors Trial: The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]:
On December 9, 1946, an American military tribunal opened criminal proceedings against 23 leading German physicians and administrators for their willing participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
citizens forced to visit concentration camps after liberation in Germany during
World War II [VIDEO - 1945]
Holocaust researchers find exact location of gas chambers at Nazi death camp in Poland
National Post [19/9/14]:
Polish and Israeli Holocaust researchers say they have discovered the exact location of the building that housed gas chambers at Sobibor, one of the death camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.
Israels Yad Vashem and the Majdanek State Museum in Poland, which oversees Sobibor, announced the finding Wednesday, calling it an important discovery in the field of Holocaust research.
Historians already knew that the Germans operated the gas chambers at Sobibor from April 1942 to October 1943, killing an estimated 250,000 Jews brought from across Europe. But they have many unanswered questions about the operation of the site because there were very few survivors and most of the site was dismantled during the war by the Germans.
Any small piece of information we can add to our knowledge is a great thing, said Yoram Haimi, an Israeli archaeologist who has spent the past eight years digging at the site. The team that found the remains of the building also includes a Polish and a Dutch archaeologist.
Photos released by the researchers show a sizeable rectangular structure with brick walls that was divided into four chambers. Haimi said they have found a number of personal items nearby, including gold teeth and jewelry.
David Silberklang, a historian with Yad Vashem, said the finding will shed light on what the Jews went through until they were murdered and could lead to a more precise estimate of the numbers killed.
The Germans closed the camp after a prisoner revolt on Oct. 14, 1943, when about 300 of the young inmates killed several German officers and guards with axes and knives. Many of the prisoners fled the camp, but all except 52 of them were killed by guards or died in water ditches and mine fields surrounding the camp.
Kenyan president ordered to attend ICC trial
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ordered Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to attend a hearing over how to proceed with his stalled trial for crimes against humanity.
Kenyatta and other senior officials are accused of orchestrating a wave of violence in which 1,200 people died after contested 2007 elections. He denies the charge.
Two weeks ago, prosecutors asked for the case against him to be adjourned indefinitely, saying they did not have enough evidence because of obstruction by the Kenyan government.
The court said Kenyatta had been ordered to attend a hearing on October 8.
The collapse of the case was a severe blow for the Hague-based court, the first permanent war crimes tribunal.
Kenyatta has been charged with five counts of crimes against humanity consisting of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts.
Fortress Australia: Asylum Seeker and Migrant Death Statistics [Deaths since 2000: 1,952]:
This page collects and publishes information on deaths (including those missing at sea and presumed dead) connected with Australian border controls, Australias migrant prisons, or irregular travel to Australia by asylum seekers and migrants.
Another military leader doesn't rule out combat troops in Iraq
Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, is the latest military official in recent days to push back against President Obama's promise to keep combat soldiers out of Iraq as the U.S. works with a multinational coalition to stamp out the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIS, or ISIL).
"I don't rule anything out. I don't ever rule anything out, personally," Odierno said Friday when asked if the U.S. may eventually have to embed special operations forces on the front lines with Iraqi troops, the Washington Post reports.
There are currently 1,600 U.S. troops in Iraq, but they're not engaged in combat operations.
Odierno said the 1,600 represented a "good start," but more may be needed in what's expected to be a years-long effort.
Mr. Obama has said repeatedly he won't be committing combat troops to the effort.
"I want to be clear: the American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," Mr. Obama told troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday.
Odierno is one of a handful of current and former military leaders who have called into question the president's promise.
Retired Gen. James Mattis told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday that "you just don't take anything off the table up front, which it appears the administration has tried to do."
He added, "Specifically, if this threat to our nation is determined to be as significant as I believe it is, we may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American 'boots on the ground.' "
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, similarly told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that he could recommend deploying combat forces, should the evolving fight call for it.
"If we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey said.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on "CBS This Morning" that "there will be boots on the ground if there's to be any hope of success in the strategy. And I think that by continuing to repeat that [the U.S. won't put boots on the ground], the president, in effect, traps himself."
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran had a role to play in the fight against Islamic State militants, although the US did not invite it to be part of a coalition of 40 states pursuing military action.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran had a role to play in a global coalition to tackle Islamic State militants who have seized swaths of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. ... [France 24 - 20/9/14]
On Friday, the German government announced the arrival of seven military advisers to Erbil airport to train Kurdish Peshmerga forces on the use of weapons which are scheduled to be sent by Berlin next week.
