My readers, from where? From where not?

Blogging, cartoon

Soon, it will be 25 February.

Then, it will be a year ago since WordPress statistics started showing from which countries visitors come.

I will maybe be too busy on 25 February to make a blog post on this.

So, I will do it now.

By now, people from most countries and territories in the world have read my blog.

There are a few exceptions. When I look at the WordPress stats map, most countries are orange; meaning visitors from there have come.

Some countries are white. Meaning, no visitors so far. They may include countries too small to show on the map. As far as I know, eg, so far I did not get any visits from San Marino, or the Saint Pierre and Miquelon islands.

Countries, big enough to see on the WordPress map with no visits so far include Turkmenistan, Greenland, Svalbard, North Korea, the Western Sahara, South Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Here are stats for my visitors since WordPress started country by country figures.

Top Views by Country for all days ending 2013-02-10 (Summarized)

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 50,453
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 23,750
Canada FlagCanada 7,616
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 6,587
Greece FlagGreece 4,792
India FlagIndia 3,920
Romania FlagRomania 3,693
Australia FlagAustralia 3,509
Germany FlagGermany 2,854
France FlagFrance 2,400
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 1,893
Sweden FlagSweden 1,890
Italy FlagItaly 1,784
Belgium FlagBelgium 1,771
Jamaica FlagJamaica 1,452
Philippines FlagPhilippines 1,445
Spain FlagSpain 1,362
Armenia FlagArmenia 1,358
Singapore FlagSingapore 1,292
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 1,004
Ireland FlagIreland 916
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 812
Brazil FlagBrazil 794
Bahrain FlagBahrain 727
Turkey FlagTurkey 725
Pakistan FlagPakistan 708
Japan FlagJapan 694
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 692
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 686
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 622
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 600
Thailand FlagThailand 599
Portugal FlagPortugal 592
Poland FlagPoland 590
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 570
Finland FlagFinland 556
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 544
Norway FlagNorway 530
Denmark FlagDenmark 523
Mexico FlagMexico 486
Hungary FlagHungary 454
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 453
Israel FlagIsrael 415
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 379
Egypt FlagEgypt 360
Argentina FlagArgentina 321
Serbia FlagSerbia 310
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 309
Lebanon FlagLebanon 287
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 269
Austria FlagAustria 267
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 249
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 242
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 209
Croatia FlagCroatia 200
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 197
Malta FlagMalta 184
Ukraine FlagUkraine 170
Iceland FlagIceland 167
Morocco FlagMorocco 167
Kenya FlagKenya 167
Kuwait FlagKuwait 166
Qatar FlagQatar 158
Colombia FlagColombia 153
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 149
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 143
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 140
Tunisia FlagTunisia 131
Ecuador FlagEcuador 125
Peru FlagPeru 115
Jordan FlagJordan 114
Lithuania FlagLithuania 113
Cyprus FlagCyprus 110
Chile FlagChile 108
Georgia FlagGeorgia 91
Latvia FlagLatvia 81
Estonia FlagEstonia 80
Albania FlagAlbania 80
Algeria FlagAlgeria 77
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 76
Oman FlagOman 76
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 74
