Raw Story Unredacts Iran

Remember when-

The New York Times has taken the unusual step of publishing an op-ed in which parts of the contents have been “redacted” or blacked out by government censors, who believe that its contents would reveal “sensitive” information that the White House wants to withold.

The authors Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann made available a set of publicly-available sources of information which they had “provided…to the board to demonstrate that all of the material the White House objected to is already in the public domain.” However, as they noted, “to make sense of much of our Op-Ed article, readers will have to read the citations for themselves.”

RAW STORY has examined these sources and has attempted to connect the previously published materials to the redacted paragraphs in the op-ed.

Go here.

Among the things you learn is…the Bush regime wanted Tehran to keep Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the brutal pro-Al Qaeda warlord, from returning to Afghanistan to lead jihadist resistance there.

Which Iran did, Bush then said in the January 2002 State of the Union address, how evil Iran was because they harboured Al Qaeda, ie he asked them to hold him there, they did, then Bush says they are harbouring a terrorist. See how that works?

There is also much about the MEK, Afghanistan and also the way Bush and Cheney turned down Iranian offers of talks. And all this redacted by the government in the NYT (free press?) in order to keep up the animosity towards Iran and cover up neocon lies in the service of more conflict. (ht2 Iran Affairs)

Murderers Christmas


Cressida Dick spoof ad from Xmas edition of Private Eye

Private Eye also has a report on the inquest (No. 1226 page 7) which makes the point that had they not been so limited by the coroner who ‘sympathised greatly’ with the killers of Jean Charles de Menezes, they may well have brought in a gross negligence manslaughter verdict based on their responses to the 12 questions the coroner inflicted on them. Such a verdict which ‘can only be bought if an individual or individuals are responsible for a series or errors or if there is systemic failure’ would have been uncontroversial from the known facts, it is what happened with the killing in the best case scenario for the police (worst case is premeditated racist animus on the part of the shooter enabled by an institutionally racist, incompetent, unaccountable and authoritarian police force). However that was avoided by the very accommodating coroner who showed how he earned his knighthood… excusing establishment perjury and stopping a jury of the public from making a free decision thus excusing the state from responsibility for murder.

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Recession Repression Regression: Bailiffs

New Labour push on with empowering bailiffs with greater state sanctioned violence. The proposals, first floated in February, now seem likely as the government reaction to recession is to bailout financiers while giving the mechanism for house repossession greater legal protection over use of force-

The Government may increase the powers of debt collectors despite concerns that the industry is poorly controlled. The new rules, allowable under legislation already passed by Parliament but not yet enacted, would give bailiffs the right to restrain or pin down householders.

Bailiffs are expecting a big increase in business over the next year as tens of thousands of Britons experience financial problems during the forthcoming recession. The Council of Mortgage Lenders has forecast that 75,000 homes will be repossessed next year and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to be pursued for unpaid debts.

Ministers are now consulting on whether to increase the range of powers available to bailiffs under the law. They are currently only able to use force in self defence. The circumstances under which bailiffs can break into people’s homes may also be widened. At the moment, guidelines only allow homes being broken into when the owner is suspected of being inside.

The Government insists that any new powers would be overseen by an industry watchdog. Bailiffs would also be barred from searching people’s pockets or forcibly removing jewellery.

They have repeated the idea this would only occur within the context of greater regulation of the industry, however the legislation covering force is already passed yet bailiffs remain poorly regulated and no reforms are currently before parliament. So Mr Fib is visiting perhaps. Justin @ Chicken/Turkey Yoghurt has it right –

You could call this another front in New Labour’s war on the poor but the thing is, they way things are going right now, the number of people who could end up on the receiving end of this is growing by the day. It’ll probably take a nice, respectable white middle-class stockbroker, who’s down on his luck and has photogenic children, to be killed or seriously injured before people realise that this isn’t just about keeping the underclass nervous.