The German government said in a statement that the first part of the German arms shipment will be sent to the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, on the 22nd of September, pointing to the arrival of seven military advisers on Friday to Northern Iraq to train the Peshmerga forces on how to use these weapons.
The German government added that the German army is preparing to send the first shipment of weapons to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including thousands of guns, anti-tank missiles and 120 Panzerfaust anti-tank launchers.
PBS Left: 'Airstrikes Are Wonderful' [FAIR - 16/9/14]
CBS: 'We Have No Choice' but to Attack ISIS 'Before We All Get Killed' [FAIR - 15/9/14]
ISIS Possibly Scarier Than Al-QaedaDue to Social Media [FAIR - 15/9/14]
John Howard's Iraq War Fantasy
New Matilda [11/4/13]:
... Inside the Intercontinental Hotel on Tuesday 9 April, former prime minister John Howard justified his decision to accompany the US in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He compounded his falsehoods with various claims about the benefits for the Iraqi people.
Outside the Intercontinental, a large crowd heard speakers decry those former war leaders Bush, Blair and Howard on the grounds that their actions amounted to a war crime, which should see them charged and in the dock in the Hague.
When the US and UK with Australian support invaded Iraq, they were egged on by cheerleaders in the mainstream media.
Questioning the grounds for war was treated as treasonous in the USA. In the UK and Australia, Blair, Howard and their supporters also dismissed the widespread public protests as of no consequence. They knew best.
Even in a democracy, leaders such as they need not heed a largely unanimous public voice opposing the war.
The same head in the sand responses from influential figures surrounding Howard and from the media were on display on Tuesday. Michael Fullilove from the Lowy institute introduced Howard and characterised the protesters outside as an anti-democratic mob who wanted to shut Howard down.
The following morning an anodyne account of the meeting by Deborah Snow in the Sydney Morning Herald gave little content and no context: an impression that Howard received no questions and that in the hotel, the derision from protesters outside was not part of the chemistry of the occasion.
There were as many people at the protest as inside at the Intercontinental, but the latter was ignored by representatives of the mainstream media. They continue to write and speak as though the former PM must be treated uncritically and an Australian tradition must be continued: to deride critics of military escapades, to utter platitudes about the wonders of our armed forces.
There is a message in Howards self justification: Forget the carnage in Iraq. The last thing we need is an inquiry. We have nothing to learn. The same arrogance contributed to the worst foreign policy decision in centuries. A glimpse inside Howards world tells us why an inquiry is needed.
The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture
Consortium News [12/8/14]:
Official U.S. policy is to decry torture at least when done by adversaries but ambiguities abound when U.S. operatives do the torturing. Then, torture becomes debatable and its defenders go on TV talk shows and even get honors from universities, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.
I could hardly believe my eyes as I read that John Rizzo, the CIA lawyer who got the Justice Department to approve CIA interrogations using enhanced interrogation techniques, had been invited to speak at Fordham Law School on Jan. 30, 2014.
Rizzo would be discussing his book, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA an unapologetic apologia for his behavior in cooperating with faux lawyers in the White House and the Justice Department who authorized techniques like waterboarding, when he had ample legal precedent to justify his simply saying No, and trying to stop the torture. What lessons would aspiring lawyers at Fordham learn from Rizzo?
I traveled up from Washington, DC, because I needed to see for myself how Rizzo would try to defend abhorrent practices now euphemistically labeled EITs, but formerly known as torture.
Indeed, the very term enhanced interrogation techniques is a literal translation of verschaerfte Vernehmung from the Gestapo Handbuch, and most of the specific techniques Rizzo told CIA officers they could legally use were from the Gestapo Hadbuchs list 75 years ago under the heading verschaerfte Vernehmung.
I thought I had somewhat outgrown my outrage at seeing those who gave legal justification for torture (not to mention those who ordered it and carried it out), walking free, writing tell-some books, and being invited into otherwise respectable places, when they should be behind bars.
The only difference I can see between those responsible for verschaerfte Vernehmung and those responsible for enhanced interrogation techniques is that Germany lost the war, and German torturers were held accountable.