Nigeria FlagNigeria 73
Iraq FlagIraq 71
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 69
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 67
Uganda FlagUganda 59
Bolivia FlagBolivia 58
Palestinian Territory, Occupied FlagPalestinian Territory, Occupied 50
Tanzania, United Republic of FlagUnited Republic of Tanzania 50
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 48
Ethiopia FlagEthiopia 46
Afghanistan FlagAfghanistan 45
Cambodia FlagCambodia 44
Panama FlagPanama 42
Nepal FlagNepal 41
Libya FlagLibya 39
Mauritius FlagMauritius 38
Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic 38
Suriname FlagSuriname 37
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan 37
Jersey FlagJersey 36
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 33
Myanmar FlagMyanmar 29
Guyana FlagGuyana 28
Uruguay FlagUruguay 28
Yemen FlagYemen 26
Ghana FlagGhana 25
Brunei Darussalam FlagBrunei Darussalam 24
Gambia FlagGambia 24
Montenegro FlagMontenegro 21
Mongolia FlagMongolia 20
Maldives FlagMaldives 19
Belarus FlagBelarus 18
Senegal FlagSenegal 18
Isle of Man FlagIsle of Man 17
Barbados FlagBarbados 17
Syrian Arab Republic FlagSyrian Arab Republic 17
Macao FlagMacao 16
Gibraltar FlagGibraltar 16
Honduras FlagHonduras 16
El Salvador FlagEl Salvador 15
Botswana FlagBotswana 14
Guernsey FlagGuernsey 14
Aruba FlagAruba 13
New Caledonia FlagNew Caledonia 13
Paraguay FlagParaguay 13
Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands 13
Antigua and Barbuda FlagAntigua and Barbuda 13
Madagascar FlagMadagascar 12
Swaziland FlagSwaziland 12
Mozambique FlagMozambique 12
Saint Lucia FlagSaint Lucia 12
Rwanda FlagRwanda 11
Sudan FlagSudan 11
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 11
Namibia FlagNamibia 11
Malawi FlagMalawi 11
Angola FlagAngola 11
Haiti FlagHaiti 10
Zimbabwe FlagZimbabwe 10
Bahamas FlagBahamas 10
Lao People's Democratic Republic FlagLao People’s Democratic Republic 10
Nicaragua FlagNicaragua 9
Seychelles FlagSeychelles 9
Belize FlagBelize 9
Kazakhstan FlagKazakhstan 8
Bermuda FlagBermuda 8
Fiji FlagFiji 8
Virgin Islands, U.S. FlagVirgin Islands 7
Cameroon FlagCameroon 7
Faroe Islands FlagFaroe Islands 7
Iran, Islamic Republic of FlagIran, Islamic Republic of 7
Kyrgyzstan FlagKyrgyzstan 7
Micronesia, Federated States of FlagMicronesia, Federated States of 7
Côte d'Ivoire FlagCôte d’Ivoire 7
Djibouti FlagDjibouti 6
Andorra FlagAndorra 5
Turks and Caicos Islands FlagTurks and Caicos Islands 5
Liberia FlagLiberia 5
China FlagChina 5
Cuba FlagCuba 5
Mali FlagMali 5
Guam FlagGuam 4
Zambia FlagZambia 4
Guadeloupe FlagGuadeloupe 4
Benin FlagBenin 4
Grenada FlagGrenada 4
Virgin Islands, British FlagBritish Virgin Islands 4
Papua New Guinea FlagPapua New Guinea 3
Saint Kitts and Nevis FlagSaint Kitts and Nevis 3
Réunion FlagRéunion 3
Burkina Faso FlagBurkina Faso 3
Niger FlagNiger 3
Lesotho FlagLesotho 3
American Samoa FlagAmerican Samoa 3
Comoros FlagComoros 2
Netherlands Antilles FlagNetherlands Antilles 2
Holy See (Vatican City State) FlagVatican City 2
Northern Mariana Islands FlagNorthern Mariana Islands 2
Monaco FlagMonaco 2
Guinea-Bissau FlagGuinea-Bissau 2
French Guiana FlagFrench Guiana 2
Montserrat FlagMontserrat 2
Mauritania FlagMauritania 2
Martinique FlagMartinique 2
Anguilla FlagAnguilla 2
Tonga FlagTonga 1
French Polynesia FlagFrench Polynesia 1
Somalia FlagSomalia 1
Cook Islands FlagCook Islands 1
Bhutan FlagBhutan 1
Burundi FlagBurundi 1
Vanuatu FlagVanuatu 1
Uzbekistan FlagUzbekistan 1
Congo, the Democratic Republic of the FlagDemocratic Republic of the Congo 1
Dominica FlagDominica 1
Tajikistan FlagTajikistan 1
Kiribati FlagKiribati 1
British Indian Ocean Territory FlagBritish Indian Ocean Territory 1
Gabon FlagGabon 1
Timor-Leste FlagTimor-Leste 1

Bahrain dictatorship helped by British spyware corporation

This video is called Torture in Bahrain.

