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07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Accelerating Fascism in Israel

COMMENTARY:

Accelerating Fascism in Israel

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 15 April 2010

Occupied Palestinians and Israeli Arabs never had rights in a state affording them solely to Jews. Now even they're at risk as democratic freedoms fast erode on their way to extinction; to wit, free expression, a right without which all others are endangered. It includes free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, incompetence, and abuses of power.

Israel has no constitution or specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. Yet its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental democratic values, more rhetoric than fact given its persecution of journalist Anat Kam and Haaretz's national security reporter Uri Blau.

Kam (held under house arrest since December) will be tried in mid-April for passing confidential documents she removed while stationed in IDF General Yair Naveh's office during her mandatory military service. Blau, fearing assassination or a judicial lynching, is now hiding in London.

Two (internal security) Shin Bet gag orders (code name "Double-Take") were judicially implemented to silence press discussion, on October 8, 2009 and on January 1, 2010 for 90 days, now partially lifted.

They're on grounds of harming national security, damaging the investigative process, and the ability of prosecutors to prove criminal liability. Part of it is cited in an undated April richardsilverstein.com Tikun Olam article headlined, "Anat Kam Gag Order Published for the First Time," stating:

"....publication about the investigation or that it even exists (is prohibited), and on the judicial discussion of the matter and legal decision rendered by the court which has been and will be conducted....

We seek that the gag prohibits publication even about the application for a gag order, its content, and even the existence of a gag order in this case; and any other publication likely to identify the respondent, witnesses, suspects or others engaged in the investigation, including publications of their images, addresses, or other identifying details."

On April 11, Haaretz writer Ofra Edelman headlined, "Ex-soldier charged with espionage for leaking documents to Haaretz," saying:

"Among the materials Kam allegedly transferred to (Uri Blau) were (more than 2,000) files showing that high-ranking Israel Defense Forces officers had approved targeted assassinations of wanted Palestinians who could have instead been detained," violating a Supreme Court order.

Uri Blau's Expose

Kam's documents provided the basis for Blau's December 4, 2008 Haaretz article headlined, "License to Kill," revealing IDF Central Command-ordered targeted killings of two alleged terrorists - Ziad Subahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Latif Abed in violation of a High Court ruling. Further "the most senior IDF echelons approve(d), in advance and in writing, the harming of innocent Palestinians during the course of the assassination operations."

According to B'Tselem, IDF assassins killed 232 Palestinians from October 2000 - October 2008, and another 154 non-targeted civilians coincidentally. The common code names used are Pa'amon (preventive action) and Sakum (targeted assassination). When carried out, official reports say these were "arrest operations (or) exchanges of fire," force having been authorized to intercept and kill.

Involved was IDF Central Command head, General Yair Naveh, in whose bureau Kam worked as a clerk, then later as assistant bureau head. Authorizing the assassinations, he said the target "leads a 'ticking' infrastructure and meets the required criteria for a preventive strike." Another meeting in his office with General Sami Turjeman, head of the Operations Directorate, ordered "no more than five people" to be killed, the other three, of course, innocent civilians.

The next day, Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi approved it, ordering only that it be done on a different date in light of planned diplomatic meetings at the time.

On December 14, 2006, High Court President, Justice Aharon Barak, ruled that well-founded information is necessary to say civilians intend hostile acts, and no one should be assassinated or harmed in lieu of nonviolent workable alternatives. "In other words, a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to arrest him, interrogate and indict him."

According to international law Professor David Kretchmer, "It turns out that in total contradiction to the High Court ruling, there are cases in which there is an order to assassinate someone when it is possible to arrest him. Advance approval to kill civilians who do not take part in hostile activities (or against whom no evidence proves guilt) makes things even worse....
Postponing an operation for diplomatic reasons is unequivocal proof (that) this is not a 'ticking bomb' situation."

General Naveh (Central Command head from 2005 - 2007) admitted that at times "no genuine attempts are made to arrest wanted men." Saying they never happened on his watch, he claimed Malaisha and Abed were legitimate targets as "ticking bombs," despite no evidence to prove it and in defiance of a High Court ruling.

"Don't bother me with the High Court orders," he said. "I don't know when there were High Court orders and when there weren't. I know that a targeted assassination is approved and there is a preventive action procedure and I received instructions from the Operations Directorate."

The only State justification ever given is that targeted killings are "an exceptional step (taken) only when there is no other, less severe way of" acting.

From seclusion in London, Haaretz published Blau's April 10, 2010 article headlined, "This isn't just a war for my freedom but for Israel's image," saying: he never imagined his foreign trip would prevent him from "return(ing) to Tel Aviv as a journalist and a free man, only because I published reports that were not convenient to the establishment."

So when told if he returned, he "could be silenced forever (and/or) be charged for crimes related to espionage, (he) decided to fight," repeating the above title he chose for this article.

As a journalist, he expressed commitment to provide "as much information as possible and in the best way, with maximum objectivity. (For Haaretz, his) name has appeared, alone and with others (revealing) exposes dealing with (high) public figures and institutions of all kinds." None could have been published without sources and corroborating documents.

