United States military base in Okinawa, Japan damages coral


This video is about diving at the coral reefs around Okinawa, Japan.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Onaga demands air base plans halted

Tuesday 24th March 2014

OKINAWA governor Takeshi Onaga instructed Japan’s Defence Ministry yesterday to suspend work at the proposed site of a US air base.

Mr Onaga claimed a concrete anchor thrown into the sea for a drilling survey of a reef at the designated site had damaged coral.

He took office four months ago after winning an election over a predecessor who had allowed the Henoko site to be developed to relocate the base.

Mr Onaga said the prefecture needed to conduct an independent survey to assess the damage and demanded the ministry stop activity in a week.

The central government’s effort to gain Okinawa’s understanding had been “insufficient,” he said.

But Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the survey should proceed regardless of the order.

The relocation is intended to address safety and nuisance concerns.

But Okinawans want the Futenma air base moved off the island completely and warn the construction would endanger marine life.

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the governor of the southern island of Okinawa clashed yesterday over relocation of the controversial Futenma US air base: here.

Bikini nuclear warmongering survivors now threatened by climate change


This video from the USA says about itself:

“Paradise Lost” with Lijon EknilangMarshall Islands

29 September 2012

This 15-minute segment was produced by ABC TV’s investigative program “Prime Time,” and aired in December 1990. The piece features Lijon Eknilang, a Marshallese woman who was 8-years old at the time of the U.S.’ largest and dirtiest H-bomb at Bikini in March 1954, a fission-fusion-fission bomb 1,000 times the Hiroshima A-bomb.

Caught in the high-level radioactive fallout downwind from Bikini and the H-bomb [Bravo], Lijon subsequently contracted many radiation-induced disorders along with seven miscarriages leading to her eventual sterility.

Lijon Eknilang died last month after leading a life dedicated to both educating the global community about the inherent dangers of nuclear weapons, and also of working tirelessly for the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons.

Lijon Eknilang will be dearly missed.

– Glenn Alcalay

P.S. A more recent interview of Lijon Eknilang can be found in Adam Horowitz‘s excellent new documentary “Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1.“.

And go here for Lijon’s “Nuclear Survivor Stories” video and photo archive.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bikini community demands US relocation amid flooding

Tuesday 24th March 2015

A TINY Pacific community forced to evacuate their homes because of US nuclear testing is demanding refuge in the United States.

“We want to relocate to the US,” said Bikini atoll mayor Nishma Jamore at the weekend, as Pacific waters continued to eat away at the small Kili and Ejit islands in the Marshall Islands archipelago.

This 13 September 2013 video is called Climate change impact on the Marshall Islands: One island has all ready gone as sea levels rise.

Mr Jamore heads a community of about 1,000 islanders who have lived in exile on the islands for decades because their original Bikini home remains too radioactive for resettlement.

There were 24 nuclear tests conducted on the atoll in the 1950s, including the largest hydrogen bomb detonation ever conducted by the US.

Unable to return to Bikini, the islanders are now faced with increasing flooding from high tides and storms hitting their tiny island refuges, with waves washing over the islands and wiping out food crops.

“Kili has been repeatedly flooded since 2012 and we’ve asked the Marshall Islands government for help with no response,” said Mr Jamore.

There is also serious concern over a recent attempt by the Marshalls’ parliament, known as the Nitijela, to take authority for Ejit island away from the Bikinians.

This is the second time that the islanders have asked to be resettled in the US because of their plight.

In the 1980s, following an aborted resettlement on Bikini that ended with the islanders exposed to high levels of radiation, they attempted in vain to buy a tract of land on Maui in Hawaii.

Racism in United States Army causes soldier’s suicide


This video from the USA about the Rupert Murdoch media says about itself:

Bob Beckel Earns His Pay As Fox News‘ Clown ‘Liberal’ Racist

11 July 2014

Fox News‘ token liberal host Bob Beckel used a racial slur Thursday on “The Five” to refer to Chinese hackers.

“The Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S.,” Beckel said. “They have been, they will be and they can wait, they’re very patient. You know what they just did? As usual, we bring them over here and we teach a bunch of Chinamen — uh, Chinese people — how to do computers. They go back to China and they hack into us, right?”

Beckel then made a vulgar arm gesture to drive his point home.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

US army platoon investigated for ‘Racial Thursdays’ tradition of soldiers yelling racist insults at one another

Reports claim commanding officer supported tradition as he believed it helped camaraderie

Andrew Buncombe

Friday 20 March 2015

The US army is investigating claims that a platoon where a soldier of Chinese origin took his own life after allegedly receiving racist taunts, has been holding “racial Thursdays” where soldiers hurl epithets at one another without any reprimand.