Nazi lawyer, Wilhelm Frick, defended his lawyerly approach to torturing and killing Jews with these words: I wanted things done legally. After all, I am a lawyer. Frick was one of the 11 defendants the Nuremberg Tribunal sentenced to death. He was hanged on Oct. 16, 1946.
2 killed, 3 injured by unexploded Israeli ordnance in Shujaiyya
Two Palestinians were killed and three were injured on Friday when an unexploded Israeli bomb blew up in the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City.
A Ma'an reporter in Gaza said that a huge explosion was heard in the al-Shujaiyya area and ambulances rushed to the area immediately.
Spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra said that two Palestinians were killed in the explosion.
Al-Qidra identified the two as Ayman Ziad Abu Jibba, 23, and Abdullah Jibril Abu Aser, 23, and said that their bodies were taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
In mid-August, six people were killed in a similar explosion, and watch groups have warned that the ordnance is a particular threat to children, who often think the bombs are toys.
The Gaza Strip is currently littered with a large number of unexploded Israeli ordnance, a constant reminder of the more than 50-day Israeli offensive that left more than 2,150 dead, 11,200 injured, and more than 110,000 homeless.
Although Gaza police explosives teams have been working across the territory to destroy unexploded ordnance and prevent safety threats to locals, lack of proper equipment due to the seven-year Israeli siege as well as lack of resources more generally have hindered efforts.
Even before the most frequent Israeli assault, unexploded ordnance from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives was a major threat to Gazans.
A 2012 report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 111 civilians, 64 of whom were children, were casualties to unexploded ordnance between 2009 and 2012, reaching an average of four every month in 2012.
Backing the two-state solution that envisages an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, French Sen. Nathalie Goulet said a sovereign Palestinian state will bring peace in the Middle East. ... [Arab News - 20/9/14]
Paris: Israel-Palestinian 'solution' to be put to U.N. Security Council [Naharnet - 19/9/14]
Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action
Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk.
It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.
The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.
The first one is stopping the use of weapons by both sides, the second is terminating new formations of units on military bases as of September 19. The third is banning the use of all types of weapons and offensive action, Kuchma said.
The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30 km (18.6 miles) and bans all military aircraft from flying over part of eastern Ukrainian territory, except for the OSCE's aerial vehicles, Kuchma told RIA Novosti following the meeting.
Ukraine troops must pull back all heavy artillery by 15 kilometers from the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, the treaty states.
All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.
We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides, Kuchma said.
Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.
The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandums conditions. The organizations observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.
Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk Peoples Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.
We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500, he said.
The negotiations were also attended by Russias OSCE representatives.
Meanwhile, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, declared that there will be no Ukrainian election in Donetsk, referring to one of the conditions set out in the September 5 Minsk protocol, which gave special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, both located in eastern Ukraine.
Zakharchenko said he considers the special status as a declaration of independence of the self-proclaimed republics.
... If this week's police and media show of "anti-terror" arrests in "the plot against Sydney" fails to arouse the suspicions of the nation, nothing will. ...
[War, Circus and Injustice Down Under, John Pilger - ICH - 19/9/14]
Terror laws also threaten right to protest [The Saturday Paper - 20/9/14]:
... The rationale is constantly advanced, not just in Australia, that there is something peculiarly pressing about terrorism that justifies laws that otherwise would not be contemplated. And this really has to be challenged.
There really is very little that is so particular or peculiar about terrorism. What really should matter to us is the death and injury and terrifying of people. Terrorists are not the only people who do this. Its being done as you and I speak, in what is cosily called domestic violence.
We really do need to challenge the idea that terrorism is peculiar to this time and requires laws that are so special as to go beyond the restraints that we have for hundreds of years decided are appropriate to what Ill call ordinary murderers.
Indeed, by accepting the suggestion that terrorists are something other than ordinary murderers, we have bought their propaganda and given them the glamour of being extraordinary.
Theyre just not. Mostly theyre sociopathic inadequates. Mostly its got nothing to do with politics or religion. Mostly its about personality disorder, Walker says. [Bret Walker, SC]
I think it is a cultural deficiency of Australia to think that you deal with a problem by devising extraordinarily sophisticated and not always very good legislation. Its based on the premise that pre-existing law has some gap. And this is nearly always wrong.
