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2010 April 13 | Activist News
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The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: April 13, 2010

Disappearing Truth in Honduras: Commissions Cover Up Demands for New Constitution

Upside Down World
By Annie Bird
April 13, 2010


Though the June 28, 2009 coup in Honduras caught the world’s attention, outside of Honduras little was said about the objective of the coup; to stop the proposal for a new constitution in Honduras. The terrible repression that followed the coup has also prompted international response, but the political proposal of victims of the repression has been made invisible.

The coup is now in its final phase, a phase that cannot be consolidated; the “disappearance” of the proposal for a new constitution. A two pronged strategy is being employed. On one hand, the creation of the appearance, without the actual reality, of national reconciliation processes, such as a ‘truth commission’ which for lack of participation of the human rights victims, among other problems, does not meet international standards for a truth commission. On the other hand, escalating violence and repression continues against the non violent resistance movement, which continues to demand a new constitution and does not recognize the Pepe Lobo government, like many nations of the world since the elections he “won” did not fulfill most indicators for democratic elections. This phase in the coup is the most dangerous and prolonged.

While the US and Canadian governments, corporate lobbyists in Washington and even WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America), a Washington based human rights NGO, assist the Honduran government in creating the illusion of “reconciliation,” death squads assassinate journalists, teachers and unionists.

read more at – http://upsidedownworld.org/main/component/content/article/2443-disappearing-truth-in-honduras-commissions-cover-up-demands-for-new-constitution

Iraq Killings and Media Indifference

Leaked video mostly ignored by corporate media

Global Research, April 12, 2010
FAIR – 2010-04-07

A leaked videotape of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a dozen Iraqis was unveiled on April 5 by the website WikiLeaks. To much of the corporate media, though, it was either not worth reporting at all, or an unfortunate incident to be defended.

The graphic and disturbing video includes audio of the helicopter pilots cheering their attacks. Two journalists working for Reuters–photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saed Chmagh–were killed in the assault, which U.S. military officials had claimed was a response to insurgent activity. WikiLeaks says it acquired the video from whistleblowers within the military.

The release of the video, though, got only cursory treatment in the mainstream press. The New York Times (4/5/10) ran a relatively thorough piece, which summarized the video this way:

But the video does not show hostile action. Instead, it begins with a group of people milling around on a street, among them, according to WikiLeaks, Mr. Noor-Eldeen and Mr. Chmagh. The pilots believe them to be insurgents, and mistake Mr. Noor-Eldeen’s camera for a weapon. They aim and fire at the group, then revel in their kills.

“Look at those dead bastards,” one pilot says. “Nice,” the other responds.

A wounded man can be seen crawling and the pilots impatiently hope that he will try to fire at them so that under the rules of engagement they can shoot him again. “All you gotta do is pick up a weapon,” one pilot says.

The helicopters also fire on a van that appears on the scene to carry away some of the victims. The Times had two follow-up stories on April 7.

A leaked video that seems to show the U.S. military killing and wounding civilians should be a big news story. But most of the media seemed to think otherwise, with a search of the Nexis news database showing scant pick-up.

CBS Evening News (4/5/10) reported on the video, with anchor Harry Smith opening the segment, “In the heat of battle, things are not always as they might seem.” Correspondent Bob Orr closed by offering something of a justification: “Now, it appears from the tapes that at least some of those hit on the ground were unarmed, but a journalist who was in the general area that same day says it’s important for all of us to remember it was a hectic, violent and uneasy day.”

On CNN’s Situation Room (4/5/10), the network decided not show any of the shots that were fired “out of respect for the families of the two Iraqi employees of the Reuters news organization that were killed,” explained Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. (The photographer’s father was quoted in the April 7 Times: “God has answered my prayer in revealing this tape to the world…. I would have sold my house and I all that I own in order to show this tape to the world.”) Starr went on to claim:

There was an investigation of this incident. The Army found no one at fault, that the units in the air–the helicopters in the air had no reason to believe that there were journalists there on the ground with the insurgents. They say that nearby U.S. troops had come under attack and that this shooting, which we are not showing the specifics of, was justified.

While it is correct that the military conducted some sort of investigation, it is unclear how Starr could know that any of the victims were “insurgents.”

And there has been little discussion of the relevant history of U.S. forces firing on and killing journalists working in Iraq, including a tank firing on journalists at the Palestine Hotel and attacks on the Baghdad offices of Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV (FAIR Media Advisory, “Is Killing Part of Pentagon Press Policy?,” 4/10/03). While those who defend the helicopter attacks in the video say that the U.S. forces could not have known there were journalists on the ground, these earlier incidents suggest that knowledge of the whereabouts of media workers does not necessarily prevent attacks.

