Saturday, September 24, 2011

State-Sponsored Murder: Official US Policy - by Stephen Lendman-On The Execution Of Troy Anthony Davis

State-Sponsored Murder: Official US Policy
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 23 Sep 2011
police state
State-Sponsored Murder: Official US Policy - by Stephen Lendman

Georgia's September 21 cold-blooded murder of Troy Anthony Davis symbolizes what's wrong with America.

Notably, the system at all levels is hopelessly corrupted and broken. The only option is tearing it down and starting over.

Doing it Venezuela's way under Chavez works. Both nations are constitutional worlds apart.

In his September 17 article titled, "Chavez versus Obama: Facing Presidential Elections in 2012," James Petras said:

"Chavez following his democratic socialist program pursues policies promoting large scale long-term public investment and spending directed at employment, social welfare and economic growth."

In contrast, Obama, like his predecessors, is "guided by his ideological commitment to corporate financial capitalism."

As a result, he "pours billions into bailing out Wall Street speculators, focuses on reducing the public deficit and slashes taxes and offers government subsidies" at the expense of social needs gone begging.

He also wages war on humanity, is head of state at a time America's prison population is by far the world's largest, persecutes Muslims and Latinos for political advantage, and supports America's state-sponsored murder policy on death row or by bombs, missiles and shells.

Contrary to popular myth, checks and balances never constrained America's three branches.

From inception to now, sitting governments acted with or without popular approval - within and outside the law.

America's system is autonomous and detached in a realm of its own. It favors privileged elements over others in society.

Constraining barriers don't exist, so sitting governments operate as they wish. As a result, they're consistently unresponsive to rule of law standards or popular interests with rare short-lived exceptions.

Doing the right thing was never America's long suit. In contrast, Chavez transformed Venezuela from a corporatist swamp to a socially responsible state.

After taking office in February 1999, he held a national referendum to let Venezuelans decide whether to convene a National Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution that embodied visionary social change.

It passed overwhelmingly followed three months later by elections to the National Assembly to which members of Chavez's then MVR party and those allied with it won 95% of the seats.

They, in turn, drafted the revolutionary Constitucion de la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela. In December 1999, a second referendum overwhelmingly approved it, changing everything responsibly from then to now.

It established a humanistic participatory social democracy, unimaginable in America. It provided real (not imagined) checks and balances in the nation's five branches of government. They include the executive, legislative, and judicial, as well as an independent national electoral council and public power branch, giving Venezuelans a say in their own government.

This branch includes the attorney general, the defender of the people, and the comptroller general. The principle of participatory democracy was established.

Discrimination was banned. Free expression as well as fair and open elections are promoted. So are gender equity and indigenous peoples' rights. Essential social benefits were mandated, including quality free education to the highest levels, healthcare and more.

Venezuela uses its resources responsibly. It also:

• respects rule of law principles;

• human and civil rights;

• promotes global solidarity, equality and social justice;

• opposes imperial wars;

• doesn't invade its neighbors or practice torture;

• rejects exploiting people for profit; and

• in 1863, was the first country to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.

In contrast, violence and killing define America. It's the only Western country still enforcing capital punishment.

It's disproportionately used against racially disadvantaged minorities, mainly Blacks with about 12% of the population but over 40% of death row prisoners.

One among others stood out for having captured world attention for months - Troy Anthony Davis, an innocent man condemned to death. On September 21, Georgia scheduled his state-sponsored murder at about 7:00PM. A last minute rejected Supreme Court appeal delayed it until 10:53PM.

A lethal injection then rendered him unconscious. A second one paralyzed his muscles, suffocating him. A third induced a massive heart attack, murdering him. At 11:08PM, he was pronounced dead, a testimony to America's moral depravity.

Throughout his ordeal, Obama stayed silent. A simple presidential act could have saved him even though only courts have judicial authority. Nonetheless, his bully pulpit power would have made the difference if used with enough presidential authority. He didn't act. He stood aside and let Troy die, victimized by a nation uncaring about its least advantaged.

A final evening vigil failed. A one line Supreme Court denial without comment ended his last hope. Thousands protested in vain outside Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison surrounded by hundreds of police.

On September 10, a message from Troy thanked his hundreds of thousands of global supporters, saying:

"I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication the Human Rights and Human Kindness. In the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith."

"As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand."

"I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing joy....(T)his is not a case about the death penalty. This is not a case about Troy Davis. This is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail."

"We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country."

"I can't wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form. I will one day be announcing,"


"Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!"

He said so many others are like him. Around 2.4 million languish in America's homeland gulag. Countless others fill its overseas prison hellholes, enduring torture and other crimes against humanity.

Davis was one of America's 3,251 death row inmates, its 34th 2011 state-sponsored murder victim. Others like him were executed for crimes they didn't commit. It happens with too frequent regularity. It amounts to 15th century summary judgment Inquisition barbarity. It flouts due process, judicial fairness and humanity, violating equal constitutional protection.

It disproportionately affects people of color, the poor, and disadvantaged. It legitimizes state-sponsored murder, affecting innocent as well as guilty prisoners. Moreover, it doesn't deter crime, and is unconscionable in civilized societies.

In 2000, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium on capital punishment after 13 prisoners were found innocent and released. On January 11, 2003, two days before leaving office, he cleared death row, commuting sentences for 163 men and four women to life imprisonment. He also declared a moratorium on future executions, saying:

"The facts that I have seen in reviewing each and every one of these cases raised questions not only about (their innocence), but about the fairness of the death penalty system as a whole. Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error: error in determining guilt and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die."

Calling Illinois' death penalty "arbitrary, capricious, and therefore immoral," he ended his gubernatorial tenure by pardoning four men and issuing a blanket commutation for all state prisoners on death row, adding:

"The Legislature couldn't reform it, lawmakers won't repeal it, and I won't stand for it - I must act."

In January 2011, both Houses of Illinois' legislature voted to end capital punishment. Gov. Pat Quinn officially abolished it in March, saying it's impossible "to create a perfect, mistake-free death penalty system."

As a result, Illinois joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia (including New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Massachusetts) without capital punishment. It should have been abolished federally long ago, ending a system with no regard for human life, disproportionately affecting society's least advantaged.

A Final Comment

What America practices one-on-one domestically, its permanent war agenda institutionalized globally on a horrific scale.

For centuries, many millions were slaughtered. Native Americans were practically exterminated. Waging war against them never stopped. Today it's about destroying their culture.

They and other mostly people of color or less than white are targeted. Historian Gabriel Kolko calls America's wars "violen(t), racis(t), repressi(ve) at home and abroad (and) cultural(ly) mendaci(ous)."

They're never about liberation or democratic values. They're to colonize, occupy and control wealth and resources. Nonbelligerent countries are destroyed. They become charnel houses. Once whole nations no longer exist.

Their corpses are carved up for profit. Their people are impoverished and exploited. Their environments become dangerously chemically toxic. Death, destruction, displacement, contamination, disease, immiseration, corruption, insecurity, fear, tyranny, and institutionalized terror are called success.

The process repeats globally to suck all worth and life from planet earth until none of either is left. Imperial America declared permanent war on humanity. It's official policy, raging like an out-of-control inferno.

Unless stopped, everything in its path will be consumed, including planet earth as a fit place to live in. America no longer is for anyone except its privileged class, profiting at the expense of all others.

It's the American way. Another one begs to replace it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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This work is in the public domain

The Irvine 11: Guilty of Being Muslims in America - by Stephen Lendman

Commentary :: Human Rights
The Irvine 11: Guilty of Being Muslims in America
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 24 Sep 2011
The Irvine 11: Guilty of Being Muslims in America - by Stephen Lendman

Post-9/11, America targeted Muslims ruthlessly for political advantage. Law-abiding citizens discovered they're living here at the wrong time.

Police state repression endangers growing millions, including Muslims for their faith, ethnicity, and forthrightness to confront injustice no one should tolerate.

Many lawlessly prosecuted stand out, including the Irvine 11. They were wrongfully targeted for exercising their fundamental First Amendment right without which all others are threatened.

Charges against one were dismissed. The others stood trial, accused of interrupting Israeli ambassador Michael Oren's February 8, 2010 University of California-Irvine speech, criticizing him and Israeli injustice.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filed misdemeanor criminal charges, accusing them of disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so.

During Oren's UCI speech, students rose one at a time to interrupt. It's everyone's constitutional right, except when Israeli lawlessness is challenged, especially by American Muslims called criminals for defending right over wrong.

UCI suspended the Muslim Student Union, placing it on disciplinary probation. Imagine the outcry if done to B'nai B'rith. University officials would be fired. Prosecutors would be replaced. Jews and Christians can get away with anything. Muslims are vilified for demanding justice.

On September 24, Los Angeles Times writers Lauren Williams, Nicole Santa Cruz and Mike Anton headlined, "Students guilty of disrupting speech in 'Irvine 11' case," saying:

"....(A)n Orange County jury has found 10 Muslim students guilty of criminal charges for disrupting (Oren's) speech....on the UC Irvine campus last year."

Facing up to one year in jail on multiple misdemeanor charges, they "were sentenced to three years of probation, 56 hours of community service and fines. Each was convicted of one misdemeanor count of conspiring to disrupt Oren's Feb. 8, 2010 speech and a second count for disrupting it."

Pro-Israeli District Attorney Rackauckas called their behavior "thuggery." "In a civilized society, we cannot allow lawful assemblies to be shut down by a small group of people using the heckler's veto."