By David Swanson:


06 February 2013

New Evidence Suggests Gamma Sold FinSpy to Bahrain

[Manama] In July 2012, Bahrain Watch reported that the Government of Bahrain was targeting activists with the FinSpy/FinFisher “lawful interception” computer spyware, programmed by UK company Gamma International.  An analysis revealed that the spyware steals passwords and can record screen shots, Skype calls, and audio from a computer’s microphone.  The spyware sends the data it captures back to a server in Bahrain.  The Bahrain Watch report cited a technical analysis by Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bahrain Watch member Bill Marczak published through CitizenLab, and a report by Bloomberg.  In response to these reports, Gamma International issued several statements to the press claiming that:

(1) The version of FinSpy used in Bahrain is an old copy that might have been stolen via a flash drive during a product demonstration. [1, 2]

(2) The server in Bahrain is not a FinFisher product, but is a “proxy” that relays the captured data to another server. [1]

(3) The version of FinSpy used in Bahrain has been modified so that it does not communicate with Gamma.  If the product did communicate with Gamma, then Gamma could disable it. [1]

(4) Gamma never sold FinSpy to Bahrain. [1]

New evidence, presented in a complaint to the OECD, calls these claims into question:

(1) The version of FinSpy used in Bahrain is an old copy that might have been stolen via a flash drive during a product demonstration.

The copy of FinSpy sent to Bahraini Activists identifies itself as FinSpy 4.01, and bears a March 2012 date.  However, Bahrain Watch has obtained a sample of a different version of FinSpy used in Bahrain, which predates the campaign against Bahraini Activists.  The other version of the spyware identifies itself as FinSpy 4.00, and has an older date.  Both the FinSpy 4.01 and FinSpy 4.00 samples communicate with the same server in Bahrain.  The use of two different FinSpy versions calls into question Gamma’s claim that Bahrain is using a stolen copy of FinSpy, and instead suggests that Bahrain is receiving updated spyware from Gamma.

(2) The server in Bahrain is not a FinFisher product, but is a “proxy” that relays the captured data to another server.

The server sent responses including the phrase “finspy_master” — Gamma documentation refers to the server component of a FinSpy installation as the Master.  Bahrain Watch believes that Bahrain’s server is not a proxy, based both on what appeared to be a bug in the server that revealed to each single recipient the sum total number of messages sent by the server to all recipients.  Analysis of this total over time showed that the server was not forwarding messages to a third party.  The technical term for this bug is a “Global IP ID.”  The bug was corrected around July 2012.

(3) The version of FinSpy used in Bahrain has been modified so that it does not communicate with Gamma.  If the product did communicate with Gamma, then Gamma could disable it.

Over the past several months, Bahrain Watch sent scanning probes to a number of FinSpy servers, including servers identified in Turkmenistan, Ethiopia, and Bahrain.  Bahrain Watch observed behavior changes that were consistent across all servers.  For example, around October 2012, an update to the servers broke a technique used by Bahrain Watch and CitizenLab to scan for FinSpy servers.  That scanning technique identified FinSpy servers by detecting a bug in the FinSpy protocol. That this particular bug was corrected on all servers at roughly the same time suggests that the product in Bahrain does indeed communicate with Gamma in order to receive updates.

(4) Gamma never sold FinSpy to Bahrain.

According to leaked Gamma documentation, a FinSpy server requires a current update license purchased from Gamma in order to receive updates. Once the update license is expired, the server can no longer receive updates. The continued behavior changes on Bahrain’s server indicate a current update license, which suggests an ongoing business relationship between Gamma and Bahrain.

Bahrain Watch founding member Bill Marczak said: “It looks like Gamma is providing updates to Bahrain’s FinSpy installation.  This calls into question Gamma’s claim that Bahrain stole a demonstration version of FinSpy.  Given this new evidence, we call on Gamma to cease providing any software, hardware, or training — whether directly or indirectly — to the Government of Bahrain, and to disable Bahrain’s FinSpy installation.  Software like FinSpy needs to be export controlled on the basis of its surveillance capabilities, and companies should face penalties if they sell their products to and end user that they should reasonably know will use their product in service of human rights violations.”

Bahrain Watch is a monitoring and advocacy group that seeks to promote effective, accountable, and transparent governance in Bahrain through research and evidence-based activism.  About Bahrain Watch:

View this press release on our website here.

Bahrain’s opposition groups, expecting little from a renewed national dialogue, plan to stage protests this week to mark the second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising that was crushed by security forces: here.

Dictatorships’ Internet spying

This video is called WikiLeaks Spy Files: GAMMA.

By Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times in the USA:

Crime-fighting software used by govts to spy on political dissidents

Updated: August 31, 2012 09:52 IST

San Francisco: Morgan Marquis-Boire works as a Google engineer and Bill Marczak is earning a Ph.D. in computer science. But this summer, the two men have been moonlighting as detectives, chasing an elusive surveillance tool from Bahrain across five continents.

What they found was the widespread use of sophisticated, off-the-shelf computer espionage software by governments with questionable records on human rights. While the software is supposedly sold for use only in criminal investigations, the two came across evidence that it was being used to target political dissidents.

The software proved to be the stuff of a spy film: It can grab images of computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The two men said they discovered mobile versions of the spyware customized for all major mobile phones.

But what made the software especially sophisticated was how well it avoided detection. Its creators specifically engineered it to elude antivirus software made by Kaspersky Lab, Symantec, F-Secure and others.

The software has been identified as FinSpy, one of the more elusive spyware tools sold in the growing market of off-the-shelf computer surveillance technologies that give governments a sophisticated plug-in monitoring operation. Research now links it to servers in more than a dozen countries, including Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes.

The market for such technologies has grown to $5 billion a year from “nothing 10 years ago,” said Jerry Lucas, president of TeleStrategies, the company behind ISS World, an annual surveillance show where law enforcement agents view the latest computer spyware.

FinSpy is made by the Gamma Group, a British company that says it sells monitoring software to governments solely for criminal investigations.

“This is dual-use equipment,” said Eva Galperin, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties group. “If you sell it to a country that obeys the rule of law, they may use it for law enforcement. If you sell it to a country where the rule of law is not so strong, it will be used to monitor journalists and dissidents.”

Until Mr. Marquis-Boire and Mr. Marczak stumbled upon FinSpy last May, security researchers had tried, unsuccessfully, for a year to track it down. FinSpy gained notoriety in March 2011 after protesters raided Egypt’s state security headquarters and discovered a document that appeared to be a proposal by the Gamma Group to sell FinSpy to the government of President Hosni Mubarak for $353,000.

UK firm faces questions over how spyware ended up in Bahrain: here.
Update: here.

Afghan pipeline and war

This video is called Prof. Noam Chomsky on American goals in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I quote only very rarely on this blog from the news agency of the absolute monarchy Saudi Arabia.

However, today I do. Because today, it unveils to some extent, the real “reasons” behind the bloody war in Afghanistan.

That war is, unlike what war propagandists say, not about liberating women in Afghanistan. Their situation is as bad as under the previous Taliban regime.

That war is, unlike what war propagandists say, not about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA. The Taliban leaders hardly looked beyond their own provincial borders, let alone Afghanistan’s national borders. They hardly knew where New York City was, let alone where the Twin Towers were.

That war is, unlike what war propagandists say, not about Osama bin Laden. Who was not in Afghanistan, but in United States ally Pakistan during the Afghan war. And who is dead now, though Afghan civilians and United States and other soldiers still keep dying. And United States, Canadian, and other taxpayers keep paying billions for the war.

Now, from MENAFN – Saudi Press Agency:

Turkmens plan trans-Afghan gas sale deal in May


Senior officials in Turkmenistan said the energy-rich Central Asian nation

Turkmenistan is not just oil- and gas-rich. It is also a dictatorship. Never mind, the Pentagon says: it is our ally in the Afghan war. Being a dictatorship is only a problem if you quarrel with the United States establishment (and being a democracy and quarreling with the US establishment is a problem as well).

plans to sign a natural gas sales agreement with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India this month, AP reported.

The deal would mark a decisive move toward construction of a pipeline crossing the four nations that backers hope will meet energy demands across the region.

Two high-ranking officials, who cannot be named as they are not authorized to speak with the media, told The Associated Press this week they expect the agreement to be signed at an energy conference in Turkmenistan late May.

Progress on the project has to date been delayed by disagreement among participant nations on transit fees and the price for the gas.

It has been widely assumed that gas for the more than 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) pipeline will be sourced from the Dauletabad field in southern Turkmenistan.

An official from the state gas company said, however, that a portion of the fuel will eventually be drawn from the vast and yet-to-be developed South Yolotan field near the Afghan border.

The gas pipeline across Afghanistan, projected to ship 33 billion cubic meters a year, has been actively backed by the United States. It would give Turkmenistan a further export route for its copious energy reserves and generate revenue for Afghanistan.

Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov has said Afghanistan could stand to earn more than $1 billion annually in transit fees.

If that money for Afghanistan materializes, then it would probably disappear into the pockets of a small corrupt clique who don’t care about the poor majority of Afghans. Like the Afghan Kabulbank scandal shows.

Construction begins on Afghan stretch of TAPI gas pipeline: here.

US-Afghan Pact Won’t End War – Or Special Operations Forces Night Raids. Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service News: “But the only substantive agreement reached between the U.S. and Afghanistan – well hidden in the agreements – has been to allow powerful U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) to continue to carry out the unilateral night raids on private homes that are universally hated in the Pashtun zones of Afghanistan…. The Obama administration’s success in obscuring those facts is the real story behind the ostensible story of the agreement”: here.

Leaving Afghanistan by Staying. David Swanson, War Is a Crime: “Obama is full of praise for U.S. troops, as if they’ve benefitted Afghanistan. And he’s full of concern for the suffering of U.S. troops and U.S. citizens…. ‘Neither Americans nor the Afghan people asked for this war,’ Obama said, forgetting that one of those two countries had invaded the other one and occupied it for over a decade. ‘The reason America is safe is because of you,’ Obama told U.S. troops, forgetting that the war has made our nation more hated around the world”: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bringing ‘democracy’ to Afghanistan with Turkmenistan dictatorship

This video is called Amnesty and Turkmenistan.

Special representative: NATO attaches great importance to Turkmenistan: here.

As the USA and other NATO countries bomb Afghanistan into oppression of women, corruption, mass hunger, bank fraud, electoral fraud … err … “democracy” … so sorry I did not speak NATOspeak … they do so in alliances with regional dictatorial governments.

Like with Musharraf when he was dictator of Pakistan. Like with Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan.

Now, another alliance for waging war in Afghanistan seems to get more prominent: alliance with the dictatorship Turkmenistan.

By Deirdre Tynan:

Central Asia: Turkmenistan Could Become Key Cog in NDN Supply Route for Afghanistan

April 12, 2011 – 12:56pm

The United States wants to significantly expand traffic on the Northern Distribution Network, the rail, road and air network that ferries supplies across Central Asia to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. As Pentagon planners and commercial carriers contemplate their transit options, attention is focusing on Turkmenistan.

The Pentagon reportedly intends to ship 75 percent of all non-military cargo destined for Afghanistan via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) by the end of 2011. Just a year ago, NDN was handling 35 percent of Afghan-bound supplies, and its share is presently about 50 percent. US military officers met with commercial shippers in late-January to discuss ways to rapidly increase the volume on the NDN. Pakistan for years served as the primary US conduit for supplies headed to Afghanistan, but that route of late has become increasingly vulnerable to Islamic militant attacks.

According to Michele Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy, Washington aims to reduce reliance on the Pakistani Ground Line of Communication. It appears the US initiative has the backing of regional partners, including Russia. “We are working, along with the Department of State, to secure the additional approvals that we need from countries participating in the Northern Distribution Network that will allow us to further reduce the load we place on Pakistan’s infrastructure and provide additional routes for our personnel and cargo transiting into Afghanistan,” Flournoy told the US Senate Committee on Armed Services in mid-March.

“We have already secured necessary approvals from Russia and we are negotiating with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to conclude further agreements and arrangements regarding NDN routes that they control,” Flournoy added.

A US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) representative declined to get into the specifics of NDN expansion plans. “We continually work with our commercial carriers to ensure the overall distribution network is flexible, responsive and viable,” said Cynthia Bauer, TRANSCOM spokesperson, on March 30.

Turkmenistan’s role in the NDN has been until now low key. It has not signed a transit agreement with either the United States or NATO, but the Turkmen government allows Ashgabat’s airport to be used a refueling stop for US military planes. Commercial companies also transit bulk fuel deliveries destined for bases in Afghanistan through Turkmenistan, and US government contracted fuel suppliers occasionally buy fuel from Turkmenistan and they are able to do so tax free.

If US Central Command and interested commercial parties have their way, Turkmenistan’s road and rail infrastructure will soon be integrated into NDN’s transit network. Maersk Line Ltd, a US government contractor, has readied a “Northern Europe Truck Route via Turkmenistan” stretching from the Baltic port of Riga, Latvia, to Serhetabat-Turgundi on the Turkmen-Afghan border.