There has been other coverage of the video. MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan (4/5/10), for example, hosted a lengthy discussion with former military officials, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange from WikiLeaks. Democracy Now! (4/6/10) hosted a discussion with Assange and Greenwald as well. National Public Radio aired two reports on April 6. But where is the rest of the media on this story?

This news comes on the heels of the revelation that a Special Forces raid in Afghanistan killed five civilians, including three women, in a house raid in February. NATO forces had originally claimed that the three women were found dead at the scene; the London Times reported (4/5/10) that according to Afghan investigators, “U.S. special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened.”

Both incidents, of course, demand more scrutiny. So far, U.S. corporate media are mostly ignoring them.

To view the WikiLeaks video:

Full version with transcript
Edited version

link – http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18567

Civilians Killed as U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Bus

New York Times
By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Taimoor Shah
April 12, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing and wounding civilians, and igniting angry anti-American demonstrations in a city where winning over Afghan support is pivotal to the war effort.

The shooting, which killed as many as five civilians and wounded 18, occurred on the eve of the most important offensive of the war. In coming weeks thousands of American, NATO and Afghan troops are expected to try to take control of the Kandahar region, the spiritual home of the Taliban.

New Clues Emerge in Post-Katrina Vigilante Shooting at Algiers Point

Raw Story
By ProPublica
Monday, April 12th


Three days after Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a ghost town, somebody shot Donnell Herrington twice in Algiers Point, ripping a hole in his throat.
Herrington, who is African-American, says he was ambushed by a group of armed white men who attacked without warning or provocation. He barely survived the shooting, which shredded his internal jugular vein, a key vessel that transports blood from the brain to the heart. He believes the assault was racially motivated.

Editor’s note: The Roland Bourgeois Jr. in this story should not be confused with the Metairie, La., physician of the same name.
FRONTLINE Producer Oriana Zill de Granados contributed to this report.
link – http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0412/clues-emerge-postkatrina-vigilante-shooting-algiers-point/

WikiLeaks plans to post video showing US massacre of Afghani civilians

Raw Story
By John Byrne
Monday, April 12th, 2010

The whisteblower website WikiLeaks — which exploded onto the national stage earlier this month after it released a video recording showing US servicemembers shooting two reporters and six others to death — says they plan to release another, even more harrowing clip.

The clip will show previously classified footage from US warplanes that had been tapped to bomb Taliban positions in Farah province, Afghanistan last year.

Adds the UK Telegraph: “The Afghan government said at the time that the strikes by F-18 and B1 planes near Granai killed 147 civilians. An independent Afghan inquiry later put the toll at 86.”

“Video footage of the strike could prove highly damaging to the Nato-led coalition if it showed pilots failing to safeguard civilian lives,” the paper continues.

The earlier video showing two Reuters cameramen being shot appears at the bottom of this report. Viewer discretion is advised, as the clip is graphic.

As recently as today, Afghanis protested the deaths of four other civilians who were killed when US forces fired on a bus on Monday.

About 200 men took to the streets of Kandahar to demonstrate over the killings on a highway outside the southern Afghan city, burning tires and shouting “death to America, death to Karzai, death to this government”.

Hours later, three Taliban militants wearing suicide vests and carrying guns tried to storm the office of Afghanistan’s premier spy agency in Kandahar, sparking a shoot-out with security forces.

The incidents reflected chronic insecurity in the province of Kandahar, where US-led military forces are preparing a major push to dislodge the Taliban from their spiritual capital.

The Afghan government said a woman and a child were among the dead and 18 others were wounded in the shooting, which occurred when the bus neared a NATO convoy on the highway linking Kandahar and the western province of Herat.

This video is from WikiLeaks, released to the press on April 5, 2010.

link – http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0412/wikileaks-plans-post-video-showing-massacre-afghani-civilians/

Monsanto Under Investigation by Seven US States

By Ken Roseboro, ed.
The Organic and Non-GMO Report, April 2010

At least seven US state attorneys general are investigating whether Monsanto Company has abused its market power to lock out competitors and raise prices on seed. Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and two other unidentified states are in a working group to investigate the biotech giant.

The states are probing whether Monsanto violated laws by offering rebates to seed distributors for excluding rival seeds, imposing limits on combining the product with other genetic modifications, or offering cash incentives to switch farmers to more expensive generation of seed varieties.

The state investigations add to pressure on Monsanto. The US Justice Department is investigating the company’s marketing practices, and DuPont Company has accused Monsanto of anti-competitive practices in licensing litigation.

Daniel Sokol, a law professor at the University of Florida and expert on antitrust matters, told Bloomberg News that a state-level investigation on top of the federal probe “can lengthen the lawsuit and potential settlements and can increase uncertainty and costs for Monsanto.”

link – http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_20567.cfm