Reports said officials had launched an investigation into the “tradition”, after receiving complaints from a black sergeant who said a superior officer had supported the practice as he believed it helped build camaraderie.

The Army Times said the platoon being investigated – the Alaska-based 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division – is the group that Pvt Danny Chen belonged to.

Mr Chen, who was of Chinese ethnic background, is said to have killed himself in October 2011 in Afghanistan after what prosecutors alleged was physical and emotional abuse from his fellow soldiers. Eight soldiers were charged following Mr Chen’s suicide.

“It’s degrading to the soldiers,” a staff sergeant who was not identified, told the newspaper. “We’ve had soldiers almost fight over the crap that’s going on here.”

He added: “When I first got to my unit, someone said we should do Racial Thursdays because it’s been a tradition. It’s something they made up where you can say any racist remark you want without any consequences. The platoon sergeant said no, but the shit is still going on.”

The army did not immediately respond to The Independent’s inquiries on Friday. However, Lt Col Alan Brown, a spokesman for the  army’s Alaska command, confirmed to the Army Times that an inquiry was underway.

Thomas Jefferson, Louis Agassiz, Donald Rumsfeld and racism in the USA: here.

Pentagon-Al Qaeda alliance in Syria war?


This video says about itself:

Syria: Christian village Maaloula raided by Al Nusra rebels

7 September 2013

Heavy fighting between rebels and regime forces continues in Syria’s predominately Christian village of Maaloula, which was earlier partially destroyed by Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Washington stokes Middle East bloodbath

6 March 2015

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chief of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional committee Wednesday that US troops may be sent into Syria to fight alongside so-called rebels who are seeking the overthrow of the Damascus government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“If the commander on the ground approaches either me or the secretary of defense and believes that the introduction of special operations forces to accompany Iraqis or the new Syrian forces … if we believe that’s necessary to achieve our objectives, we will make that recommendation,” Dempsey told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel.

Dempsey’s testimony was preceded by that of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who allowed that Washington’s strategy in relation to the “Syria piece” is to “create a third force that can combat ISIL [the administration’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-ISIS] and set the conditions for the eventual removal of Bashar Assad.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was on Thursday in the midst of a trip to Saudi Arabia to reassure the Sunni potentates of the Persian Gulf that US nuclear negotiations with Shiite Iran would not erode Washington’s counterrevolutionary alliance with these monarchical oil states, spoke along similar lines.

Kerry reiterated Washington’s commitment to regime change in Syria. “Ultimately a combination of diplomacy and pressure will be needed to bring about a political transition,” he told reporters, adding that “military pressure may be needed.”

There is a growing sense that, six months after President Barack Obama announced the new US war in both Iraq and Syria, this intervention has reached a turning point that threatens to unleash yet another massive bloodletting on the peoples of the region.

In Iraq, this threat is imminent with the mounting of a major siege of the city of Tikrit, the former hometown of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was toppled by the US invasion of 2003 and executed by hanging under the American occupation.

Some 30,000 troops—reportedly two thirds of which are comprised of Iraqi Shia militias operating with Iranian support—have sought to encircle the predominantly Sunni city, which lies approximately 100 miles north of Baghdad on the Tigris River. The siege is preparation for an even bigger onslaught against Iraq’s second city, Mosul.

Roughly 30,000 civilians have reportedly fled Tikrit in fear for their lives, while tens of thousands more remain trapped in the face of mounting artillery bombardment. Shia militia leaders, meanwhile, have openly proclaimed that the assault will be the occasion for revenge for massacres carried out by ISIS.

The US military has stayed out of the Tikrit siege, claiming that the regime in Baghdad had not asked for its aid. In reality, Washington has ruled out any direct military collaboration with Iran, which itself is still a potential target for US intervention.

US officials have warned Iran and the Shia-dominated government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi not to fuel sectarianism. “That would tear at the fabric of the country, and weaken the ability of the Iraqis to confront this threat to their country,” declared White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

What hypocrisy! The sectarian tensions are the direct product of the US war and occupation, which killed over a million Iraqis, tore the county’s social fabric to shreds and provoked internecine conflicts as part of a deliberate tactic of divide and rule.

ISIS, the purported target of the US intervention, is a Frankenstein’s monster spawned by both the Iraq intervention and US imperialism’s promotion of a war for regime change in neighboring Syria, where it and other Sunni Islamist militias received funding, arms and logistical support from Washington’s regional allies, all under the guiding hand of the CIA.

