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June 12 2019

mr-absentia

anyone, but not this lunatic

June 11 2019

June 01 2019

mr-absentia

Assange exposed to severe abuse - UN expert


GENEVA (31 May 2019) A UN expert who visited Julian Assange in a London prison says he fears his human rights could be seriously violated if he is extradited to the United States and condemned the deliberate and concerted abuse inflicted for years on the Wikileaks co-founder.

“My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture.

“I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future,” said Melzer, who was also following up on earlier concerns for Assange’s health.

Although Assange is not held in solitary confinement, the Special Rapporteur said he is gravely concerned that the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and his lack of access to case files and documents make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defence in any of the complex legal proceedings piling up against him.

“Since 2010, when Wikileaks started publishing evidence of war crimes and torture committed by US forces, we have seen a sustained and concerted effort by several States towards getting Mr. Assange extradited to the United States for prosecution, raising serious concern over the criminalisation of investigative journalism in violation of both the US Constitution and international human rights law,” Melzer said.

“Since then, there has been a relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation against Mr. Assange, not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, Sweden and, more recently, Ecuador.” According to the expert, this included an endless stream of humiliating, debasing and threatening statements in the press and on social media, but also by senior political figures, and even by judicial magistrates involved in proceedings against Assange.

“In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.”

Melzer was accompanied during his prison visit on 9 May by two medical experts specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment. The team

were able to speak with Assange in confidence and to conduct a thorough medical assessment

“It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years,” the expert said. “Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

“The evidence is overwhelming and clear,” the expert said. “Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate, concerted and sustained nature of the abuse inflicted on Mr. Assange and seriously deplore the consistent failure of all involved governments to take measures for the protection of his most fundamental human rights and dignity,” the expert said. “By displaying an attitude of complacency at best, and of complicity at worst, these governments have created an atmosphere of impunity encouraging Mr. Assange’s uninhibited vilification and abuse.”

In official letters sent earlier this week, Melzer urged the four involved governments to refrain from further disseminating, instigating or tolerating statements or other activities prejudicial to Assange’s human rights and dignity and to take measures to provide him with appropriate redress and rehabilitation for past harm. He further appealed to the British Government not to extradite Assange to the United States or to any other State failing to provide reliable guarantees against his onward transfer to the United States. He also reminded the United Kingdom of its obligation to ensure Assange’s unimpeded access to legal counsel, documentation and adequate preparation commensurate with the complexity of the pending proceedings.

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” Melzer said. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!” 

Reposted fromFreeminder23 Freeminder23 viawikileaks wikileaks

March 12 2019

mr-absentia

mintpressnews.com: US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

“…millions of Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process. The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to some inherent fault in socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by forces hostile to the revolution.

Starting in 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This is not a mere business decision, but a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite not just losing money, but even falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $110 per barrel, to $28 in the early months of this year. The goal is to weaken these opponents of Wall Street, London, and Tel Aviv, whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

And Venezuela is one of those countries. Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy.

At the same time, private food processing and importing corporations have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.

Corruption is a big problem in Venezuela and many third-world countries. This was true prior to the Bolivarian process, as well as after Hugo Chavez launched his massive economic reforms. In situations of extreme poverty, people learn to take care of each other. People who work in government are almost expected to use their position to take care of their friends and family. Corruption is a big problem under any system, but it is much easier to tolerate in conditions of greater abundance. The problem has been magnified in Venezuela due to the drop in state revenue caused by the low oil prices and sabotage from food importers.”

“The problems currently facing Venezuela started in 2014. The already growing abundance of oil due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was compounded by Saudi Arabia flooding the markets with cheap oil. The result: massive price drops. Despite facing a domestic fiscal crisis, Saudi Arabia continues to expand its oil production apparatus.

The price of oil remains low, as negotiations among OPEC states are taking place in the hopes that prices can be driven back up. While American media insists the low oil prices are just the natural cycle of the market at work, it’s rather convenient for U.S. foreign policy. Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have economies centered around state-owned oil companies and oil exports, and each of these countries has suffered the sting of low oil prices.

The leftist president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has already been deposed due to scandal surrounding Petrobras, the state-owned oil company which is experiencing economic problems due to the falling price of oil. Although much of Brazil’s oil is for domestic consumption, it has been revealed that those who deposed her coordinated with the CIA and other forces in Washington and Wall Street, utilizing the economic fallout of low oil prices to bring down the Brazilian president.

