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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
Accelerating Fascism in Israel
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:
On April 11, Haaretz writer Ofra Edelman headlined, "Ex-soldier charged with espionage for leaking documents to Haaretz," saying:
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....
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.
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
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.
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:"
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:"
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:
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.
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Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on April 15, 2010.