Washington’s stated policy of fostering, arming and training so-called moderate rebels to both combat ISIS and serve as a proxy force in the war to topple the Assad regime has become an increasingly criminal and cynical operation.

Last weekend, the last of the ostensible Syrian “moderates,” whose members were armed, equipped and even paid by the CIA—the Hazm, or “steadfastness” movement—officially disbanded after being routed in the northern province of Aleppo by the Al-Nusra front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. Advanced US weapons, including TOW missiles, were all surrendered to Al Nusra, while many of the surviving Hazm members joined it.

In the wake of this debacle, there are indications that Washington is preparing to seal a pact with Al Nusra, effectively allying with Al Qaeda itself in opposition to ISIS, a split-off from Al Qaeda. The government of Qatar, a key source of funding for Al Nusra, has reportedly been pressuring the group to drop its formal affiliation with Al Qaeda to facilitate this shift.

The sheer cynicism with which the military-intelligence apparatus and its front man, Barack Obama, wage their “war on terror” found the clearest expression in statements made by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier this week.

Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who is not affiliated to ISIL,” he said. He indicated that US intelligence and military officials had “picked people that not only are moderate, whatever that is, but also we have to be sensitive to complying with the international rules of law, which in this environment is a pretty tough order.”

Of course US imperialism has operated for more than a decade in the Middle East—from Iraq, to Libya to Syria—in naked contempt for the bedrock provisions of international law, which, since the Nazis were tried at Nuremberg, has banned aggressive war as an instrument for pursuing state interests.

What Clapper is referring to is the international prohibition against arming Al Qaeda, a provision that can be evaded by having Al Nusra drop its formal affiliation.

Anyone attempting to deduce the logic of US policy in the Middle East from the claims made by US officials runs into a mind-boggling maze of contradictions. In Iraq, Washington is effectively in alliance with Iran and Shia sectarian militias to defeat ISIS. In Syria, it is forging ties to Sunni Islamist militias to supposedly fight both ISIS and topple the Syrian government, which is backed by Iran. Nearly 14 years into the “war on terror,” the US military-intelligence apparatus is preparing to turn an affiliate of Al Qaeda into its frontline “anti-terror” and “pro-democracy” fighters.

To the extent that any coherent policy emerges, it is one of stoking the fires of war and political instability everywhere, promoting a struggle of each against all with the aim of weakening every country and government so as to facilitate the US drive to assert its hegemony over the energy-rich region. In turn, this regional policy is directed toward the preparation of even more horrific wars against the allies of Damascus—Iran and Russia.

For the people of the Middle East, this translates into another deadly and tragic phase in their drawn-out encounter with US imperialism. For American working people, this policy—developed behind their backs, with no real debate, much less popular support—also holds the threat of catastrophe.

On March 26, as Britain’s general election campaign began, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that Britain would send 75 military trainers and staff to aid the so-called “moderate” opposition forces in Syria. The announcement marked an expansion of Britain’s aggressive role in the United States-led intervention, which is targeting not only the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but also the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad: here.

Libya war based on lies


This video says about itself:

Libya War 2014: Government warplanes bomb Greek-operated oil tanker ARAEVO

5 January 2015

Libyan warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on a Greek-operated oil tanker on Monday.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Libya and the ‘stupid, stupid facts’

Just as Libya turns a very dark corner, with Isis setting up its bloody camp, comes news that the intervention which hurried the nation into chaos was based on a false prospectus.

The Washington Times has got hold of tapes of conversations between Saif Gadaffi and US officials from summer 2011.

Back then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton — the US equivalent of the foreign secretary — was lobbying hard for more intervention.

She argued that, faced with a revolution, Muammar Gadaffi’s government would launch a massacre of the rebels and their families, justifying Nato bombing.

But it turns out the US joint chiefs of staff distrusted Clinton so much they opened their own negotiations with people around Gadaffi. The talks show that the Pentagon did not believe this massacre was coming.

The Pentagon intermediary told Gadaffi’s government: “You should see these internal State Department reports … that go out to the Congress. They’re just full of stupid, stupid facts,”

The State Department was Clinton’s department. The “stupid, stupid facts” were the arguments for war.

The Pentagon’s intermediary told the Gadaffi government that the adviser to the chair of the joint chiefs of staff — the US’s highest ranking officer — “does not trust the reports that are coming out of the State Department and CIA, but there’s nothing he can do about it.”