The son of President Ronald Reagan has argued that Obama is intentionally driving down oil prices not just to weaken the Venezuelan economy, but also to tamper the influence of Russia and Iran. Writing for Townhall in 2014, Michael Reagan bragged that his father did the same thing to hurt the Soviet Union during the 1980s:

‘Since selling oil was the source of the Kremlin’s wealth, my father got the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil.

Lower oil prices devalued the ruble, causing the USSR to go bankrupt, which led to perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.’

March 08 2019

mr-absentia

October 25 2018

mr-absentia

US May Impose Sanctions on Firms Working on Syria Reconstruction - Reports - Sputnik International

another proof that the sanctions-addicted US gov’t is the enemy of peace in Syria.

“…the strategy reportedly focuses on political and diplomatic efforts toward forcing Iranian armed forces out of Syria, namely, via putting financial pressure on them.

Three people with knowledge of the plan told NBC News that the United States was set to hinder Syria's reconstruction by withdrawing its aid from the areas where the Russian and the Iranian forces are present, and also introducing sanctions against the Russian and the Iranian companies engaged in the reconstruction.

The United States is seeking Iranian forces withdrawal from Syria, insisting that their presence in the country reduces the possibility of achieving a political settlement to the crisis and hinders the struggle against the Daesh* terror group. In late September, James Jeffrey, the US State Department's special representative for Syria engagement, pledged that the United States would maintain its presence in the country to defeat Daesh, expelling the Iranian forces and achieving a peaceful settlement.

While Russia and Iran, along with Turkey, are the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, they are also assisting in the reconstruction of the country's cities and infrastructure, largely destroyed in over seven years of clashes between the Syrian government, opposition and militant groups.”

mr-absentia

Moscow Considers US Actions in S Syria 'Occupation' - Russian Foreign Ministry - Sputnik International

“Speaking at a regular briefing on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the United States has occupied the southern part of Syria.

‘The situation in the northeast of Syria, where the US side is still trying to flirt with separatist-minded Kurdish groups, is concerning, as well as in the south of the country near Al-Tanf, where there is a de facto undisguised occupation by US forces of the territory of the sovereign Syrian state,’ she said.

The spokeswoman further stated that the militants who had found a ‘safe haven, a shelter in the 55-kilometer exclusive zone,’ established by the US, were extorting $2,000 dollars per person from civilians who wanted to leave the area.”

“Addressing Washington's potential withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Zakharova said that Russia was calling on all nations to send an ‘unambiguous’ signal to the US to preserve the agreement.

The diplomat stressed that Russia's missile programs, including development of cruise missiles, were carried out in full compliance with the treaty, and while Moscow intends to continue work with the agreement, Washington is unwilling to act on equal basis.

‘For several years, the American side has refused to provide any objective data supporting Washington's conclusions that the Russian 9M729 ground-based cruise missile that passed flight tests has the operating range banned by the treaty. We have repeatedly confirmed that the missile programs implemented by Russia fully meet our obligations under the INF Treaty,’ she underscored, adding that the development of the 9M729 cruise missile was transparent to the maximum affordable degree.

‘The American side was never able to present any evidence to either Russia or the international community to substantiate its claims. They remain unfounded and are provocative. And we reiterate that Russia strictly abides by the provisions of the treaty,’ she added.

‘Now we are forced to seriously warn Washington. If the American side undermines the treaty, Russia will have to react. We are ready to work on maintaining its [the INF] viability, but for this we need a partner who is responsible and interested in continuing the dialogue for the sake of world stability. A solution to the problem can only be found through a frank, equitable and, of course, constructive dialogue,’ she said.”

Reposted byin-god-we-trust in-god-we-trust

October 22 2018

mr-absentia
mr-absentia

rt.com: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan sign the INF treaty, December 8, 1987

mr-absentia
mr-absentia

‘Disastrous decision’: Berlin warns Trump against dismantling INF deal with Russia — RT World News

‘We now urge the U.S. to consider the possible consequences,’ [German Foreign Minister Heiko] Maas said in a statement, hailing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) as ‘an important pillar of our European security architecture.’

The deal, banning short- and mid-range nuclear missiles and the means of their delivery, was struck in 1987 between then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The agreement has been since regarded as one of the pivotal moments which effectively ended the Cold War and rid Europe of the fear of a full-blown nuclear holocaust.