It's OK, however, for Israel to occupy Palestine illegally, persecute its people, attack them lawlessly, imprison them en masse for demanding their rights, torture them to confess to crimes they didn't commit, steal their land, and wage war against defenseless civilians.

It's also OK for America to supply billions of dollars in aid, the latest weapons and technology, and full support for Israel's worst crimes. Only victims are held accountable for wanting to live free in peace. Only supporters are vilified and prosecuted for courageously supporting what's right.

On September 24, a Los Angeles Times editorial headlined, "Punishing the 'Irvine 11,' again," saying:

The students were convicted "in a case that never should have been filed...." As a result, they'll "forever have to answer yes if they are asked by, say, potential employers whether they were ever convicted of a crime."

"The whole sad affair (should have been) handled more appropriately by university officials" instead of letting it end up a judicial lynching.

Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Executive Director Shakeel Syed reacted, calling the verdict "absolutely unbelievable. I believe the heart of America has died today. This is clearly an indication that Muslims are permanent foreigners, at least in Orange County."

In fact, they've victimized in large and small communities across America.

Attorneys for the students vowed to appeal.

Jewish leaders applauded the verdict. According to Shalom Elcott, Jewish Federation & Family Services president:

The student disruption "crossed the moral, social and intellectual line of civility and tolerance. While we accept the right and requirement of a public institution to provide an unfettered forum for diverse points of view, we do not, nor will be ever, support 'hate speech.' "

In other words, free, honest, accurate comments are hateful when Muslims state them. Jews and Christians can say what they please.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Los Angeles (CAIR/LA) headlined, "Muslim Groups Appalled by 'Irvine 11' Guilty Verdict, Declare Travesty of Justice," saying:

"Leaders of four prominent Muslim organizations" expressed outrage over an appalling verdict, "convicting 10 of the 'Irvine 11' students on (unjust) misdemeanor counts...."

Muslim Public Affairs Council President Salam Al-Marayati called it a "sad day for democracy when nonviolent protestors are criminalized by their government and are found guilty for exercising a constitutional right."

"You can heckle the President. You can heckle high ranking government officials, but it you heckle an Israeli diplomat you will be prosecuted."

Quoted above, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California Executive Director Shakeel Syed also said:

"Justice was jaundiced (for the) UCI-11 students and America must worry for its democratic future."

CAIR/LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

"When history books are written, the 'Irvine 11' will stand alongside other great American civil rights heros like Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. They peacefully and courageously stood up against injustice, and they defended our collective freedom of speech."

"No topic should be off limits and no public official or country should be above criticism. They are true American heros."

Muslim American Society, Greater Los Angeles President Khaled Bahjri added:

"It is with the deepest disappointment and sadness that we heard the jury's verdict on the Irvine 11. The jury decided that the 10 defendants are guilty on both counts. This is a huge step backward for our American principles of freedom and justice."

In fact, democracy in America always existed tenuously at best. For Native Americans and people of color it never existed. Post-9/11, it died! Ask persecuted Blacks and Latino immigrants.

Ask American Muslims. They'll explain more eloquently than our best and brightest!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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This work is in the public domain

Palestinian Statehood: If not Now, When? by Stephen Lendman

Palestinian Statehood: If not Now, When?
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 22 Sep 2011
Palestinian Statehood: If not Now, When? by Stephen Lendman

After 63 years, including 44 under occupation, 85% of Palestinians want statehood now, not later or perhaps never.

Israel and Washington object, wanting permanent occupation and subjugation.

A previous article said a "silent agreement" among Western powers may postpone Security Council and General Assembly votes for later dates to be announced.

Sources also claim Abbas wants it for more negotiating time with America.

Delay very much benefits Washington and Israel for reasons, including:
• more time for high-pressure strong-arming;

• to get more anti-statehood Security Council votes to to avoid an embarrassing veto;

• getting the issue out of headlines; and

• convincing Abbas to drop the idea altogether in return for special favors and enough sweetners to take home to say he got something.

On September 20, Los Times writer Paul Richter headlined, "UN may delay vote on Palestinian statehood application," saying:

The plan calls for putting off a vote indefinitely to avoid an embarrassing US veto and let Washington try to restart peace talks that never worked before and won't now.

It "would also keep $600 million a year in American aid and other international assistance flowing to the Palestinians. Congress threatened to cut the US aid."

Unnamed sources said Abbas "signed off on the plan," providing more evidence of what he had in mind all along - betrayal while coming home with something to say he tried.

Whether other PA officials go along isn't known. However, according to PLO Executive Committee member and PA legislator Hanan Ashrawi:

Palestinian officials are willing "to accept some delay, of the kind you would have under normal UN procedures."

But if it's being done to undermine the process, "we have recourse to other action," suggesting going to the General Assembly ahead of the Security Council.

Procedure requires both on statehood issues.

The Security Council acts promptly when Western interests are favored.

Voting for the illegitimate Libyan Transitional National Council regime and balkanized South Sudan most recently.

Otherwise it organizes committees for further deliberation or finds other ways to delay what it wants subverted.

Palestinian statehood and full de jure UN membership top Washington's agenda now in New York, going all out against long delayed justice.

It's America's pastime - supporting what's wrong over right, especially against people or nations who can't challenge.

Palestinians Rally for Statehood

On September 21, Haaretz writers Avi Issacharoff and Anshel Pfeffer headlined, "Thousands rally in Ramallah to back Palestinian statehood bid," saying:

Thousands filled "Yasser Arafat Square in central Ramallah on Wednesday (to) support" Palestinian statehood.

A huge displayed sign read "UN 194," signifying Palestine as the 194th member state.

Many waved Palestinian flags or condemned a threatened US veto.

Students got the day off to attend. The teachers union asked ministry of high education employees and directorates of education, private schools, and UNRWA ones to participate.

Thousands also turned out in Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Al-Alul spoke for others, saying:

"Yes, we want to change the rules of the game because we spent a long time in negotiations, and we made every possible effort to achieve a just and honorable peace. This Israeli government (and previous ones don't seek it), but rather (want) settlement expansion to satisfy settlers."

The International Middle East Media Center said rallies are being held in many countries for Palestinian statehood, including America.

On September 16, hundreds turned out in New York in support. One protester said trying for what's right will eventually work. Another said:

"Time is with the Palestinians. There is no question. History has taught us that people do get justice. It is going to be a long process. It will not happen tomorrow, but it will happen. I have every faith. I may not see it in my lifetime, but it will be."

It won't happen during the 66th General Assembly session because Washington, Israel, and key EU nations blocking tactics without objection from Abbas, regardless of what he says publicly to appease supporters.

Settlers Rally Against Statehood

On September 21, several hundred extremist ones marched in West Bank areas to protest what they only want Jews to enjoy.

Itmar settlement participants were escorted by Israeli soldiers.

Spokesman for northern West Bank settlers David Haivri said:

"The Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are unfazed by the international media buzz going on around the Abbas circus at the UN."

Opposing "members of our community held symbolic processions (to express) our sovereignty on the land. Abbas can play house at the UN, but even he knows that it is a show with no real implications."

Indeed so, and he's a willing participant.

On September 20, dozens of settlers attacked Asira al-Qibiliaya, a Palestinian village near Nablus. Some were armed and fired weapons.

Israeli troops and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas against victims, making a bad situation worse. Several injured Palestinians required hospitalization, including a 14-year boy struck by a tear gas canister.

Obama in the General Assembly in 2010 and Now

Last year he said:

A year ago "I pledged my best efforts to support the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, as part of a comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors."

"If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state. Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to co-existence."

"I refuse to accept that future....This time we should reach for what's best within ourselves. If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations - an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel."

That was then. This is now. Obama's gone all out to subvert statehood, vowing to veto a Security Council resolution for it.

On September 21, 2011 in New York, he said Palestinians "deserve a state of their own. But....genuine peace can only be realized between Israelis and Palestinians themselves."

So far, "the parties have not bridged their differences."

"Peace will not come through statements and (UN) resolutions...."

Israelis and Palestinians "must reach agreement on the issues that divide them....Peace depends upon compromise."

"America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable." Peace depends on acknowledging "real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let's be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it."

Fact check

Palestinians sought peace for decades. Israel spurned all initiatives, choosing conflict over diplomacy and justice.

Palestinians never had a willing partner. They don't now in Tel Aviv or Washington.

Nuclear armed, Israel is the most formidable regional power. It's faced no threats for almost 40 years. In contrast, neighboring states Lebanon and Syria face real ones as do Palestinians under occupation.

Peace indeed requires compromise. Israel offers none. Like Washington, it doesn't negotiate. It demands.

Obama barely stopped short of endorsing Israeli crimes in so many words. His agenda strongly supports them.

For many decades, it's been longstanding US policy. Many times it did so by vetoing dozens of resolutions condemning or censuring it for its actions against the Palestinians or other Arab people, deploring it for committing them, or demanding, calling on or urging the Jewish state to end them.

Israel never did or will now. In fact, for over three decades, it's flagrantly violated passed resolutions.

In March 1980, the Security Council unanimously adopted UN Resolution 465. It addressed Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and Syria's Golan Heights.

it condemned Israel's policy of "setting parts of its population and new Immigrants in those territories (and said doing so constituted) a flagrant violation of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

It called on Israel to "dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease....the establishment, construction and planning of (new) settlements in the Arab territories since 1967, including Jerusalem."

In 1977, Menachem Begin refused Jimmy Carter's request to freeze settlement activity. At the time, about 50,000 Israelis lived in East Jerusalem, only 7,000 in 45 West Bank and Gaza outposts.