The Pentagon’s negotiator told Gadaffi’s people that “I can tell you that the president is not getting accurate information, so at some point someone has to get accurate information to him,” suggesting other intermediaries for negotiations.

Lots of “cruise missile liberals” got overexcited and had a kind of Iraq flashback during the Libyan intervention, backing the bombing as some kind of “liberation.”

But, like Iraq, it was based on a false premise.

The Washington Times files make this case, but it was known at the time. I wrote a series of articles (again, for the Independent) based on conversations with Libyan government figures and intermediaries.

They were, in truth, shocked and surprised that Western governments that had been so friendly to Gadaffi had now turned 180 degrees and were rushing to war against him.

The Libyan government was suing for peace with the revolution.

It was looking for a deal to edge Gadaffi out of power and bring the rebels into government.

Ultimately the decision on any negotiations with the dictator’s regime had to be one for the Libyan rebels themselves. But Nato’s decision to start bombing wiped out any chance for compromise.

It did not, however, prepare the ground for a new Libya. Bombers can’t build anything, let alone a new society.

The bombing meant that neither Libyan group — rebel or government — had to try build a new consensus or create a national coalition.

Unsurprisingly the result is a dark, chaotic country which is fragmenting and creating space for Isis, just like Iraq.

Algiers — Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra reaffirmed Thursday in Algiers that military intervention in Libya and the supply of weapons to the conflicting parties will not promote the expected consensual solution: here.

CIA torturer now ‘interpreter’ at Guantanamo trial


This video by Channel 4 in Britain is called Torture -The Guantanamo Guidebook.

By Ed Hightower in the USA:

Interpreter for 9/11 defendants at Guantanamo Bay was a CIA agent

13 February 2015

On Monday, the military trials of five alleged 9/11 conspirators at Guantanamo Bay came to a temporary pause when it came to light that a court-appointed defense interpreter and linguist had previously worked at CIA “black sites” where the defendants had been detained and tortured.

According to the Associated Press, defendant Ramzi Binalshibh told the presiding judge that the interpreter seated next to him was someone that he and other defendants recognized from their earlier incarceration at secret CIA prisons before their transfer to the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Defense attorney Cheryl Bormann of Chicago represents Walid bin Attash, another 9/11 defendant who was present at the hearing Monday. She told the AP that Attash was “visibly shaken” to see an individual who “participated in his illegal torture” in the courtroom today.

“If this is part of the pattern of infiltration by government agencies into the defense teams, then the right people to be addressing this issue are not in the courtroom,” Bormann added.

Monday’s court proceedings were the first to take place since the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture of detainees at CIA and military facilities, including rectal feeding and other barbaric torture practices.

Four out of the five defendants at Monday’s hearing said that they were certain that the interpreter in question was present at the CIA detention site where they were held. Their lawyers suggested to the judge that the former CIA asset’s placement on the defense team was no accident, and they requested time to further investigate this.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon responded to the previous day’s revelations with an admission that the interpreter in question had in fact worked for the CIA.

“The member of the defense team referenced in previous hearings has in the past made readily available to prospective supervisors his prior work experience with the United States government, including with the CIA,” Pentagon spokesman Myles Caggins stated.

“The prosecution does not have any role in providing linguists to defense teams in military commission,” he added.

Defense attorney Bormann contradicted this claim in a statement to the AP, saying that the interpreters are part of a pool of linguists provided to the defense teams, and their resumes and backgrounds cannot be studied in detail.

“Now the question is what other infiltration has occurred and to what extent has it destroyed our ability to represent these men,” she said.

Further undermining Caggins’ claim was the statement by Jim Harrington, attorney for defendant Binalshibh, that the interpreter lied on his resume. Harrington told the Miami Herald on Tuesday evening that his team asked the interpreter whether he had “participated in any interrogation, questioning or done any work with respect to detainees. Any place. His resume denies it. It says he worked someplace else—Reston, Virginia, from 2002 to 2006.”

“We vetted him. He denied it,” Harrington said.

The fact that a CIA operative has found his way onto the defense team representing his former victims speaks volumes about the military commission process. Taken in context, the presence of a CIA spy on the defense team fits the show trial character of the proceedings as a whole, which have been discredited time and again by interference with the defendants’ right to counsel.

From the outset, the military tribunals against the 9/11 defendants were designed with two goals: first, to railroad the defendants into conviction by any means, including confessions extracted by torture; and second, to protect the gory details of US imperialist involvement with the Islamic fundamentalist terror groups that it arms and funds one day, and denounces, persecutes and destroys the next, depending on the foreign and domestic policy needs of the American ruling class at any given time.