On Saturday, Trump announced his intention to terminate the treaty. He accused Russia of violating the agreement – something Moscow has repeatedly denied doing. Germany urged Russia to address the US’ concerns, but at the same time cautioned the White House against axing the decades-long deal.

Niels Annen, minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office, called Trump’s idea ‘devastating,’ stressing that his own nation will remain committed to nuclear disarmament. The minister also called on other EU states to prevent mid-range missiles from reappearing on the continent.”

mr-absentia

Itch for ‘better INF deal’? Trump’s treaty ‘withdrawal symptom’ destabilizes global order — RT World News

‘The United States would rather pull out because of China. Right now it cannot develop new intermediate-range missiles to confront China, even though China is not a signatory to that agreement,’ former Pentagon official Michael Maloof said, after Donald Trump announced the US intention to scrap the INF treaty.

‘The US is engaged in an arms race with China in the Pacific Ocean, and China has a whole bunch of those missiles that are not covered,’ Iranian political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi added, calling Trump's announcement a ‘giant leap backward to the Cold War era.’

Maloof blamed Washington for its empty rhetoric and failure to explain what exactly it accuses Moscow of, while Afrasiabi pointed at the US encirclement of Russia by AEGIS ashore systems capable of launching INF-banned missiles in Europe.

‘Nobody knows what those violations are. Is it the idea of developing a new cruise missile?’ Maloof wondered. ‘The treaty does not prohibit that. And the United States is developing new intermediate missiles and cruise missiles. But again they can develop them, they can research but they just can’t deploy.’

‘If president Trump acts on his threat and they go ahead and develop the new intermediate missiles the only place to put them, of course, is in the NATO countries in proximity to Russia which will be a very destabilizing factor,’ Afrasiabi explained.”

October 07 2018

mr-absentia
Tags: US Oregon
Reposted bypressanybetonschaafPewPow

October 05 2018

mr-absentia
  • Chinese destroyer almost hits US Navy ship in South China Sea (Stars and Stripes, October 1, 2018)

    “The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Decatur was conducting a routine freedom-of-navigation patrol about 8:30 a.m. near Gaven Reefs when the People’s Republic of China destroyer Luyang approached the ship.

    ‘The PRC destroyer conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings for [the] Decatur to depart the area,’ Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gordon, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement. ‘The PRC destroyer approached within 45 yards of [the] Decatur’s bow, after which [the] Decatur maneuvered to prevent a collision.’

    In a 2016 ruling, the tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration — an intergovernmental organization that resolves international disputes including territorial and maritime boundaries — concluded Gaven Reefs did not possess significant land features and thus lacked an exclusive economic zone, as China had claimed.

    Nevertheless, China expanded some land features in the reefs through sand dredging in 2014 and 2015 and then militarized the reefs with anti-aircraft and naval guns and radars.

    China frequently challenges U.S. ships and aircraft passing through parts of the South China Sea, sometimes with radio warnings, but at other times by using harassing maneuvers.

    ‘U.S. Navy ships and aircraft operate throughout the Indo-Pacific routinely, including in the South China Sea,’ Gordon said. ‘As we have for decades, our forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.’”

  • Photos show how close Chinese warship came to colliding with US Navy destroyer (Stars and Stripes, October 3, 2018)

    “Photos of an encounter between a Navy guided-missile destroyer and Chinese warship shed light on just how close the ships came to colliding Sunday in the South China Sea.

    Naval website gCaptain.com published a series of photos Tuesday showing the USS Decatur and the People’s Republic of China destroyer Luyang passing each other during the confrontation. The Chinese ship appears to veer close to the Decatur before the U.S. ship pulls away to avoid a collision.

    A Navy official confirmed to Stars and Stripes on Wednesday that the photos are legitimate, but said it is unknown how the website got access to the images, which were not publicly released.”

  • ‘Near collision’: Leaked photos show Chinese ship chasing away US destroyer in South China Sea (RT World News, October 4, 2018)

    “While Beijing did not acknowledge the exact distance its destroyer closed in on its counterpart, or the tactics used to chase it away, both the Foreign Ministry and the DoD slammed the US for the violation and abuse of the ‘freedom of navigation’ principle on the high seas. China justified what the US termed as ‘aggressive maneuvers’ as ‘defense duties’ aimed at protecting the country's sovereignty. ‘We strongly urge the US to immediately correct its mistakes and stop such provocative actions so as not to damage Sino-US relations,’ the Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed.