In 1985, West Bank/Gaza settlers numbered 42,000, doubling their 1982 population. Today, it tops 500,000 and continues increasing on stolen Palestinian land. American funding supports it.

In June 1980, the Security Council passed Resolution 476. It also called for ending Israel's illegal occupation and condemned Israel for refusing to obey other Security Council and General Assembly resolutions demanding it.

Israel never complies. Supported by Washington, it does what it pleases with impunity. Palestinians, of course, suffer most.

They now want Israeli repression ended. Statehood is step one to achieve it. Abbas isn't in New York for it.

He's representing Israel and Washington, not his own people. He's replicating what he's done disgracefully for years.

Getting out from under him, his number two Salam Fayyad, and their hangers on is key to finally achieving Palestinian rights they've been long denied.

Obama's speech showed help from Washington isn't coming. Palestinian officials and analysts were disappointed, reading what he said as one-sided support for Israel.

In other words, he reiterated longstanding US policy to keep Palestine occupied and subjugated permanently.

Palestinians say that no longer will be tolerated and demand going on their own for justice.

A Final Comment

The Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute (RI) works pro bono for Israeli government agencies. It provides "real-time strategic decision-making" support in areas of national security and socioeconomic policy.

On September 13, it published a policy paper titled, "The Declaration of Palestinian Statehood: An Unparalleled Political Opportunity," offering a "framework for an Israeli political initiative" for Palestinian statehood.

Though deeply flawed, its principles include the following:
• Independent Palestine and full UN membership will be recognized by America, Israel and other world governments;

• "two-states-for-two-peoples" will refer to Jewish and Palestinian Arab ones;

• the PA will maintain all powers granted by Oslo and subsequent agreements; recognizing Hamas will depend on fulfilling Quartet demands;

• elements of sovereignty will be upgraded; Palestine could issue its own currency and negotiate international trade agreements, "but its final borders and security arrangements with Israel would" have to be agreed on;

• initial territory would include Gaza and the West Bank; "the illegitimate Hamas....would not be recognized by Israel and the international community;"

• Washington would guarantee agreed-on security arrangements; "Gaza would not be connected to the West Bank through a safe passage until similar arrangements are established on its border with Egypt;"

• Israel's self-defense right from Palestinian threats would be recognized;

• independent Palestine would exclusively represent its people;

• elections would determine future leaders and representatives;

• Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would decide borders, security, economic and trade issues, environmental ones, and matters relating to Jerusalem;

• West Bank Palestinian prisoners would be released as a goodwill gesture; and

• diaspora Palestinians could return.

RI calls "now" the "ideal time to launch such an Israeli initiative," omitting reasons most important. They include:
• Israel's growing isolation;

• rage against it on Arab streets;

• growing global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) initiatives; and

• most of all because it's the right thing to do.

RI's initiative is noteworthy for proposing Palestinian statehood in contrast to strong Israeli/Washington opposition.

However, its elements fall way short of full sovereign independence, including 22% of historic Palestine within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Moreover, all states may elect whatever leaders they choose. Hamas is Occupied Palestine's legitimate government. Recognizing that and ending its foreign terrorist organization status is essential. Calling it an "illegitimate regime" can't be tolerated.

Nor can Israel's illegal occupation, theft of Palestinian land and resources, settlements for Jews only, the Separation Wall, and other ways Arabs are oppressed and discriminated against unjustly.

Less than full sovereign rights, including these, is failure. RI represents Israel. Palestinians need world leaders respecting ones they elect to represent them.

With all the above conditions met, a major step forward will be achieved. Now's the time for it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
See also:

This work is in the public domain

Planned Peacekeeper Occupation of Libya - by Stephen Lendman

Planned Peacekeeper Occupation of Libya
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 17 Sep 2011
Planned Peacekeeper Occupation of Libya - by Stephen Lendman

The peacekeepers are coming! The peacekeepers are coming! War, mass killing and destruction continue, but they're coming!

In fact, paramilitaries are coming to kill and terrorize Libyans wanting liberation, not occupation.

A blind eye won't notice mass rapes and sex trafficking, as well as other atrocities and crimes. They're commonplace, in fact, when Blue Helmets show up, operating as they please with impunity. More on that below.

Moreover, when they come they don't leave as long as imperial powers want them there. Citizens of occupied countries have no say nor any rights. Their choice is obey or else.

Libya's corpse belongs to NATO. It's now Libya, Inc. to be carved up for profit with paramilitaries deployed for enforcement.

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council may act to maintain international peace and security, including by deploying peacekeepers host countries request.

The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations then enlists member states to provide contingents once the Security Council approves.

In place, they're supposed to restore order, monitor the withdrawal of combatants, maintain peace and security, build confidence, enforce power-sharing agreements, provide electoral support, aid reconstruction, uphold the rule of law, facilitate economic and social development, help provide essential needs, and remain in place until government officials take over on their own.

A previous article called them occupiers, serving power, not popular interests in Haiti, South Lebanon, Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia, DRC Congo, Sudan, Somalia, various other countries, and its initial UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) since 1948.

Like elsewhere, it, too, failed to bring peace to Palestine. Yet it's still there, performing no active role. In fact, it opposes the interests of the people they're sworn to protect.

Since 1948, dozens of "peacekeeping" missions did more harm than good. At present, 16 Blue Helmet operations are deployed on four continents. They include:
• UNMISS in South Sudan, beginning on July 9, 2011 after the country was balkanized as part of an imperial scheme to prevent African unity, and exploit its resources - mainly oil;

• UNISFA in Sudan's Abysei region bordering the North and South, beginning on June 27, 2011;

• MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo, replacing an earlier MONUC operation on July 1, 2010;

• UNAMID in Darfur, beginning July 31, 2007;

• UNOCI in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), beginning April 4, 2004;

• UNMIL in Liberia, beginning September 19, 2003;

• MINURSO in Western Sahara since 1991;

• UNMIT in Timor-Leste since 2006;

• UNMOGIP Observer Group in India and Pakistan since 1949;

• UNAMA (special political) Assistance Mission in Afghanistan since March 2011;

• UNFICYP in Cyprus since 1964;

• UNMIK in Kosovo since 1999;

• UNDOF in Golan since 1974;

• UNIFIL in Lebanon since 1978;

• UNTSO in Palestine since 1948; and

• MINUSTAH in Haiti since 2004 after US marines ousted democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

From inception, it had no legitimacy. In fact, it was the first time UN occupiers enforced coup d'etat authority against an elected president, instead of staying out or backing his right to return.

MINUSTAH, in fact, symbolizes the sham hypocrisy of all Blue Helmet missions and why occupied people deplore them.

UNIFIL in Lebanon never established peace and security. It did little more than take up space or get out of the way when Israel attacked.

UNMIK in Kosovo hid the grim reality of NATO terror bombing, mass killing, destruction, and balkanization of Serbia.

In fact, it collaborated with Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) thugs, its leader Hashim Thaci, and their connection to organized crime. In January 2008, Thaci, in fact, became Kosovo's illegitimate prime minister, a gangster running a rogue state.

MONUSCO in Congo never brought peace and security. It facilitated the plunder of Africa's most resource-rich country. It did nothing to stop the immiseration of millions, nor was it deployed to do so.

Credible reports, in fact, linked Blue Helmet forces with mass rapes and other atrocities.

The same ugly story repeats wherever Blue Helmets show up. In December 2004, London Times reports suggested UN staffers committed 150 or more sex crimes, including selling pornographic videos and photos, images of their handiwork.

Congolese women and girls were raped. Congo's Minister of Defense, Major General Jean Pierre Ondekane, said peacekeepers in Kisangani would be remembered "for running after little girls," not doing their job.

Two or more UN officials left after impregnating local women. In fact, sex trafficking, abuse and rape are commonplace wherever Blue Helmets are deployed.

They have power. Occupied people don't. Who'll stop them no matter what they do. They take full advantage, terrorizing local people with impunity.

On November 5, 2009, the London Independent published Bradley Klapper's AP report headlined, "Fifty UN peacekeepers punished for sex abuses," saying:

At least 50 were involved in "committing sexual abuses (and exploitation) on United Nations missions since 2007, the UN said today."

On February 10, 2009, New York Times writer Neil MacFarquhar headlined, "In Peacekeeping, a Muddling of the Mission," saying:

Besides earlier failures, "the most noticeable (recent ones include) the inability of troops in Congo and the Darfur region of Sudan to stop the violence that is killing civilians."

In Congo, for example, Blue Helmets near an area where 150 people were killed, "did not intervene," citing reasons without credibility.

On September 7, 2011, MacFarquhar headlined, "Peacekeepers' Sex Scandals Linger, On Screen and Off," saying:

UN missions have a notorious history of "sex scandals from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haiti....forc(ing) the United Nations to change the way it handles accusations of trafficking, rape and related crimes."

This week, in fact, hundreds of angry Haitians demanded MINUSTAH forces leave after troops raped a teenage male.

Human rights experts and others accuse the UN of coverup and denial instead of strong disciplinary action against offenders.

In January 2009, Save the Children reported Blue Helmet abuses. They included trading food for sex with girls as young as eight in Liberia. Similar practices are common in Burundi, Ivory Coast, East Timor, DR Congo, Cambodia, and Bosnia. Various other reports cite sex with young girls, rape and trafficking.

On July 16, 2009, IPS writer Marina Litvinsky headlined, "Rape by Regular Army a Growing Problem, HRW (Human Rights Watch) Says," stating:

In DR Congo alone, "tens of thousands of women and girls have suffered horrific acts of sexual violence at the hands of the government army," according to a new report, titled "Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone: Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo."