Thus, the alleged conspirators in the terror attacks of 9/11—an event which has the hallmarks of US government involvement—were in many cases kidnapped from around the globe, held incommunicado and tortured, brought to Cuba for further torture and indefinite detention, and now face the death penalty in proceedings that make the secret court of Star Chamber seem equitable by comparison.

The commission is housed in a $12 million “Expeditionary Legal Complex,” where reporters sit behind soundproof glass, listening to the proceedings on a 40-second delay. A large red light bulb at the judge’s bench, seen in this video, illuminates when he or a security officer presses a button to mute the audio when the testimony may concern evidence of CIA torture or other “sensitive information.”

In January 2013, this muting device was activated without the judge’s say so, indicating that someone outside of the proceeding, and essentially above the law, can intervene and silence the audio feed at will. The Guardian later reported that this “outside” silencer was the CIA.

In February 2013, lawyers for the defendants complained of advanced surveillance devices in attorney-client meeting rooms hidden inside of phony smoke detectors. In April of that year, defense attorneys learned that some 500,000 internal emails had been seized by the Department of Defense.

In April 2014 Judge Pohl again put the proceedings on pause following revelations that the FBI had been secretly recruiting a member of the defense team’s security detail to be an informant. In fact, the CIA agent-turned-interpreter who was exposed at Monday’s hearing was serving as a replacement for an earlier interpreter who was also working with the FBI.

After allowing for the filing of motions on Tuesday, Judge Pohl denied defense motions to halt the case until further inquiry regarding the interpreter on Wednesday, saying that this was “premature.”

The uncovering of a CIA spy on the defense team underscores the sham character of the military commissions for the accused 9/11 conspirators. The defendants are systematically denied their Sixth Amendment right to an attorney, which is meaningless when attorney-client meetings are the subjects of surveillance. No attorney, no matter how skilled, can successfully represent a client who is being intimidated from having honest, open communication with his counsel.

These most recent developments in the proceedings, coming after the release of the Senate Intelligence Report on CIA torture, also highlight the terminal crisis of American democracy as a whole. Those who are accused of terrorism are tortured, indefinitely detained, intimidated and denied the right to counsel, while US government officials who invade countries, fund terrorism, institutionalize torture, and shred constitutional rights do not face so much as an indictment.

A FORMER Guantanamo detainee who was resettled in Uruguay appeared in neighbouring Argentina on Thursday wearing a prison-style orange jumpsuit and asked the country to grant asylum to detainees still held at the US concentration camp: here.

Guantánamo torturer previously led brutal Chicago police regime of shackling and confession: here.

A report in the Guardian has revealed that a leading interrogator at Guantanamo Bay had used torture to extract false confessions as a police detective in Chicago: here.

CIA whistleblower calls for prosecution of officials responsible for torture: here.

Former Gitmo Prisoner David Hicks Seeks Damages for Torture as Military Court Overturns Conviction: here.

After protracted legal action by former Guantanamo prisoner David Hicks, a US Military Commission Review has unanimously upheld the 39-year-old Australian citizen’s appeal against his bogus “providing material support for terrorism” conviction. The decision is yet another demonstration that the US-led “war on terror” and its associated crimes are built on lies: here.

Chelsea Manning will write for The Guardian


This video from the USA says about itself:

Ann Wright on Chelsea Manning Being Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison

23 August 2013

Ann Wright speaks to The Real News in an exclusive interview responding to Wikileaks Whistleblower Chelsea Manning being sentenced to 35 years in prison.

By Jackson Connor in the USA:

Chelsea Manning To Join The Guardian U.S. As Contributing Opinion Writer

02/10/2015 3:48 pm EST Updated: 1 hour ago

The Guardian U.S. has hired Chelsea Manning as a contributing opinion writer covering war, gender and freedom of information, Katharine Viner, the publication’s editor-in-chief, announced Tuesday via Twitter.

Currently serving a 35-year sentence in federal prison for supplying thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, Manning — who was once known as Bradley — has written on such topics before. In December, she penned an essay for The Guardian titled “I am a transgender woman and the government is denying my civil rights,” and in June she wrote a piece for The New York Times blasting the U.S. government for keeping information from the American people.

“I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance,” Manning wrote for The Times.

According to Politico, Manning will write her pieces for The Guardian U.S. from Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas and will not be paid for her work.