    The resource-rich South China Sea is the subject of conflicting and overlapping claims by a number of countries, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The US has been sending its vessels and aircraft to carry out patrol missions in the disputed area, repeatedly causing outcries from Beijing. The US disregard of China’s claims over the disputed waters, through which trillions of dollars-worth of trade passes annually, is being demonstrated amid unprecedented tensions between the world’s two largest economies.”

September 25 2018

mr-absentia

Latin American presidents should serve their people, not US interests – Bolivia's Evo Morales to RT — RT World News

‘There are some serious problems in Latin America. In Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador, the presidents, who used to be the guarantors of the sovereignty and dignity of the people, are now being subjected to political persecution,’ Morales said.

He was referring to Argentina's Cristina de Kirchner, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and to Rafael Correa of Ecuador, who lost power in their countries in recent years and are now facing various charges, pushed forward by new, US-backed governments.

Washington's ‘extensive political campaign’ in Latina America is headed by US Vice President Mike Pence, the Bolivian leader said, in the run-up to his address at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

‘There are no military coups taking place in Latin America anymore as coups are now happening through congresses and courts. It's yet another mechanism used by the US to deal with presidents fighting against imperialism.’

If those measures prove ineffective, the US resorts to ‘making plots and carrying out provocations,’ Morales said. And when that fails as well, there's talk of military intervention, like it has been talked about regarding Venezuela.”

mr-absentia

‘Significant escalation’: US warns Russia over S-300 missile sale to Syria

RT Newsline, Sep 24 2018

“Russian plans to supply Syria with a S-300 missile system would be a ‘significant escalation’ by Moscow, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Monday. He also expressed hope that the plan will be reconsidered, Reuters reports. The Russian military said earlier in the day that it will supply the surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks despite strong Israeli objections. The move came a week after Moscow blamed Israel for indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military plane in Syria. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Monday that he will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week.”

September 12 2018

mr-absentia

World Scholars, Artists, Activists Call for Demilitarization of Okinawa – Consortiumnews

“More than one hundred scholars, peace activists and artists from around the world have issued a statement condemning the Japanese and U.S. governments’ plans to build a new base for the US Marine Corps in Northern Okinawa.”

mr-absentia

Moscow Has Upped the Ante in Syria – Consortiumnews

open letter - from: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; to: The President

“We hope that John Bolton has given you an accurate description of his acerbic talks with his Russian counterpart in Geneva a few weeks ago. In our view, it is a safe bet that the Kremlin is uncertain whether Bolton faithfully speaks in your stead, or speaks INSTEAD of you.

The best way to assure Mr. Putin that you are in control of U.S. policy toward Syria would be for you to seek an early opportunity to speak out publicly, spelling out your intentions. If you wish wider war, Bolton has put you on the right path.

If you wish to cool things down, you may wish to consider what might be called a pre-emptive ceasefire. By that we mean a public commitment by the presidents of the U.S. and Russia to strengthen procedures to preclude an open clash between U.S. and Russian armed forces. We believe that, in present circumstances, this kind of extraordinary step is now required to head off wider war.”

mr-absentia

US Says Assad Has Approved Gas Attack In Idlib, Setting Stage For Major Military Conflict

“The Wall Street Journal has just published a bombshell on Sunday evening as Russian and Syrian warplanes continue bombing raids over al-Qaeda held Idlib, citing unnamed US officials who claim “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold.”

And perhaps more alarming is that the report details that Trump is undecided over whether new retaliatory strikes could entail expanding the attack to hit Assad allies Russia and Iran this time around.”

mr-absentia

Ron Paul: 'Why Are We Siding With al-Qaeda in Syria?'

“Last week, I urged the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to stop protecting al-Qaeda in Syria by demanding that the Syrian government leave Idlib under al-Qaeda control. While it may seem hard to believe that the US government is helping al-Qaeda in Syria, it’s not as strange as it may seem: our interventionist foreign policy increasingly requires Washington to partner up with ‘bad guys’ in pursuit of its dangerous and aggressive foreign policy goals.

Does the Trump Administration actually support al-Qaeda and ISIS? Of course not. But the ‘experts’ who run Trump’s foreign policy have determined that a de facto alliance with these two extremist groups is for the time being necessary to facilitate the more long-term goals in the Middle East. And what are those goals? Regime change for Iran.”

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