Little is done to stop it or hold culpable peacekeepers accountable. As a result, Congolese women and girls are ravaged with impunity. So are others most everywhere peacekeepers show up.

As a result, people live in constant fear that forces allegedly sent to help them will inflict harm.

In September 2009, Kathleen M. Jennings and Vesna Nikolic-Rstanovic prepared the MICROCON (Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict) Research Working Paper 17, titled, "UN Peacekeeping Economies and Local Sex Industries: Connections and Implications."

Examining Blue Helmet missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia, and Haiti, the paper examined "the interplay between the peacekeeping economy and the sex industry, including domestic sex work, trafficking for sexual exploitation, and sex tourism."

Despite UN "zero tolerance," officials haven't stopped decades of serious abuses. According to MICROCON:

It "suggests that the existence and potential long-term perpetuation of a highly gendered peacekeeping economy threatens to undermine, if not actively contradict, the goals and objectives to gender roles and relations that are generally an implicit or explicit component of most contemporary peace operations."

In fact, sex trafficking and exploitation is wide-ranging, including slavery and prostitution. The UN calls it "transactional sex," involving peacekeepers.

In countries like Bosnia and Kosovo, "domestic sex work and sex trafficking have become a seemingly permanent part of the" economy. Their peacekeeping missions affect both supply and demand. They "effectively creat(e) avenues (for) trafficking of women for sexual exploitation into/through these areas."

Organized crime also gets involved. The prevalence of rape and sex slavery increases. Women and young girls are brutally exploited, and "documented cases of UN soldiers (show) that, far from helping the victims," they become clients or otherwise are implicated in the trade.

Former prisoners said they saw girls forced into UN vehicles and driven away. International military and civilian personnel are directly involved in the sex industry, including trafficking.

A 2002 Turin Conference on Trafficking, Slavery and Peacekeeping report said "peacekeepers are often part of the problem." Connected to organized crime, it's well known that human trafficking provides "an important revenue source."

UN "zero tolerance" is more rhetoric than policy. Wherever they're deployed, peacekeepers serve power, not populations they're mandated to protect.

Libya Soon to Be Occupied

Libyans will now experience what other UN occupied countries fear. They already live through daily hell as war rages. Insurgents are murdering anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi. Black African guest workers are especially vulnerable.

On September 15, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Philip Gordon, gloated about another imperial trophy, saying:

The Libya operation is "in many ways a model on how the United States can lead the way that allows allows allies to support."

"What is new about Libya is the approach that the United States would do an initial phase that only the United States could do, and then that Europeans were playing a leading role in certain aspects."

In fact, Pentagon commanders are fully in charge. US forces continue playing a leading role without publicly "taking center stage." In all wars involving America, it leads, never follows, or plays back seat to any other nation.

No matter who's out in front publicly, Washington's fully in charge. It didn't matter that Cameron and Sarkozy showed up in Tripoli yesterday, not Obama. He did his gloating at home.

The British and French leaders did theirs at a press conference with National Transitional Council (NTC) puppet head Mustafa Jabril, a figurehead stooge for Washington.

Given continuing violence in the capital, they didn't stay long. Heavy security also accompanied their arrival and departure. NTC officials said they'll stay in Benghazi until NATO's campaign ends.

However, it may not be over when it's over. Divisions in the ranks of victors are emerging. Islamist leaders openly criticize Jabril. AP reported that Tripoli military council spokesman Anes Sharif called for his resignation, saying:

"He's been living for the last six months outside the country. He is appointing people depending on their loyalty to him, not depending on their worth and their activities in the revolution. We think he's a project for a new dictator."

Muslim cleric Ali al-Sallabi made similar comments. So have others. On August 30, New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Rod Norland headlined, "Tripoli Divided as Rebels Jostle to Fill Power Vacuum," saying:

"There are growing hints of rivalry among the various brigades over who deserves credit for 'liberating' the city and the influence it might bring."

Open divisions within rebel leadership ranks emerged, "but also between secularists and Islamists."

Internal power struggles "illustrate the challenge a new provisional government will face in trying to unify Libya's fractious political landscape."

Given considerable tribal influence, greater fissures may emerge for something much different than what Washington has in mind, and for sure ordinary Libyans who yearn for former peace and stability under Gaddafi.

Moreover, Islamists and secularists have conflicting visions of a new Libya. Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Al Qaeda leader/now CIA asset heading rebel forces in Tripoli, openly criticized Jabril. A close aid said he'll "be gone soon."

Ali Sallabi, Etilaf head, an Islamist umbrella group, called for his resignation, accusing him and other NTC officials of planned profiteering and "a new era of tyranny and dictatorship."

On September 14, Times writers Kirkpatrick and Norland headlined, "Islamists Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya," saying:

At issue is "the ultimate character of the government and society that will rise in place of (Gaddafi)."

Likely conflict-producing power struggles may prove more troublesome than whether secularists or Islamists prevail. In various countries, Washington has allies in both camps. At issue only is if they're client or independent states. Gaddafi's "sin" was the latter.

Whoever finally takes charge, protracted conflict will continue after NATO declares victory and stops bombing.

So far it continues unabated. According to Cameron, "We must keep up with the NATO mission until civilians are all protected and this work is finished."

Given the massive death and injury toll, there may not be many left or a Libya fit to live in when terror bombing and rebel rampaging ends.

Nonetheless, Sarkozy said, "We have done what we did because we thought it was the right thing to do."

They committed grievous crimes of war and against humanity. It's ongoing serial killing on an industrial scale.

It won't stop across the region soon. According to General Carter Ham, AFRICOM commander, new campaigns ahead are planned to control all Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

As a result, expect NATO's killing machine to select new countries to destroy as part of its "responsibility to protect humanitarian mission."

In fact, it's to colonize and exploit the entire area, carving it up for profit.

Like Afghans and Iraqis, Libyans know what happens when NATO shows up. At least, those still alive can explain it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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This work is in the public domain

Hard Times Getting Harder - by Stephen Lendman

Commentary :: Globalization
Hard Times Getting Harder
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (unverified!) 18 Sep 2011
Hard Times Getting Harder - by Stephen Lendman

Americans are being hammered economically, politically and socially. Paul Craig Roberts quoted Vladimir Putin calling America "a parasite on the world."

PR manipulators present a virtuous image. Roberts said "Putin understated the burden that America is on the world. How much longer will (it) put up with" our virtuosity?

Death, destruction, and global economic wrecking defines its agenda. Libya at peace became a hellish charnel house. Mainstream Americans suffer greatly in deepening Depression.

Political Washington fattens itself on campaign cash, hanging out to dry struggling millions. Trends analyst Gerald Celente says it's time for direct democracy - "tak(ing) power out of the hands of politicians and put(ting) into the hands of the people."

With their own self-interest at stake, bet on them getting it right. With politicians on the take, they do it only for fat cat contributers, and the bigger the bribe, the more they get.

Depression Defines Today's Economy

Gluskin Sheff chief economist Dave Rosenberg calls what's ongoing "a modern day depression," saying:

A Depression, "simply put, is a very long period of economic malaise and when the economy fails to respond in any meaningful or lasting way to government stimulus programs," or what passes for them with benefits mostly to corporate favorites and super-rich elites.

It's defined by a "series of rolling recessions and modest recoveries over a multi-year period of general economic stagnation as the excesses from the prior asset and credit bubble(s) are completely wrung out of the system."

Using a baseball metaphor, Rosenberg says we're "in the third inning of this current debt deleveraging ball game."

In other words, after three tough years, many more lie ahead for ordinary working households suffering most.

"You know you're in a depression when interest rates go to zero and there is no revival in credit-sensitive spending."

How can there be with banks hoarding nearly $2 trillion in cash. A classic "liquidity trap" occurs when private sector lending dries up.

Depressions usually follow bursting asset bubbles, especially housing ones. Before his August 2007 death, economist Kurt Richebacher warned about them in a 2004 commentary titled, "Property Bubbles: Beware of Property Bubbles."

Citing "economic and financial imbalances," he said America's growth depends "entirely on the continuation of the frenetic housing bubble."

However, "all bubbles end painfully, housing (ones) in particular. They're an especially dangerous asset bubble because of their extraordinary debt intensity."

They cause great harm by extracting wealth (through refinancing) from rising valuations and by "heavily entangl(ing) banks and the whole financial system as lenders."

Thus, property bubbles have historically been the main cause of major financial crises, notably Depressions.

Late 1980s Japan was a striking example. Its stock and property bubbles burst together, but the former got most attention. The "property deflation continued for 13 years (with) calamitous effects on (its) banking system through a horrendous legacy of bad loans."

Japan's "building sector" also suffered and "never recovered from the depression following its (late 1980s) excesses."

Richebacher wondered if America faces the same fate, asking, "Is the US economy in better or worse shape today (in 2004) than in 2000 (as it faced recession)? Is it in a self-sustaining recovery?"

Absolutely not, and he was right, saying "it is in dramatically worse shape" because of years of binge borrowing.

Also because of leveraged asset purchases and soaring imports. The former involves no income creation. The latter destroys it. Moreover, this type borrowing is unproductive dead-weight debt, "yielding to debtors no future flow of income from which to" service it.

As a result, a bad ending is assured. In summer 2007, it arrived with painful, deepening effects. Over three years later, growing millions can explain America's economy better than trained experts by relating their current state.