All previous military related exposes "were vetted by (their) censors before publication." They weren't "pleasant to read," but no matter. A journalist's job is to provide facts on relevant "goings-on around them....but no Israeli journalist has known until now that such exposes could have him declared an enemy of the state and find himself in jail" or perhaps killed.

The State of Israel v. Anat Kam

Charges include:

  1. "Serious Espionage (divulging secret information with the intent to harm the security of the state) - an offence against clause 13b of the Penal Law 1977 (hence: the law).
  2. Serious Espionage (gathering secret information with the intention to harm the security of the state) - an offence against clause 113c of the law."

The charges explain her exposure "to many documents and presentations in various degrees of classification, authored in the various departments of the General Staff, the Chief of Staff's office, and the various divisions of the command" with respect to military operations, discussion summaries, IDF targets, and related information.

"During her military service the accused stored in a special folder the documents and presentations and, near her discharge from the IDF, on or about May 2007, the accused, through another, copied the contents of the file onto two discs, one for documents and the other for presentations."

"The accused did so out of ideological motivations and with the intent to damage the security of the state, among other means, through publishing the documents to the general public."

She took the classified materials home without authorization to do so. "In or around June 2007, (she) copied the document disc onto the mobile IBM computer at her home....contain(ing) over two thousand documents, 700 of which were classified as "secret (or) top secret."

"On or around September 2008, the accused, acting without legal authority and with the intention to harm the security of the state, delivered a large amount of documents to journalist Uri Blau," including "top secret (and) secret" ones. He then began publishing them in November 2008 and in subsequent articles.

Haaretz Responds to State Charges

On April 11, Haaretz Service "answer(ed) four key questions on the Anat Kam case:"

  1. Does Haaretz's protection for Uri Blau and his sources harm state security?

    "Of course not." All were "submitted to the military censor and approved....before publication, as required by law." State security depends not only on abiding by censor regulations, but also on upholding democratic principles and values, "including a free press. The agreement signed between Blau and the Shin Bet security service proves that (it) understands this as well."

  2. Does Blau still have classified documents? If so, why hasn't he returned them to Shin Bet?

    "Blau left on vacation with no classified documents in his possession." But he maintains previously used materials for all his articles. "Haaretz, therefore, believes that it cannot pass on all (his) documents (to the IDF and Shin Bet) because its senior officials may use them to trace his sources."

    Blau believes he acted according to his agreement with Shin Bet and broke no law. "He passed on dozens of classified documents....and the defense establishment had no complaint about" ones he chose.

    Blau gave Shin Bet dozens of printouts and his personal computer, "which was destroyed in his presence." Shortly after doing it, Kam was arrested on suspicion for having been the source.

  3. "Why isn't Blau returning to Israel to explain all this?"

    He took a three-month vacation to the Far East with his fiancee. While away, Kam was arrested. Shin Bet told Haaretz it reneged on its agreement, thus no longer assuring the immunity of his sources, especially Kam.

    If he returns now, she may be further harmed as he'll be questioned on arrival, given a lie detector test, have his entire document archive examined, and called as a witness against her, besides endangering his personal safety.

  4. In Haaretz's judgment, can state security be safeguarded without revealing confidential sources?

    Indeed so. "The combination has worked and will keep working, and it's important to ensure" no change of policy so future sources will volunteer information they'd otherwise be reluctant to do.

According to Haaretz writers Ofra Edelman, Anshel Pfeffer and Gili Izikovich, in their April 12 article headlined, "Anat Kam waives immunity, urges Uri Blau to return to Israel:"

She's Blau's source, "her defense attorney Avigdor Feldman told Haaretz on" April 11, adding:

"I believe he will bring back the documents, he will not be harmed and the affair with Anat will also come to an end, I hope, quickly."

Blau's attorneys, Mibi Moser and Tal Leiblich, called it "a positive development." Meanwhile, a number of journalists signed a petition requesting no prosecution of Blau, saying authorities haven't previously done so for holding secret information, which most reporter/writers at times get. Thus far, the IDF Spokesman said only (on April 11) that claims Blau reported "are upsetting and distorted."

On April 12, Haaretz writer and Haaretz Service headlined, "Anat Kam: I stole IDF documents to expose West Bank war crimes," saying:

According to newly released court materials, Kam explained that:

"Classified documents reveal that the Israel Defense Forces had committed war crimes in the West Bank....and that her motivation for removing them was to expose 'certain aspects of the IDF's conduct in the West Bank that I thought were of interest to the public.' "

She added that "if and when the war crime the IDF was and is committing in the West Bank would be investigated, then I would have evidence to present." She believed nothing she did endangered Israel's security because she focused only on "the principles and the policies that were behind the top officers' decision," not specific military details.

By exposing these crimes, she thought she "would make a change...."

Kam now faces trial and a possible life sentence. Blau fears he's in danger no matter where in the world he hides. Nazareth-based journalist/author Jonathan Cook raised the specter of Israel's "dark underbelly," its tarnished image, and "battle for what is left of its soul," given its eroding democratic freedoms and fast track toward fascism in a nation where no one is safe, even Jews.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on April 15, 2010.
 

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