“It is common practice for the industry to assess alternative routes to determine what would provide the best solution for its customers in terms of velocity to market and cost. The Northern Europe Truck route via Turkmenistan is a concept that is being evaluated as an alternative option for the Northern Distribution Network,” said Celine Gordon, a spokeswoman for Maersk Line Ltd. However, the company does not expect to use the route “in the foreseeable future,” she added.

Turgundi on the Afghan-Turkmen border could emerge as an import/export node, according to solicitation documents from US Surface Deployment Distribution Command, which seeks “Third Party Logistics Support Services” to monitor “US military-sponsored shipments.” Hairaton on the Afghan-Uzbek border and Sher Khan on the Afghan-Tajik border currently operate as the main points of entry into Afghanistan.

“Additional entry and exit nodes may be added at the discretion of the US Government. There will be an average of 5,000 import conveyances transiting the Afghanistan and Pakistan ground lines of communication (GLOC) per month (to include shipments arriving via the Northern Distribution Network) and 500 export conveyances. This number may increase or decrease due to US military transportation requirements,” the 2010 solicitation stated.

“All military classes of supply will be shipped; exceptions include weapons, weapons systems, ammunition, sensitive items, sensitive medical items, and bulk fuel,” an industry questions and answer supplement added.

Other commercial shippers, speaking to on condition of anonymity, described Turkmenistan’s integration into the NDN as vital to the overall success of the expansion plan. Shipping goods via Turkmenistan would cut transit times and costs. “The US is pushing hard for this, it makes a lot of sense,” one regionally based planner said. Turkmenistan has long been a fickle negotiating partner — not only for Western states, but for Russia as well. Whether or not Ashgabat will consent to a greater NDN role remains uncertain.

Editor’s note:

Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.

Workers will be forced to visit racecourses in Turkmenistan in anticipation of the nation’s forthcoming Horse Racing Day, celebrated every last Sunday in April, Chronicles of Turkmenistan newspaper reported on Monday.

Endless War and Empire: Your Tax Dollars at Work: here.

The War in Afghanistan: A Burden Taxpayers Can’t Afford: here.

10-Year Old Afghan Girl Claims She Was Raped: here.

With violence against them increasing, 75 women committed self-immolation last year, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said on Sunday: here.

Guantanamo Psychologist Led Rendition and Imprisonment of Afghan Boys, Complaint Charges. Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout: “Four Ohio residents filed court papers last week seeking to compel the Ohio State Psychology Board to investigate Dr. Larry James, a retired Army colonel and former chief psychologist for the intelligence command at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, who oversaw the brutal torture of detainees, including children. The motion was filed by Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of the four residents, which includes a psychologist, a veteran, a minister and a long-time mental health advocate”: here.

The Ministry of Defence must release some information on people held or captured by British forces in Afghanistan, according to an administrative appeals tribunal ruling: here.

USA: Oregon labor leaders to Congress: end the war: here.

Robert Naiman, Truthout: “When Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold lost his bid for re-election, advocates working to end the war in Afghanistan lost their champion in the Senate. It was Feingold’s office that introduced the bill, introduced the amendment, circulated the letter, led the lobbying of other offices and led the charge in the media. Now California Sen. Barbara Boxer has reintroduced Feingold’s bill requiring the president to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan – a timetable with an end date. So far, Sens. Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Kirsten Gillibrand and Sherrod Brown have signed on as co-sponsors of Senator Boxer’s bill. The reintroduction of this bill is extremely timely and important, for two reasons”: here.

THE US military’s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, has accused Pakistan’s spy agency of having links with Taleban fighters who are targeting US forces: here.

Kazakh Money in Congress? Jake Wiens, Truthout: “It has all the twists of a Hollywood blockbuster: shadowy international figures, a plot to overthrow an oil-rich Central Asian country, an attempted assassination, allegations of kidnapping and murder and a battle in an American courtroom for control of billions of dollars in seized assets. At the center of this saga is a bitter family feud that pits Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev – a strongman who has ruled the obscure former Soviet republic for more than 20 years – against his former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliyev. And if that was where the story ended, it might have stayed an inconspicuous foreign squabble with no relevance to the American public”: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta