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2010 November 8 | Activist News

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 »


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 »

jeff olsen

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 »


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: November 8, 2010

Oil Spill Investigation A ‘High Priority’ For Justice

November 8, 2010
By Carrie Johnson

As part of the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a federal judge in New Orleans recently created a security zone around the collapsed rig, the legal equivalent of taking yellow police tape and draping it around the watery crime scene.

Although the investigation is happening below the surface, there’s a lot going on at the Justice Department.

“This investigation is a very high priority for the Department of Justice, and so senior officials up to the top … are very involved,” said Gary Grindler, acting deputy attorney general.

Over the past several months, Grindler, Attorney General Eric Holder and other senior Justice Department officials visited the Gulf to look at critical pieces of evidence, such as the four-story-high blowout preventer.

“A tremendous number of resources are being devoted to this,” Grindler said. “There are at least 40 attorneys that are involved in both the civil division and the criminal side of the house.

“We have U.S. attorneys’ offices along the Gulf that have been affected that are actively involved.”
This investigation could be a long haul. The Justice Department has leased office space across the street from the courthouse in New Orleans, inside which prosecutors are going through documents and building a case.
Grindler spoke in general terms and was careful not to offer details about the criminal probe.

But David Uhlmann, a former environmental crimes prosecutor who now teaches at the University of Michigan Law School, is closely following the oil spill investigation.

“Proving that there was negligence on the criminal side, proving that there was an oil spill on the civil side, these are relatively easy matters for them to prove, based on what we already know,” Uhlmann said.

Uhlmann says criminal charges against BP and Transocean, which operated the rig, could be a foregone conclusion. The only real issue, he says, is how much the companies will pay to settle allegations they released oil into the Gulf.

Full Article Here – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131106910&f=1001&sc=tw&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter 

Mental Health Visits Seen Rising as Parent Deploys

New York Times
November 8, 2010

Young children in military families are about 10 percent more likely to see a doctor for a mental difficulty when a parent is deployed than when the parent is home, researchers are reporting Monday in the most comprehensive study to date of such families’ use of health insurance during wartime.

Visits for mental health concerns, like anxiety and acting out at school, were the only kind to increase during deployment; complaints for all physical problems declined, the study found.

Researchers have long known that deployment puts a strain on families, particularly spouses. Experts said the new study, being published in the journal Pediatrics and including more than half a million children, significantly fills out the picture of the entire family as multiple deployments have become a norm.

“This study gives us an excellent beginning to understand what’s happening” in military households, said Benjamin Karney, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “It’s pretty amazing that they were able to look at essentially the entire military population and strongly document something we suspected was happening but didn’t know for sure.”

In the study, a research team led by Dr. Gregory H. Gorman of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences analyzed the health records of 642,397 children ages 3 to 8 with parents in the military. It compared the frequency of health visits from 2006 to 2007 when a parent was deployed with those when the parent was home.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/us/08child.html

For Family of Slain Activist, No End in Sight for Case

New York Times
November 7, 2010

HAIFA, Israel — Seven years after an American student, Rachel Corrie, was killed in Gaza by an Israeli military bulldozer she tried to block, becoming a global symbol of the Palestinian struggle, her parents and her older sister sit in an Israeli court in this northern city with two hopes: to confront the men who ran over her and to prove that the army investigation into her death was flawed.

On both counts, it has been a frustrating effort. To guard their identities, the bulldozer operators are called only by their initials and testify behind a screen, disembodied voices claiming vague memories. The Corrie lawyer presses them with props: “Mr. A,” he said to a commander this past Thursday, arranging a plastic toy bulldozer, an orange lump of putty and a Raggedy Ann doll, “Where was she when you saw her?”

Mr. A’s answer differed markedly from that of Mr. Y, the driver of the bulldozer who testified two weeks earlier, although both denied seeing her before she was crushed under their vehicle. The army said Ms. Corrie’s death was an accident. The Corries believe the drivers either saw Rachel or were so careless toward the protesters as to be criminally negligent.

On the blond wooden benches of the Haifa District Court, the Corries take notes, volunteer translators whispering in their ears. They have mostly been here, away from their Olympia, Wash., home, since their civil case claiming the intentional and unlawful killing of their daughter began in March and there is no end in sight, with sessions already planned for January. They are exhausted but unbent.

“If I killed someone, I would remember that day for the rest of my life,” Cindy Corrie, Ms. Corrie’s mother, said during a break, eyes tearing, voice shaking. “This is not just about Rachel, but something bigger. What happens to the humanity of soldiers?”

This is indeed about something bigger but just what has been debated since the instant of Ms. Corrie’s death. Books, plays, videos and even an aid ship to Gaza have been dedicated to her memory and spirit, her focus on human rights and the plight of the Palestinians. A student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Ms. Corrie, then 23, joined the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian activist group, in January 2003 and moved to Gaza to help prevent house demolitions in the southern border town of Rafah.

It was the height of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israel, which at the time occupied Gaza. The Israelis say the houses in question were the source of sniper fire and arms-smuggling tunnels. Ms. Corrie, by contrast, wrote e-mails home saying that the families she met were gentle people whose houses had been shot at and whose children were harassed for no reason.