The Age [19/9/14]:
... Under laws introduced by the Howard government after the 2005 London bombings, a person can be held for up to 14 days under a "preventative detention order" if authorities believe "there is a threat of an imminent terrorist attack".
This power has never before been used.
The powers are due to expire next year because of a "sunset clause" written into the legislation. But under a raft of counter-terrorism laws the Abbott government plans to introduce to federal Parliament next week, the sunset clause would be extended for another 10 years.
Chief Australian anti rights propagandist - News Corporation - cheerleads expanded "anti terror" laws [3News - 20/9/14]:
... Under the proposed counter-terrorism laws, radical preachers who encourage others to engage in extremist acts could be jailed for up to five years, News Corp Australia reported today. ...
Also today [20/9/14], Murdoch's 'Australian' refers to manifestations of race hate [eg ... Around 1.30pm a 26-year-old woman was walking on the footpath past a licensed premises on Boundary Street when three men reportedly approached her before one of them threatened to light her clothing on fire. ... - QPS Media - 10/9/14] that News Corporation has had a major role in cultivating.
Praising the Murdoch Press for their supposedly newfound interest in social cohesion simply validates their arrant hypocrisy.
BOYCOTT THESE FASCISTS.
Sunshine Coast Daily relentlessly promotes anti-mosque campaign, then ponders why locals are being bigoted.
Pastor Bennys call for action against Mosque [Sunshine Coast Daily - 20/9/14]
Surfer angered by comments by rednecks [Sunshine Coast Daily - 20/9/14]
A mining company employee who sent an email to his work colleagues that vilified Muslims has been awarded almost $30,000 in unfair dismissal compensation after being sacked.
Ronald James Anderson, 65, forwarded the anti-Muslim email entitled "World War 3 - PASS IT ON" to more than 40 colleagues at mining company Thiess at Burton Downs in central Queensland.
Attached to the email were photographs depicting a person holding signs that referred to beheading. ... [North West Star - 20/9/14]:
Muslim community calls for calm after anti-terror raids
Aussie Muslims [19/9/14]:
His Eminence, the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad and leaders of a number of key Australian muslim community organisations wish to reassure all Australians that they have nothing to fear from their Muslim neighbours who want peace security for everyone regardless of religion.
Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad reiterated that: "We have a vested interest in the safety and security of Australia."
The individuals arrested and charged yesterday should be accorded the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
"Everyone should allow the judicial process to take its full course without prejudice," said the Mufti of Australia.
Community organisations have reported a dramatic increase over the last few weeks in incidents of abuse and discrimination especially against Muslim Australians.
We call on anyone who may have suffered a hate or bias motivated crime to call and contact the nearest police station and to report it using a special facebook page that has been set up to register these incidents.
The facebook address is: https://www.facebook.com/islamophobiaregisteraustralia
We call upon politicians and the media to refrain from using the raids to inflame hatred of certain segments of the community.
The focus of attention should be on the alleged criminality of those involved and not on rhetoric which serves only to promote disharmony.
"Fair minded Australians should not allow bigots and media shock jocks to undermine the cohesion within society," said the Mufti of Australia.
Office of the Mufti of Australia
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils AFIC
Australian National Imams Council ANIC
Islamic Council of NSW ICNSW
Lebanese Muslim Association LMA
United Muslim Women's Associaton MWA
leaders question evidence behind counter-terrorism raids [ABC - 19/9/14]
German muslims protest extremism, racism
Daily Sabah [20/9/14]:
On Friday, Muslim organizations in Germany held a nationwide campaign against religious extremism to draw attention to growing racism and attacks against mosques.
At a press conference held in Berlin on Tuesday, Dr. Zekeriya Altug, head of the northern branch of DITIB - the largest Turkish-Muslim union in Germany - said, "Many terror groups are using Islamic symbols, values and terminologies for their goals. We Muslims do not want to be indifferent to abuse of our values and terminologies. We would like to give a clear message on Friday and try to demonstrate what Islam in reality stands for," he said.
During Friday prayer this week, imams from 2,000 mosques throughout Germany delivered messages on the real values of Islam, Dr. Altug said. He also added that non-Muslims were also to be welcome to mosques to show solidarity with them.
The highlight of the nationwide campaign, "Muslims Standing Against Hate and Injustice" on Sept. 19, was peace rallies in front of mosques in nine big cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Hanover.
