Tag Archives: US politics

Afridi & Pollard – Spy Vs Spy

DrShakilAfridi

The U.S. government is upset about Pakistan’s recent sentencing of Dr Shakil Afridi – the man who helped them run a fake vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan which allegedly led to the capture and summary execution of Osama bin Laden –  to 33 years in prison for  high treason. The recent escalation in drone attacks in Pakistan might be seen as a bid to punish Pakistan for conviction of Dr. Afridi as well as its reluctance to reopen NATO supply routes. (CMC)

Now Médecins Sans Frontières, the international medical aid charity, is claiming the CIA’s fake vaccination program has damaged the reputation of vaccination programs around the world and particularly polio vaccinations in Pakistan where people fear that the vaccinations are part of a U.S. conspiracy to render their children infertile.

Of course, American has nothing against throwing people in jail for life for treason – ask Jonathan Pollard, a Texan who is still in jail after receiving a life sentence in 1987 on charges of spying for America’s close ally, Israel, or Bradley Manning.

It’s the same old story – if you spy against us, you’re a traitor who deserves life in jail. If you spy for us, you’re a hero who deserves a medal.

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Obama Targeting Journalists

According to Jeremy Scahill, the Obama administration (and President Obama directly) is running a campaign against whistleblowers and journalists (see article at RT.com).

Now it has been divulged that Obama even appealed with the president of Yemen to ensure that one of their own journalists would stay behind bars for telling the truth. Journalist Jeremy Scahill tells RT that Yemeni reporter Abdulelah Haider Shaye was instrumental in exposing the falsities of a covert war in Yemen. In December 2009, Scahill says the press reported that a Yemeni strike had killed 34 members of al-Qaeda. When Shaye went to investigate though, he soon learned through spending time on the ground that the US was actually directly involved in the attack — an attack which took the lives of civilians. Shaye was eventually put on trial for exposing the truth behind the event and allegedly the court introduced false evidence, which in the end yielded a conviction that potentially  carried a death sentence. But since the entire case against the journalist was fabricated by his government, the journalist got off with a relatively mild sentence of just five years. Under pressure, Yemeni President Saleh intended to pardon Shaye. This is when he got a call from President Obama himself, personally requesting that Saleh switch his stance on pardoning the reporter.

Is this the Obama people thought they were voting for in 2008? Chomsky says Americans should vote for Obama again in 2012 because he is “the lesser of two evils”. Perhaps. But it’s also important that they understand who they are voting for. Look behind the Hollywood-written speeches and shiny images and pay attention to what his administration actually *does*, not what it says.

Democracy Now has an excellent interview with Scahill who has just returned from Yemen.

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The No Illusions Podcast #43 – Operation Ajax

Why do the Iranian people distrust the United States? Because they “hate our freedoms”, as Bush said about Al Qaida? Or do they have genuine reasons?

How many of us know the history of America and England’s involvement in the illegal and covert overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953?

My guests today are Daniel Burwen & Ash Aiwase, two of the guys behind Operation Ajax, one of the most exciting apps I’ve seen developed for the iPad so far.

Check out the trailer:

Operation Ajax Trailer

I chatted with Daniel and Ash recently about how Operation Ajax came about and how the iPad can make a dent in the Universe.

You can hear No Illusions on Stitcher SmartRadioStitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone,  BlackBerry  or Palm phones

On-demand and on the go!

Dont have Stitcher? Download it for free today at Stitcher.com or in the app stores.  Stitcher SmartRadio- The Smarter Way to listen to radio.

 

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U.S. Senate Backs Indefinite Detention of American Citizens

Just in case you were wondering what happened with that bill before the U.S. Senate that I mentioned in last week’s show? Well… it passed.

Via the World Socialist Web Site:

The US Senate voted Thursday night to approve a military funding bill that codifies into law the criminal state practices begun under Bush — and continued under Obama — in the name of the “global war on terror.”

It explicitly authorizes the military’s indefinite detention without trial of American citizens and mandates that all non-citizens charged as terrorists—including those arrested on US soil—be detained indefinitely by the military rather than brought to trial in a civilian court.

The legislation was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides $662 billion to finance the US military machine and its multiple wars abroad. The act passed the Democratic-controlled body by an overwhelming margin of 93 to 7, underscoring once again that there exists no serious constituency for the defense of democratic rights within any section of the American ruling elite or its two big business parties.

Thrown out by this legislation is the right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution for all those accused of a criminal offense to a “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury,” and the core provision of the Fifth Amendment declaring that no person shall be deprived of liberty “without due process of law.” It legalizes the abrogation in practice over the past decade of the bedrock principle of habeas corpus, which requires that the state bring a detained individual before an independent court and show just cause for imprisonment.

Read More: World Socialist Web Site

Here’s an interesting sidenote. When I searched for the NDAA in Google News, I was flat out finding a link to the legislation on many large news sites.

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No Illusions Podcast #40 – Doug La Follette, Wisconsin Secretary of State

Doug La Follette (born June 6, 1940) is an American academic, environmental activist, and politician from the state of Wisconsin. A Democrat, he is the current Secretary of State of Wisconsin and has served in that role since 1983. He is also a Fulbright Distinguished American Scholar and the author of the 1991 book The Survival Handbook: A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth.

I had the chance to chat with Secretary La Follette this morning for an hour about the attempts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, President Obama’s track record in his first term and the trend of U.S. politics since Reagan.

 

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