Rosenberg says Depressions result from "bursting of an asset bubble and a contraction in credit, whereas plain-vanilla recessions are typically caused by inflation and excessive manufacturing inventories."

Moreover, when true unemployment hovers around 23%, and half of those looking did it fruitlessly for six months or longer, "you know you are in something much deeper than a garden-variety recession."

Instead of soup lines in streets, they're "in the mail - 99 weeks of unemployment checks for over 10 million jobless Americans," and many others end up losing them.

In addition, secular change affect attitudes toward debt. Discretionary spending and homeownership plans are altered or curtailed until hard times give way to better ones.

"More fundamentally, in a recession," government stimulus revives economic growth. In Depressions, at best, it's kept from getting worse. Many bucks don't deliver enough bang to spur sustained upward momentum.

"In a recession, everything would be back to a new high nearly three years after" the economy contracted. Currently, "everything" is still below December 2007 levels.

Under normal conditions or garden variety recessions, all the monetary, fiscal and bailout stimulus would revive a "roaring" economy. Because it failed shows Depression conditions exist. That's what bond prices are signaling, with yields approaching Japanese levels. At near zero, it hasn't worked.

Even with current government deficits around 10% of GDP, double Great Depression levels, bucks injected to stimulate bang fell flat.

A decade of credit growth excess created the current mess. No quick fix will end it. Another $5 trillion "has to be extinguished either by paying it down," walking away from it, or having it socialized.

With 10-year Treasuries around 2%, the message not only is something is very wrong but that years are needed to fix it. Even then, only if good, not counterproductive, policies are employed.

At the same time, "epic changes" are occurring in how households allocate budgets, especially regarding discretionary spending and debt at a time they're undergoing a prolonged deleveraging cycle.

Years of credit expansion were fueled by no-doc loans (requiring no documentation), low-doc ones, liar loans, NINJA ones (with no income, jobs or assets), 0% vendor financing, subprime mortgages, risky Alt-A ones, and option ARMs (adjustable rate ones) with negative amortization.

From the mid-1960s through mid-1980s, household debt to income was 70%. In 2002, it was 105%. In 2007, it hit an all-time 140% high, and it's still 120%. It shows years more deleveraging are required to return it to normal levels.

In fact, "for the first time in recorded history, the entire $70 trillion household balance sheet is in a long-term process of shrinking."

It suggests rising savings and weaker private sector growth. It's also deflationary at a time essential commodities are rising, including food, energy, and medical care, key items in every household budget.

Bottom line reality is protracted pain ahead for working households, no matter what policy measures are employed.

Given counterproductive ones proposed and planned (including austerity when stimulus is needed), expect hard times indeed ahead to get harder.

A Final Comment

No wonder America's middle class is disappearing. At its current pace, it won't be long before it's gone.

In his book titled, "How the Economy Was Lost," Paul Craig Roberts said it's gone and won't come back until "free trade myths are buried six feet under."

"America's (19th and) 20th centur(ies) economic success was based on two things. Free trade was not one of them. (It) was based on protectionism (and) British indebtedness."

US economic ascendance eroded by abandoning traditional practices and preaching "free trade" dogma, neoliberalism, globalization, and the disease of offshoring. As a result, "American cities and states lost tax base, and families and communities lost jobs," replaced by fewer lower paying ones.

"The pressure of jobs offshor(ed), together with vast imports, has destroyed the economic prospects for all Americans....Doing a good job, providing a good service, is no longer the corporation's function. Instead," goal one is cutting labor costs, exporting high paid jobs to low wage countries, and hollowing out America for profit.

As bad as it's been it may get worse with millions more white-collar jobs vulnerable to offshoring. They include high paying positions in information technology, accounting, architecture, advanced engineering design, news reporting, stock analysis, and medical and legal services.

In other words, any job, high or low level, performed effectively anywhere will be moved to the lowest paying locales, abandoning America and other higher cost ones.

At the same time, major media scoundrels won't explain it or the truth about America's troubled economy.

Instead, consensus lying reports slow growth but no recession at a time of deepening Depression. In other words, coverup and denial substitutes for hard truths when they're most needed.

In his latest summer review, Gerald Celente says America's "economy is in collapse. Nothing the White House, Congress or the Federal Reserve tries to do to stop the crash" is working.

Everything tried fell flat. Operating on life-support, when the plug finally is pulled "and the money pump stops, the US economy will go down and" take much of the world with it.

It shows financial destruction can be as painful as military might. Either way, ordinary people suffer most, especially when governments they rely on don't help.

That's the state across America and Europe. It's why activism, not apathy, must confront what only will worsen unless effectively addressed.

Of course, responsible leaders are needed to do it. They're, in fact, nowhere in sight, so it's up to voters to clean house for better ones.

Given Americans' choice between bad or worse, it may be beyond reach, but what option is there than to try.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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Imperial Arrogance and Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman

Imperial Arrogance and Hypocrisy
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 18 Sep 2011
state terrorism
Imperial Arrogance and Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman

Washington supports a UN seat for the illegitimate Transitional National Council (TNC) Libyan government.

Obama vows to veto a Palestinian bid for statehood and full de jure UN membership.

Imperial America's wrong over right agenda takes center stage across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Death, destruction, and immiseration take precedence over rule of law principles and norms.

It's no different at home where political leaders favor wealth and power interests over working households, struggling to cope during America's greatest Depression.

Imperial arrogance and hypocrisy define Washington's contempt for human and civil rights, as well as other core democratic values. Almost daily it reaches for new heights.

On September 16, New York Times writer Neil MacFarquhar headlined, "UN Takes Steps to Assist Libya's Transitional Leaders," saying:

The "Security Council lift(ed) some economic sanctions and the General Assembly accept(ed) the credentials of the (Illegitimate) transitional government to represent Libya in the world body."

Reuters said Washington "welcome(d the) vote. Vow(ed) to be 'friend' of Libya."

UN ambassador Susan Rice said Tripoli will have "a friend and partner in the United States. The Libyan people still have much more work to do, but they also have the full knowledge that the international community, including the United States, stands ready to help their transition towards democracy, prosperity, and the rule of law."

In fact, Washington plans colonization, occupation, plunder, and exploitation. Libya is now wholly owned by America and its imperial partners.

Democracy, rule of law principles, and general prosperity won't be tolerated. Only favored elitist interests will benefit. That's what all wars are about, not freedom and a new beginning for liberated people.

Seventeen countries voted against UN membership. Venezuela's UN Ambassador, Jorge Valero, perhaps spoke for others, saying:

Caracas rejects the "illegitimate transitory authority imposed by foreign intervention" and any attempt to make Libya a NATO or Security Council "protectorate."

It's already a colony to be brutally exploited like wherever imperial America shows up.

Cuban UN Ambassador Pedro Nunez Mosquera said NATO conducted "a military operation to change the regime to promote their political and economic interests."

On September 20, Obama will welcome TNC head Mustafa Jalil in New York at the UN. He'll also meet there with other imperial partners to discuss how to carve up their new trophy property.

White House deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes describes it as "US support (for) the type of Libya we'd like to see going forward."

He barely concealed what he means, calling Libya a "success" story. Millions now suffering there might disagree. For them, in fact, the worst is yet to come.

A previous article discussed planned peacekeeper occupation of Libya, accessed through the following link:

On September 16, the Security Council authorized a "UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)," without explaining its another illegal imperial occupation against the wishes of Libyans wanting freedom, peace, and right to govern their own affairs.

Instead they'll get paramilitary brutality, mass rapes, and sex trafficking, as well as other atrocities and crimes against humanity.

They're commonplace wherever Blue Helmets show up. They come as enforcers, not peacekeepers. They serve powerful interests, not those of people they're sworn to protect.

Libyans will soon taste what 16 other countries endure, including DRC Congo, Sudan, Kosovo, Rwanda, and Haiti where local people hate them and want them out. However, they have no say or rights. Their choice is obey or else.

Libya v. Palestine

Partnered with Israel, Washington won't tolerate Palestinian statehood and full UN membership. Note the contrast. TNC-led Libya has no legitimacy. Yet it easily got UN membership.

Palestinians have waited 63 years for their legitimate rights.

Maybe next time, not now, because Obama and Netanyahu won't tolerate them. Neither does Abbas who signaled capitulation in a September 16 speech.

New York Times writers Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner weren't listening. It shows in their September 16 article headlined, "Palestinians Set Bid for UN Seat, Clashing with UN," saying:

Abbas "announced Friday that he would seek membership for a state of Palestine from the (Security Council) next week, putting him on a collision course with Israel and the United States...."

Fact check

The only "collision" will be Arab street anger after America's veto, even though doing so has no teeth. The General Assembly alone admits new members. The Security Council only recommends.

A previous article said Abbas won't petition the General Assembly, or if he does, it'll be for less than full rights within easy reach. In other words, he'll settle for half a loaf status quo, leaving Palestinians back at square one.

Yet both Times writers called Abbas' plan "a double defeat for the United States. Washington not only failed to dissuade (him) from a unilateral bid for statehood, but also fell short of its goal of" preventing an easy to pass "symbolic" General Assembly vote.

Fact check

As explained above, if properly done, General Assembly membership votes are decisive, not "symbolic."

"The United States has struggled to place itself on the side of those seeking justice and freedom in the current revolts....A veto of Palestinian membership would intensify Arab perceptions of American double standards."

Fact check

Ask Bahrainis about Washington's "struggle" for "justice and freedom." Ask Yemenis being bombed by US drones. Ask Libyans enduring months of daily terror bombings and cutthroat mercenaries murdering anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi.

Ask starving Somalis being attacked by US proxies and tortured in secret US prisons. Ask Iraqis and Afghans how they feel about Americans in their midst. Ask anyone anywhere when US forces show up. They'll explain.

Bronner and Kershner are paid to lie and support powerful interests, not popular ones or rule of law standards.

Netanyahu - a Profile in Brazen Defiance

Haaretz writer Doron Rosenblum accused Netanyahu of "running Israel aground," saying:

He devoted his tenure "to riding roughshod over every diplomatic finesse, to scattering threats, to provoking crises, to searching for anti-Semitism and to finding various bizarre excuses for continuing the annexationist status quo."

"Only when (he was) absolutely forced (did he) pay lip service to 'two states' and 'willingness to negotiate' - but with a lack of conviction that was worse than a direct refusal. For in doing so, (he) did not merely lose sympathy; he lost a much more important card: trust."

Rosenblum only stopped short of saying better trust a snake than a man known for never "having acted in good faith."

On September 16, it showed by his rejection of Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the UN, saying:

"Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel," adding:

When the PA "abandon(s) its futile measures, firstly its unilateral decision to approach the UN, it will find Israel as a partner for negotiations and peace."

In fact, Israel only wants Palestinian leaders as an occupying power's enforcer.

Israel never negotiates and won't tolerate peace. Netanyahu once called it "a waste of time."

Washington backs whatever Israel wants, even when it harms its own interests.

On September 6, US Israeli ambassador Daniel Shapiro said:

"The test of every policy the administration develops in the Middle East is whether it is consistent with the goal of ensuring Israel's future as a secure, Jewish, democratic state. That is a commitment that runs as a common thread through our entire government."

Israel, of course, never was democratic and isn't now. Any nation affording rights solely to one segment of society at the expense of others is discriminatory, repressive and unfair.

Arabs comprise one-fifth of Israel's population, but are treated more like fifth column threats than citizens.

America, of course, treats all working people as subjects to be exploited, not helped. It's true at home and abroad. Israel modeled its economy after America's, adopting the worst of its neoliberal harshness.

Both nations are partnered in an imperial enterprise to subjugate people throughout the Middle East/North Africa/Central Asia. America and its NATO allies plan the same thing globally, waging multiple wars to do it.

Freedom, independence, and democratic rights are notions none of these countries tolerate. Ask suffering millions. They'll explain.

Taking Aim at Abbas

As explained above, Abbas signaled capitulation in his September 16 speech, again revealing his collaborationist credentials.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad denounced his speech.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused him of "unilateral moves" by acting without consulting Palestine's legitimate government and other factions.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab said his objective is reopening negotiations with Israel, not independence and UN membership.

He added that Abbas should focus on implementing his May unity government agreement, now sidetracked at Washington and Israel's behest. They, in fact, want Hamas isolated, not allied with Fatah to serve all Palestinians.

Reuters said Quartet members will meet in New York on September 18 in a last-ditch effort to derail a showdown over Palestinian statehood and UN membership.

They want resumption of bilateral Israeli/Palestinian negotiations going nowhere and won't now. At issue is preventing Abbas from petitioning the UN, no matter how little he'll settle for.

In a word, they want Palestinians subjugated under permanent occupation with no rights. Obama and Netanyahu call it "peace."

Others call it bondage. Abbas calls it the best he can get.

Palestinians may finally realize they need leaders representing them, no matter what they sacrifice to do it.

Freedom never comes easily or quickly. It never comes at all without trying under committed leaders doing what they know is right.

Freedom next time isn't good enough. Tomorrow never comes.

Palestinian statehood and full UN membership - now's the time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
See also:

This work is in the public domain

Face-Off: Palestine v. Washington/Israel on Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

Face-Off: Palestine v. Washington/Israel on Statehood
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 15 Sep 2011
Face-Off: Palestine v. Washington/Israel on Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

With the moment of truth arriving next week, rhetoric from both sides suggests Palestinians again will lose out.

Instead of an advocate representing them in New York, a collaborationist apparently will show up. Public statements and body language say so.

What could at last be looks likely to be denied. Instead of a new beginning, betrayal appears in the cards.

It's almost no exaggeration saying the fix is in. What'll finally emerge will be portrayed as a Palestinian win. In reality, it'll be defeat - a worthless half loaf in place of what's easily within reach.

With more than enough international support backed by international law at a time Israeli and US influence are weaker, a golden chance is slip-siding away.

The daily soap opera continues. Here's the latest.

On September 14, Haaretz writer Avi Issacharoff headlined, "Palestinians trying to dodge pre-UN vote face-off with Obama," saying:

"Next week, intense negotiations will be undertaken between the European Union, the PA and the American government regarding the specific formula of the request for Palestinian statehood recognition."

The "specific formula" says it all. Only an easily attainable one delivers statehood and full de jure UN membership. Anything less continues status quo betrayal.

Instead of going for it with overwhelming support, bet on Abbas petitioning only for reshuffling the deck chairs, leaving status quo denial in place.

Apparently he's less concerned about justice than embarrassing Washington, if Obama followed through with his threatened Security Council veto. Bet on it, and it won't be long before it's known.

On September 13, New York Times writers Steven Myers and David Kirkpatrick headlined, "US Scrambles to Avert Palestinian Vote at UN," saying:

Ahead of next week in New York, "maneuvering became an exercise in brinkmanship as the administration wrestles with roiling tensions in the region, including a sharp deterioration of relations between....Egypt, Israel and Turkey."

While Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Palestinian statehood "not a choice but an obligation," Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby said after meeting with PA officials:

"(I)t is obvious that the Palestinian Authority and the Arab countries are leaning towards going to the General Assembly" for a meaningless status upgrade from "observer entity" to "observer state," leaving them back at square one.

Even so, Obama, Hillary Clinton, regional envoy Tony Blair (a reinvented war criminal), EU representative Catherine Ashton, US Middle East envoy David Hale, and pro-Israeli hardliner Dennis Ross want Abbas to call the whole thing off.

In their minds, even a fig leaf is too much.

Only Israeli interests matter. Palestinians must accept their status as powerless occupied people and shut up.

"The administration has spent months trying to avoid" the embarrassment of a Security Council veto, even though under international law it's toothless. Only the General Assembly admits new members. The Security Council recommends.

Both get their say on admissions. One body alone matters, and it's ready to do the right thing if proper procedures are followed.

Lots of times, Abbas and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat had their say more for Israel than Palestine.

Erekat, in fact, signaled no change now, saying:

"We don't intend to confront the US, or anyone else for that matter (suggesting Israel and its EU allies)."

The early 2011 released Palestine Papers revealed that policy position was longstanding, siding with Israel against his own people.

So did Abbas as chief Oslo negotiator where he sold them out entirely and did so ever since.

Expect no change of heart now. For him, Erekat and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, it would be entirely out of character. Leopards can't change their spots, nor snakes in the grass.

Nor Congress, threatening to cut off aid in the event of a UN vote, what most in it call a "confrontation," not long delayed justice.

The same Congress backs Obama's imperial wars, banker bailouts, austerity hardship for needy Americans, and repressive police state laws to slap them down if they complain.

The deck indeed is stacked, and unrepresented Palestinians hold no aces.

So hinted Jimmy Carter, America's 39th president and author of "Peace Not Apartheid."

His September 13 New York Times op-ed headlined, "After the UN Vote on Palestine," saying:

Camp David promises proved hollow. Despite overwhelming Knesset approval, "call(ing) for honoring all aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967)," Israel systematically violated its provisions.

Key ones included denying "the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security."

Others mandated:

"(i) Withdrawal of Israel(i) armed forces from territories occupied in (1967);" and

"(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

In 1948, Palestinians lost 78% of their historic homeland. In 1967, they lost the rest. Camp David I, Madrid, Oslo, Oslo II, Wye River, Camp David II, Taba, and decades of peace process futility accomplished nothing.

Every post-Camp David I negotiation favored Israel. Palestinians' only choice was take it or leave it. Nothing's changed now. Carter knows it but didn't say. So do Palestinians and the Arab street with no power.

Carter did say Washington "basically withdr(ew) from active participation in the peace process. The Palestinians and other Arabs have interpreted US policy as acquiescing on the occupation and (being) biased against them."

Given what they're up against, "what are the options for the future?"

Instead of explaining the futility of peace process negotiations because Palestinians have no willing partner, Carter called for "comprehensive" efforts "based on the fully compatible US official policy, previous UN resolutions and the Quartet's previous demands."

In other words, he recommends another round of what won't work instead of suggesting what may, and saying US policy must back it. With enough (sorely lacking) commitment, Israel would have a hard time saying no, but don't bet it wouldn't try.

Yet Carter's vision calls for "peace for Israel and all its neighbors. The United States would regain its leadership role in the region, based on its commitment to freedom, democracy and justice, and a major cause of widespread animosity toward America within the Arab world would be eliminated."

Shamefully, Carter omitted mention of America's imperial wars. That the business of America is war. That permanent war is official policy.

That eroding homeland social justice pays for them. That repressive police state laws slap down resisters.

That post-9/11, $10 trillion or more was spent on militarism with all categories included.

That over the same period, millions of lives were lost. Many millions more were harmed, and killer weapons destroyed nonbelligerent countries lawlessly.

Libya, of course, is Washington's latest trophy. Even so, death and destruction continue daily, turning the entire country into a hellish charnel house.

At home, unbridled greed, corruption, and imperial lawlessness define America.

Torture, extraordinary renditions, indefinite detentions without charge, military commissions, warrantless surveillance, and racial profiling are official policies.

Special Forces death squads murder people globally who disagree with US policies.

Decades of bad policies, including his own, have America on a fast track toward tyranny and ruin.

America's middle class is disappearing. Growing millions suffer from poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair. America's media don't notice, let alone care.

America partners with Israel's most lawless policies. Its leaders (including himself) support the worst of world despots and brutes.

Democracy in America is a sham illusion. Whistleblowing and dissent can be called criminal.

Times op-eds alone won't change things, especially ones falling way short of the mark.

On October 1, Carter turn's 87. Arguably, his post-presidency is the best of the lot, though far from perfect.

At this stage in life, why not go all the way burnishing it.

What better way than by forthrightly challenging US policies causing so much harm to so many, including permanent imperial wars and social injustice.

Then support Palestinian statehood and full de jure UN membership. At the same time, denounce Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, saying "harsh and grave consequences" will follow a UN vote.

That's the kind of legacy worth working for!

It's true for everyone, not just him!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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This work is in the public domain

Palestine's Rocky Road to Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

Palestine's Rocky Road to Statehood
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 16 Sep 2011
Palestine's Rocky Road to Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

Some roads prove too rocky to traverse, especially when opposition against the real thing comes from alleged supportive allies.

The worst of all enemies often are traitors to a just cause. That in a word sums up Palestine's dilemma as loyalists count down to September's General Assembly meeting next week.

The 11th hour. The moment of truth, looking more like disappointment, shame and betrayal.

In other words, again Palestinians face what they've endured for decades, despite millions of global supporters, including most or perhaps the entire Arab street.

What do Palestinians want and deserve? In a word: justice.

They want sovereign statehood - no ifs, ands, buts or maybe next time.

They want it comprised of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem - 22% of historic Palestine, not parts only in isolated pieces.

They want control over their shoreline and air space.

They want fixed borders and unfragmented territorial integrity, not isolated cantons on worthless scrub land constituting no state at all.

They want Israel's illegal occupation ended.

They want unauthorized incursions on their land called naked aggression.

They want international law provisions enforced, including UN Charter Chapter VII, Article 51, saying nations may attack another only in self-defense. Even then, it's only until the Security Council acts as the final arbiter on matters of international peace and security.

They want freedom over their own lives.

They want decades of Israeli state terror ended.

They want no more of their land stolen.

They want access to every international convention and institution able to help them.

They want diaspora refugees freely able to return as codified in international law.

On December 11, 1948, UN Resolution 194 "(r)esolve(d) that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation (paid by responsible governments or authorities) should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return...."

Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his (or her) own, and to return to his (or her) country."

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states:

"No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his (or her) own country."

In short, they want and deserve the same rights as all citizens. Sadly, too few have them, but no one anywhere should quit struggling for what's right, especially those long-suffering and denied.

Victories Take Sustained Commitment

Great victories aren't won by the timid. Only those committed to stay the course may succeed. They're also the most deserving because they put their bodies where their hopes and dreams lie.

They're willing to stake it all for a just cause. They're willing to settle for only what new generations may enjoy. That's commitment.

Palestinians have it, but not their collaborationist officials, planning to sell them out in New York, despite duplicitous rhetoric to the contrary.

On September 15, reiterating his "no retreat" vow on full UN membership, Abbas said:

"Going to the United Nations to request full membership for Palestine in the international organization is an inevitable thing and there is no retreat from it."

"Despite the pressures exercised on us, Palestine will go to" New York on September 23 "to request full membership."

Heavy US/EU/Israeli pressure haven't stopped demanding he give it up. Washington, in fact, vowed not to stop trying. According to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland:

"We want to leave no stone unturned in our effort to get these parties back to the table," where Israel holds all the aces. Palestinians have none, the way it's always been.

Nonetheless, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (notoriously pro-Israeli like Obama and his handpicked envoys) said:

"The only way of getting a lasting solution is through direct negotiations between the two parties, and the route to that lies in Jerusalem and Ramallah, not in New York."

Earlier she called destroying Libya and NATO's genocidal rape "liberation."

She backs the worst of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity. She deplores the idea of Palestinians having any say over their own affairs. She feels the same way about Americans, as does Obama.

He called Palestinians petitioning the UN a "distraction," adding:

"What happens in New York can occupy a lot of press attention but is not going to change, actually, what is happening on the ground until the Israelis and Palestinians sit down."

He's saying Washington and Israel will deny independent Palestine a moment of peace and security, threatening its right to exist.

Israel calls Palestinian statehood an attempt to isolate it and undermine its legitimacy. It'll say or do anything to get its way. So will America and its deceitful EU partners. They're enemies of independence and freedom as is Israel.

Its extremist ultranationalist Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, raged about the prospect, warning "harsh and grave consequences" will follow any attempt by Palestine to petition the UN for what's right.

Stopping short of revealing specifics, he said:

"The moment has not yet come to give details of what will happen. What I can say with the greatest confidence is that from the moment they pass a unilateral decision there will be harsh and grave consequences."

"I hope that we shall not come to (that point), and that common sense will prevail in all decisions taken in order to allow co-existence and progress with negotiation."

Spoken like true despot, he also accused Palestinians of planning an "unprecedented bloodbath" after the UN acts.

With racist hatemongers like Lieberman and Netanyahu in high places, anything ahead is possible. Both symbolize the worst of Israeli state terror, directed against Arabs for not being Jewish.

On September 15, Haaretz writer Gideon Levy headlined, "Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period," saying:

It has no "single persuasive argument against" one. Neither does Washington or pro-Israeli EU partners.

"Next week will be Israel's moment of truth, or more precisely the moment in which its deception will be revealed."

Its position is wholly without merit. In fact, its entirely self-serving and underhanded, forgetting that the UN, in part, established Israel and other new nations since 1945.

Moreover, it's the only way to create Palestinian statehood, what neither Israel or Palestine can do on their own. Nor Washington.

Notably, Oslo promised final status talks in five years. It didn't happen and won't in 50 or 500 if left up to Israel.

Every Israeli excuse turned up empty, leaving disturbing naked truths exposed. They're plain as day now to see.

As a result, Palestinians have "three options, not four: to surrender unconditionally (and stay occupied); to launch a third intifada; or to mobilize the world on their behalf."

They chose the third and got most of it. Israel has no leg to stand on, yet persists against what world public opinion calls the right thing at the right time.

"Yesterday, a coalition of Israeli peace organizations published a list of 50 reasons for Israel to support a Palestinian state."

In sum, they come down to backing what's lawful, principled, high-minded, righteous and timely.

On September 14, New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined, "Palestinians Say a UN Gamble on Statehood Is Worth the Risks," saying:

"Going to the United Nations remains a high-stakes gambit for Mr. Abbas," adding that it's "far from clear what will happen when the Palestinians go to the United Nations next week to seek recognition of statehood."

Fact check

What's very clear is that status quo occupation is intolerable and unacceptable.

That independence beside a rogue aggressor is better than living under its rules.

Moreover, anything improving their current lot advances true liberation for millions deserving it, even if getting it means waiting years or even decades longer.

Try finding any Times writer or op-ed contributor saying so.

Notably, its Jerusalem bureau chief, Ethan Bronner, stands out. On September 14, Max Blumenthal's Columbia Journalism Review article headlined, "Conflict in Israel? saying:

In charge since March 2008, Bronner "joined the speakers bureau of one of Israel's top public relations firms, Lone Star Communications," an organization with a pro-Israeli agenda.

It "arranges speaking dates for Bronner and takes 10 to 15 percent of his fee. At the same time, (it) pitches (him) stories."

His Times bosses see no conflict of interest. Why should they with their pro-Israeli agenda and refusal to hire on staff with views different from their own. Bronner fits the bill.

Combining journalism with "paid engagements from a firm that also pitches him stories" he reports is big time conflict of interest, especially one with a "clear ideological bent."

"Bronner faced an earlier controversy when his young son decided to serve in the Israeli military....(F)ormer Times editor Bill Keller strongly backed (him) and he weathered it."

At first, however, he and Times editors declined comment. Foreign Editor Susan Chira said only that:

"Mr. Bronner's son is a young adult who makes his own decisions. At The Times, we have found Mr. Bronner's coverage to be scrupulously fair and we are confident that will continue to be the case."

Others disagree based on studies showing a history of Times misreporting on Israel/Palestine, besides on so much else. In fact, bias and distorted coverage defines how its correspondents and opinion writers do their job.

Calling it "scrupulously fair" is laughable on its face. It's also insulting to those affected.

A Final Comment

On September 23, Abbas will formally petition the UN for whatever he intends to propose. He'll address the General Assembly the same day.

So will Netanyahu after earlier saying Shimon Peres would represent him. Advisors warned him against it, saying not being there would show weakness and support what Palestinians want.

He claims he decided to go "to tell the truth before anyone who would like to hear it." In fact, he and truth are total strangers. He couldn't look it in the eye and see it.

Neither can Obama, those around him, and most in Congress, warning harsh measures if Palestinians pursue their rights.

"Make no mistake," said House Appropriations Committee member Steve Rothman (D. NJ), "I have no doubt that Congress will act swiftly and with an overwhelming majority to impose penalties...."

Besides cutting off funding, he may even have declaring war in mind. Why not with a legislative body packed with rogues. They're bipartisan criminals, backing imperial rampaging and wrecking America for their deep-pocketed funders.

They also support whatever Israel wants, including the right to reign terror on Palestine.

"The PA has little to gain and much to lose," added Rothman. Most Americans, in fact, gained nothing and lost everything under Republican and Democrat scoundrels, sacrificing them for their own self-interest.

Homeland justice depends on committed grassroots activism. It's true as well for Palestinians.

On September 23, Abbas plans to sell them out like so many previous times. Rothman and his bunch needn't worry.

Americans are on their own. So are Palestinians.

The struggle for liberating justice here and there continues.

With enough sustained commitment, maybe one day it'll show up.

For Palestinians, however, not on September 23. Abbas didn't book it passage on his New York flight.

Hopefully, he won't be warmly greeted when he returns.

Many there hope he's gone and won't come back.

That would be a big step forward, especially if his number two, Salam Fayyad, leaves with him.

Great victories come a baby step at a time.

Hopefully some are coming, but only people power ones matter most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
See also:

This work is in the public domain

Targeting Lawyers: America v. Paul Bergrin - by Stephen Lendman

Targeting Lawyers: America v. Paul Bergrin
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 16 Sep 2011
Targeting Lawyers: America v. Paul Bergrin - by Stephen Lendman

Post-9/11, thousands of political prisoners languish unjustly behind bars or await trial.

They include lawyers for challenging injustice, especially for defending the "wrong" clients after America declared war on humanity.

Longtime human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart got 10 years for doing it. In a recent interview she said:

"I believe I am one of an historical progression that maintains the struggle to change (America's) perverted landscape....It seems that being a political prisoner must be used as a means of focusing people's attention on the continuing atrocities around them....I might think I hadn't been doing my utmost if they didn't believe I was dangerous enough to be locked up!"

Explaining how outrageously prisoners are treated, she added:

"Human rights do not exist in prison....I see day-to-day brainwashing that teaches all prisoners that they are less than nothing and not worthy of even the least human or humane considerations."

It shows up in "adequate medical care, the appalling access to the absence of legal advice," and so much else "to keep us dumbed-down, docile and estranged."

"The outside world is oblivious....brainwashed into believing (everyone locked up is) less than human."

Inhumanity is official policy in America's gulag. It's by far the world's largest, and for many in it as brutal as some of the worst. A growing part includes filling prison beds for profit, many in them victimized by injustice.

Lynne's there for defending a client Bush officials wanted locked up for life - no matter his innocence.

Paul Bergrin now awaits his turn, behind bars ahead of his trial. A previous article discussed his case, accessed through the following link:

It said the Sixth Amendment assures defendants in "all criminal prosecutions" the right to speedy, public, fair trials with "the Assistance of (competent) Counsel for his (or her) defense" provided free if unable to pay for it.

The Fourteenth Amendment holds government subservient to the law and guarantees due process respect for everyone's legal right to judicial fairness on matters relating to life, liberty, or property.

In America and elsewhere, defending unpopular clients is a long, honored tradition. So is upholding the law and challenging unfettered power defiling it. Yet doing it risks lawyers being criminalized for doing their job too vigorously or making enemies in high places.

Before being targeted, Bergrin was a formidable advocate. The New Times Times called him a "top prosecutor" before becoming one of New Jersey's "most prominent defense lawyers representing clients as varied as Abu Ghraib defendants, the rap stars Lil' Kim and Queen Larifah, and members of Newark's notorious street gangs."

They and others deserve the same legal rights as everyone, nothing less. So does Bergrin as an unjustly accused defendant, targeted for doing his job.

He defended US soldiers accused of killing four Iraqis near Samarra during Operation Iron Triangle in May 2006. The case made international headlines when evidence showed Col. Michael Steele gave orders to "kill all military age males."

Stjepan Mestrovic's important book explained what happened, titled "The 'Good Soldier' on Trial: A Sociological Study of Misconduct by the US Military Pertaining to Operation Iron Triangle, Iraq."

It was no ordinary murder case. It involved government conspiracy, cover-up and intrigue against scapegoated soldiers to absolve higher-ups throughout the chain of command to the top.

As a result, four soldiers were convicted of conspiracy, murder, aggravated assault, or obstruction of justice for following orders. If disobeyed they'd have been court-martialed, dishonorably discharged, fined and imprisoned.

Guilt or innocence didn't matter. They never had a chance, and for using his formidable skills for them, neither perhaps does Paul.

Obama officials want him crucified and locked away for life, turning justice into a four-letter word like for so many others targeted for political advantage.

Prosecutorial Charges

On May 20, 2009, a Department of Justice (DOJ) press released headlined "Newark Lawyer Arrested, Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Murder of a Federal Witness (along with) Three Others Also Arrested and Charged."

The 14-count indictment (now 33) accused him of "using various legal entities, including (his law office) to conduct illegal activities, including murder, to protect criminal clients, perpetuate their activities and shield them from prosecution."

Specifically cited was his alleged role in the "murder of a confidential witness in an Essex County (New Jersey) federal drug case, and his efforts to hire a hitman from Chicago to kill at least one witness in a Monmouth County drug case."

Bergrin was charged with "racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, murder of a federal witness, and conspiracy to murder a federal witness, and, separately, witnesses in a state case, as well as Travel Act violations and conspiracy to commit Travel Act violations."

If convicted of murder, racketeering and conspiracy, potentially he faces life in prison.

Bergrin v. Attack Journalism

On June 5, New York Magazine writer Mark Jacobson headlined, "The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey," practically convicting him without trial by his title.

Naming some of Essex County's most notorious scoundrels, including Mafia boss Lucky Luciano, he called Bergrin a "strong candidate for addition to this list.... facing charges that are a good bet to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life."

In other words, he swallowed government accusations hook, line and sinker pre-trial, what legitimate journalism never should do. He accepted inflammatory charges as truth, no matter how implausible and bogus.

American justice accuses innocent victims spuriously with crimes they didn't commit, including terrorism, conspiracy to commit it, and murder.

In Bergrin's case, Jacobson admitted that federal authorities hated him, without saying why. It was because of his skill and commitment to expose their crimes, the same ones ongoing daily in war theaters.

Anyone doing that for a living or pro bono will be targeted the same way. Authorities don't like effective thorns in their side, so stop at nothing to remove them. Innocence doesn't matter, only continuity of unchallenged crimes of war and against humanity with impunity.

Bergrin knew it and wanted top chain of command officials exposed and prosecuted. As a result, he's behind bars facing possible life in prison.

Based on government charges and uncorroborated hearsay, Jacobson said he'd "gone rogue," crossed "that border between what was allowed and what was not..."

Yet he admitted that "(h)e knew the reality, how the deck was stacked, and was willing to fight fire with fire" for justice. "He went to war for you," said a former client. "That's why Paul was loved in the streets." They're aren't enough like him.

The deck is so stacked against him that former counsel Lawrence Lustberg believes it's impossible he can get a fair trial in this environment. Attack journalism, of course, doesn't help.

ABA (American Bar Association) Journal contributor, Martha Neil, discussed Bergrin's case in previous articles.

On June 7, she headlined "Expanded New RICO Indictment Accuses Alleged Rogue Attorney of More Law-Firm-Related Charges," saying:

A "new racketeering indictment (read more like) the latest John Grisham legal thriller" from murder one to piling on lots more. In other words, the more charges, the more likely some will stick, whether or not credible.

On August 30, she headlined, "High-Profile Defense Attorney Accused of Practicing Law in RICO Enterprise May Represent Himself," saying:

Jailed since 2009 "on charges that he ran his law practice as part of a criminal racketeering enterprise," he may do what "one expert" calls a good idea, given his skill representing others.

"Three of the government's main cooperating witnesses (include) his mistress and alleged top criminal associate, his former law partner, and a drug kingpin ex-client."

All copped a plea for lighter treatment in return for testifying against Bergrin, the main target prosecutors locked up for life, even by framing him on bogus charges.

On September 12, Neil headlined, "Attorney Paul Bergrin's Biggest Trial is About to Begin: His Own Racketeering Case," saying:

Federal Judge William Martini agreed to let him proceed pro se, but he'll "be restricted in his courtroom movements."

He won't be allowed to approach jurors, hand documents to witnesses, or participate in private out of earshot sidebar conferences at the bench where legal issues are considered.

At the same time, federal marshals will monitor him closely, giving jurors the appearance of a guilty man going through the motions.

Overcoming a stacked deck will be Bergrin's greatest challenge. Some, however, say if anyone can do it he can, given his reputation as a formidable adversary other lawyers feared, knowing how tough he is to beat.

However, judicial restrictions will impede his every move, making jurors believe he lacks credibility and is guilty. On October 11, his trial is scheduled to begin, fair or foul.

A Final Comment

The entire case is based on fabrication and intimidation to suppress hard truths and convict lawyers trying to expose them. Bergrin was framed to discredit and silence him. In November 2009, he said:

"This virtual nightmare has destroyed everything I worked my heart and soul out for, including my family. What hurts me the most is I am not guilty and totally innocent."

I was about to change the course of history that I had affirmative proof that President Bush, VP Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Assist. Secy. of (Defense) Wolfowitz, Carbone and White House Counsel, (Alberto) Gonzales (later US Attorney General) had lied, deliberately and intentionally when they denied knowledge of the torture techniques at Abu Ghraib."

He never got a chance to prove it. Instead, he's been convicted in the court of public opinion. His trial won't be about alleged crimes. It's for threatening the wrong people up the chain of command to the top.

Imagine the possibilities if he'd done it, putting Bush/Cheney & Co. in the dock, instead of himself because he tried.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
See also:

This work is in the public domain