Several leading political figures including German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and Integration Minister Aydan Ozoguz were among the participants.
The recent attacks against mosques in Germany have sparked fears among the Muslim community.
Unknown suspects attacked five mosques across the country last month, and eighty mosques were attacked in the last two years, according to Germany's Muslim Coordination Council (KRM).
Not terrorism: Good ol' boy who bashed his partner in front of her daughter and threatened an entire community for two days appears in court
Gladstone Observer [19/9/14]:
Adin Joel Cussen, 29, has made a brief appearance in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court.
No application for bail was made.
The matter was adjourned to October 17.
Feel safe Queensland?
QPS Media [20/9/14]:
Police on North Stradbroke Island have already seized alcohol and issued fines as senior high school students travel to the Island for spring break.
Two 17-year-old girls, were intercepted by Police at Dunwich allegedly carrying approximately 80 cans of alcohol and two bottles of spirits.
Both received Liquor Infringement Notices with a fine of $256 each.
noun A rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.
QPS Media [16/9/14]:
Last Wednesday police from South Brisbane and North Brisbane Districts came together with Roses in the Ocean in the Fortitude Valley Mall to raise awareness and to help prevent suicide on World Suicide Prevention Day.
Police took part in the Chalk Art in the Mall which proved to be a big hit with passers-by and other service providers in attendance on the day.
in Cairns: Extra police aim to keep streets clean and clear for international
visitors [ABC - 16/9/14]:
... Myra Gold, 60, will face court on October 1 for wilful damage of a pole in a public place by placing a sticker on it.
"I was in bed, I think it was about 7:30am and I just heard very loud noises coming down either side of the house," Mrs Gold told 612 ABC Brisbane.
"I said 'what's going on?' They said 'it's the police, it's the police'.
"They introduced themselves to me and gave me a warrant to search the house.
"I've been in this house 30 years they could have easily looked up and seen that I'm not a terrorist and I haven't got bombs in the backyard."
She said two weeks prior to her home being searched, two people were arrested for writing anti-G20 messages in chalk on the Cairns Esplanade.
Assistant Commissioner Taylor said such actions were unlawful.
"This is the CBD of a city, so if we all went around writing what we wanted to write on the footpath and on walls and sticking stickers everywhere, the place wouldn't look real good," he said.
4BC Online: Police have questioned a man for writing "I Love Bikes" in chalk on a West End Street.
The man was taken into police custody and interviewed, after writing on the street at West End on Boundary Street on Tuesday.
According to Brisbane Times reporter Tony Moore the man claims officers pressured him about supporting bikies.
to Wall: Ride for Remembrance leaves Brisbane [QPS Media - 10/9/14]:
A large contingent of motorbike riders left the Queensland Police Academy this afternoon to join more than 1400 riders for the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance.
The Wall to Wall Ride remembers and honours police officers who have fallen in the line of duty, promotes safe and responsible motorcycling and raises awareness and money for Australian Police.
Pensions up, but little cheer for many as Newstart payments fall further behind
Joint Media Release, ACOSS and National Welfare Rights Network [20/9/14]:
A new analysis of social security payments reveals that the single Newstart Allowance paid to over half a million Australians continued to fall in value when compared with both the minimum wage and the pension.
Two leading national community welfare groups today warned that the declining relative value of some payments means increased poverty and social division.
In a joint statement today Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Maree OHalloran, President of the National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) said that: Addressing the $170 a week gap between pensions and allowances is the most critical task that the Governments Welfare Review Taskforce must address.
Employment goals around people with disabilities will not be achieved until the Government addresses structural problems with the payments system. These problems are at the heart of legitimate fears held by people with a disability that if a new job does not work out that they will be shunted onto the Newstart Allowance, which is now currently $8,800 a year less than the pension.
Reports that the Government may consider up-front investments to assist young people facing complex health and personal issues are welcome but people also need an adequate income here and now.
While today brings good news for around 3.7 million pensioners who will receive an extra $10.70 a fortnight from an indexation increase (from September 20); it is not so good for people struggling to keep their head above water on the $37 a day Newstart payment.
Because pensions and allowances are indexed differently, people on Newstart, widow, sickness, partner and parenting payment partnered allowances will only receive a $5.10 a fortnight indexation increase in their payment from today.
There are currently 695,000 people on the Newstart Allowance. Three in four are single, and are struggling to meet their weekly daily expenses on the maximum rate of just $257.80 per week (from today).
These new rates of income support payments this quarter highlight deepening fault lines in Australias social security arrangements.
The rate of the Newstart Allowance relative to the minimum wage is near its lowest level since 1990. The Newstart Allowance has fallen from 54 per cent in 1996 to 40.2 per cent of the National Minimum Wage, which now stands at $640.90 per week.
This means that people relying on allowances are falling behind community living standards, and underlies the importance of indexing payments to wages. Current proposals to index pensions to prices would inevitably see pensions falling behind community living standards over time and should be opposed.
The maximum payments for a single pensioner is now $854.30 a fortnight ($22,212 per year). Unemployed people on the single Newstart Allowance receive much less, at $257.80 per week, or 40% less than the pension.
But unemployed people arent the only people being short-changed by todays indexation changes. Young people on Youth Allowance and Austudy get nothing, and their even lower payments are indexed only once a year, while pensions and allowances are indexed every six months. The 114,700 single parents raising children on the maximum Newstart Allowance will receive a small increase of a mere $2.75 a week. Being pushed onto Newstart means that these families are now $81.20 a week or over $4,222 a year worse off, compared to Parenting Payment Single.
The artificial divide between pensions and allowances must be addressed by increasing the rate of allowance payments and indexing payments consistently to wages to prevent more people falling further and further behind the rest of the community. Anything less is not the genuine welfare reform that this country needs.
"Journalist" Ray Martin sanitises "feminist icon" Julia Gillard's legacy. [From a cricket god to a feminist icon: Ray Martin's eight favourite interviews - Nine MSN - 19/9/14]:
Julia Gillard is likeable and honest says Ray Martin, who has recently recorded the former Prime Ministers first tell-all interview.
Martin, who has interviewed every other Australian PM of the past 50 years, said his aim was to find the "real Julia", quoting one of Ms Gillards comments during her prime ministership.
Julia Gillard: The Whole Truth will air on Channel 9 after the 6pm News on Tuesday.
In January, tens of thousands of single mothers, many working part time, were shifted off parenting payments and onto the unemployment benefit, Newstart, leaving many between $60 and $100 a week worse off.
The decision was to save taxpayers $728 million over four years.
Ms Gillard admitted the unemployment benefit Newstart Allowance was too low and there needed to be more flexibility with the federal government's approach to helping the unemployed.
"I'm a big believer in the dignity that comes from work," Ms Gillard said.
The Gillard Governments controversial changes to the Social Security Act which includes changes to the Impairment Tables used to determine eligibility for the Disability Support Pension - have passed through Parliament. ... [Pro Bono Australia - 23/11/11]
Armed robberies, South Brisbane
QPS Media [20/9/14]:
Police are investigating if there are any links between three armed robberies that occurred in the South Brisbane area overnight.
The first incident occurred at around 9.20 at an Indian restaurant on Thynne Road, Morningside.
Two men have entered the business and have produced what is believed to be a firearm and a knife and made demands for cash.
Staff have not complied, and then men have then taken two mobile phones and fled the scene.
The second incident occurred at a convenience store on Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo around 10.25pm.
Two men have entered the store, went behind the counter and made demands for money and cigarettes from the attendant.
The attendant complied, and the men fled with a sum of cash and a quantity of cigarettes.
The third incident occurred at a grocery store on Padstow Road, Eight Mile Plains around 11.20pm.
Two men have entered the business and made demands for cash, and the attendant has complied and the men have fled the store with a sum of cash.
No one has been physically injured as a result of these robberies.
The two men are described as being Pacific Islander in appearance, one with a slim build and the other with a solid build, and both are believed to be in their early 20s.
Investigations into the robberies is continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Armed Robbery, Inala
QPS Media [20/9/14]:
Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred overnight in Inala.
Police were called to a service station on Rosemary Street around 8.50pm following reports of an armed robbery.
Initial information suggests that a man has entered the business and produced a knife before demanding cash from the attendant.
The man has then grabbed a sum of money from the till before fleeing on foot along Begonia Street.
The female attendant didnt suffer any physical injuries as a result of the robbery.
The man is described as being Caucasian in appearance, around 175cms tall and had a solid build.
Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Police investigating house fire at Tara
Tara police are investigating the cause of a house fire in the town west of Dalby this morning.
Police on patrol noticed a smoke haze in the town about 12.45am and traced the source to a fire at the rear of an unoccupied house in Binnie St, Tara, a Police Media spokesman said.
Police officers evacuated the people from neighbouring homes and residents then helped police wet down nearby homes with garden hoses while waiting for fire crews to arrive.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
The house sustained significant damage and police remained on scene this morning ascertaining the cause of the blaze.
Tired CQ mine workers at risk of road drift
Morning Bulletin [20/9/14]:
Tired motorists driving hundreds of kilometres from mines to central Queensland cities are more than five times more likely to drift into oncoming traffic.
A Central Queensland University study, presented to a road safety conference on the Gold Coast this week, has shown tired nightshift workers on long distance commutes are 5.3 times more likely to swerve into oncoming traffic when on the roads.
Study author Professor Lee Di Milia said driving tired and for longer than 150km in a commute were two of the biggest factors in drivers coming off the road.
While admitting crossing out of the lane was not necessarily a crash, Prof Di Milia said it was a key factor in cars coming off roads and in head-on collisions.
"In central Queensland we're talking about single lanes and very narrow roads," he said.
"Crossing either the middle line or the outside line is a precursor to going into the bush or to oncoming traffic."
The study was conducted on Central Queensland roads while a police breath-testing operation was being conducted on Central Queensland highways in November, 2010.
Mackay, Yeppoon, Gladstone and Rockhampton were named as the most common destination for DIDO workers, hundreds of kilometres away from most mines.
Prof Di Milia said working night shift, travelling long distances, and not having slept enough over a number of days were key factors in increasing the likelihood of falling asleep behind the wheel.
She said the average DIDO workers travels 210km per commute with mines across the Bowen Basin often up to three hours away from the city the workers live in.
"Instead of a company town, for lifestyle reasons, and because it can be so hard to get accommodation in the towns near mines, people will drive hours to get to major centres," he said.
While DIDO workers were at risk due to the number of factors against them, Prof Di Milia said sleep was a risk all drivers should be wary off.
"Sleep is quite immediate, you could just be driving around the corner, it doesn't have to be a long distance drive to be at risk."
Prof Di Milia said there was no silver bullet to stop people driving tired, but said government campaigns encouraging drivers to pull over every two hours were helping.
Fatal traffic crash, Mirani
QPS Media [20/9/14]:
Police are currently at the scene of a fatal single vehicle traffic crash at Mirani.
Initial information indicates around 6am a motorcycle failed to negotiate a bend on Mirani-Eton Road and has been thrown from the motorcycle.
A man believed to be in his 30s was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.
Police officer hospitalised following police pursuit, Adelaide
Nine MSN [19/9/14]:
A police woman was injured when a car chase ended in a crash in Adelaide.
A patrol car gave chase when a car driver failed to obey a directive to stop, just before 6pm on Lady Gowrie Drive in North Haven.
"The two cars collided at the corner of Sir Keith Smith and Klingberg Drive," SA Police said in a statement.
"A police officer has been taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she is being treated for an arm injury."
The female driver of the car which failed to stop was arrested at the crash site and taken to Port Adelaide Police Station.
She will be charged with numerous, serious traffic offences.
SA Police investigators are examining the crash scene.
Man in hospital after alleged assault by father
Nine MSN [20/9/14]:
A man is in hospital with a skull fracture after being allegedly assaulted by his father in Sydney overnight in a suspected road rage incident.
Emergency services were called to Richmond Road in Cambridge Park about 11.15pm last night, where they found a man with head injuries.
The 25-year-old was taken to Nepean Hospital where he remains with a suspected skull fracture.
Police were told the injured man had been involved in an altercation with his father prior to the alleged assault.
The victim's 48-year-old father was arrested a short time later and taken to Penrith Police Station where he was charged with grievous bodily harm.
The Penrith man was refused bail and will appear at Parramatta Bail Court today.
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JUDICIAL CRITICISM OF THE MURDOCH MACHINE
BOB BROWN, THE FIRST GULF WAR AND UNITED NATIONS INTERVENTION
* All Copyright retained, but if you reproduce or copy any material from this website, please attribute to: www.springhillvoice.com and we may sue your sorry thieving behind, anyway.