“The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border,” she wrote in one e-mail on Feb. 27, 2003. “I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world.”

Rafah was never the poorest place in the world, but Ms. Corrie was writing as an incensed activist, not an economist. For many Israelis, however, the glorification of Ms. Corrie and her activism has amounted to an effort to portray Israel and its army as exceptionally brutal, part of a campaign to delegitimize the state and its security challenges.

The day that Ms. Corrie was killed, her fellow activists sent two photographs of her to news agencies that were then transmitted around the world. The first one showed her standing in an orange jacket with a bullhorn addressing an approaching bulldozer, and the second showed her crumpled on the ground, near death. The clear implication was that the two pictures were sequential, whereas the first was shot hours earlier with a different bulldozer.

The Israeli Army investigation found that the drivers of the bulldozer that killed her did not see Ms. Corrie because she was standing near a high mound of dirt as it approached. The drivers, it said, had limited lines of sight inside their heavily armored vehicle, and that by placing themselves in the bulldozer’s path as human shields, the eight activists bore primary responsibility.

But the Corries believe that the army carried out a lackluster investigation filled with internal contradictions and with insufficient care to what orders soldiers received when faced with civilians in their paths. That view, it turns out, was not only that of a grieving family. It won support from the United States government.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/world/middleeast/08corrie.html

Leader of Displaced People Killed in Colombia

Latin American Herald Tribune
November 7, 2010

BOGOTA – The president of an association of displaced people in northeastern Colombia was murdered inside her house in the city of Bucaramanga, the Alternative Democratic Pole, or PDA, party’s committee in Santander province said Sunday.

Elizabeth Silva Aguilar was murdered by some hooded men who “entered her humble dwelling” on Friday in Bucaramanga, the capital of Santander, the PDA said.

Silva Aguilar, a member of the leftist party, was the head of the Association of Homeless and Displaced People in the city, the PDA said.

The non-governmental organization is made up of people affected by the internal armed conflict who settled in Bucaramanga’s Villas de Girardot section.

“This is another murder in the long chain of crimes and intimidation against this community,” the PDA said, adding that neighborhood residents resorted to the courts to prevent their eviction and got a ruling in their favor.
Three members of the association were murdered June 22, while unidentified assailants threw a grenade last month at dwellings in the settlement, the PDA said.

The attacks are apparently being carried out by “recycled paramilitaries who supposedly demobilized,” the PDA said.

More than 40 leaders of displaced people have been murdered in Colombia since 2002.

Full Article Here – http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=376355&CategoryId=12393

Pilots boycott full-body scanners over health fears

Australian News Network
November 7, 2010
By Kate Schneider

THE world’s largest pilot’s association has boycotted full-body scanners over health risks but passengers wishing to avoid the devices may instead be faced with “invasive” pat-down searches. 
The Allied Pilots Association (APA) made the recommendation in a recent letter to its members, advising pilots to submit to the searches instead of facing the extra radiation from the scanners.

The Australian and International Pilots Association says it is also considering the issue raised by the APA but would not comment as to whether it recommends Australian pilots take the same action.

The warning highlights the difficult dilemma travellers and airline staff face at some airports around the world. If they opt not to go through the scanners, they are instead subjected to a new pat-down technique – which has been likened to “foreplay”.
Full-body scanners are becoming harder to avoid as they are used in an increasing number of countries around the world, for example there are 341 devices used at 67 US airports.

The devices are planned to be rolled out across Australia next year.

David Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines, is leading the charge to boycott the scanners.

“It is important to note that there are “backscatter” AIT devices now being deployed that produce ionizing radiation, which could be harmful to your health,” Mr Bates said.

Full Article Here – http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/pilots-boycott-naked-airport-scanners-over-health-fears/story-e6frfq80-1225947834443#ixzz14eqPTXo7

Army Reports Record Number of Suicides

CBS News
November 7, 2010
By Don Teague

(CBS)  After returning from Iraq in 2006, Staff Sgt. Sarah Campbell Hester was looking forward to enjoying life, newly married to a soldier who had also just returned from war, reports CBS News correspondent Don Teague.

“He was just funny, he was the ultimate prankster, very solid with the unit,” Hester said.

But secretly her husband was a man in crisis, unable to readjust to life after war.

“Iraq changed him, he came back kind of an angry man,” Hester said.

One month after their wedding, Richard Hester, 34, committed suicide.

“I always sympathized with him, empathized I guess would be the word, and understood and never blamed him,” Hester said. “And now I’m just like you left two little girls without a dad, you left me with a mess to deal with why would you do this?”

It’s a question the Army is struggling to answer as well.

The Army’s suicide rate is now double the national average. There were 162 suicides in Army ranks in 2009 – a record. Fort Hood has had a record 20 confirmed or suspected suicides this year, four in just one week in September.

And while it’s clear the stress of nine years of war contributes to the problem, it’s not the only cause.

At Fort Hood the majority of the victims had never been in combat, or had served only one tour, and none were connected to the mass shooting of soldiers here one year ago.

While commanders at Fort Hood say there’s no single factor contributing to the spike in suicides, they believe there is a solution: better leadership. 

Full Article Here – http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/05/eveningnews/main7027340.shtml?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.2