There are also a couple of good comments in The Times page on this-

May I suggest, then, as a way of defense, that you all arm yourselves. I know we get a lot of flak from the world because Americans are so violent. It’s true. However, anyone breaking into my house to take my possessions for any reason will not leave the house in the same condition he came in.
Willow, Oregon, USA

We need to organise volunatary rapid-reaction bailiff response teams.
These people would provide a physical barrier for the property and being private, uninvoled citizens, could not be assaulted by the bankers thugs without redress. We have to take back our liberty.
Paul, Birmingham, England

Both good, while the community reaction is probably the best long term proposal, I shed zero tears for bailiffs, as before the joke goes- Russians have a word for how to deal with them- Kalashnikov.

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Oh The Humanity!

“People are horrified. They are frightened of being exposed. They don’t know how to go on,” said a Boston-area psychologist, cited in an interesting story by Svea Herbst of Reuters: “Many duped investors have been left with a sense of betrayal so strong that it will cause severe psychological scars, said Dr. James Grubman, a psychologist who counsels wealthy families in the Boston area struggling with the emotional issues of having money.”

Maybe if I get a paypal button we could all just pull together, collect some money and help these poor, poor lambs. Even if they don’t lose any money, they need help (is mo’ money, mo’ problems on his card?) . C’mon people, therapy doesn’t pay for itself!

[Note to self- Best scam evah! Treating rich idiots for being rich, why did I not become a psychologist? Dammit!]

Check his site –Family Wealth Consulting, absolute genius!

Dr. Jim Grubman of FamilyWealth Consulting works with families of wealth, family businesses, and the advisors who serve them.  Using skills developed as a psychologist for over 30 years, he helps individuals and families understand and overcome the natural dilemmas of acquired or inherited wealth.  He also teaches, trains, and collaborates with the many important advisors in clients’ lives.  The goal – to help those with good fortune achieve their greatest potential.

Pass the tissues, I’m overcome (steady).

Human Rights Defenders Center Shut Down By Tehran Police

Payvand– TEHRAN — Iranian security forces have raided and closed the Tehran office of the human rights center run by 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.

In an interview with RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, Narges Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Human Rights Defenders Center, said 10 to 15 uniformed and plainclothes security agents entered the watchdog’s office in northwest Tehran as members, including Ebadi herself, were preparing to belatedly commemorate the 60th anniversary of Human Rights Day on December 10.

“I asked them to show their legal warrants,” Mohammadi told RFE/RL, “but they declined to show any authorization. Now, there are 10 to 15 agents in the building, and they are filming us.”

Mohammadi said 200 to 300 guests had been invited to the celebration but that they had been barred from entering.

“This is an illegal act,” she said. “They had no kind of authorization of any kind. They are sealing the office, and our resistance is useless.”

In an interview with the French news agency AFP, Ebadi condemned the crackdown but vowed that human rights advocates in Iran would be unfazed.

“Shutting down the office without a warrant is illegal, and we will protest,” she said. “Obviously, such a move does not have a positive message for other rights activists in Iran, but my colleagues and I will fulfill our duties under any circumstances.”

Ebadi used a UN forum in Geneva on Human Rights Day to condemn hard-liners in power in some Muslim countries and rulers of the world’s last communist states as abusers of human rights. She said Muslim dictatorships use religion to underpin their own power.

Eve of Destruction

Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni and Israel’s ambassadors around the world are preparing to launch a global effort in a bid to secure backing for the anticipated operation in the Gaza Strip.

The campaign is intended to create an ‘international umbrella’ of support for the intensification of military action against Hamas, and possibly prevent the passing of UN Security Council resolutions against Israel.

As reported by Ynet, the triumvirate of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Livni ruled in favor of the operation in a clandestine meeting last Thursday. The international diplomatic groundwork was one of the steps the three agreed would have to precede the operation.

The diplomats singled out three key dates in the near future: January 9th – when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to step down, the changing of the guard in Washington on January 20th with the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, and the general elections in Israel on February 10th. It was also noted in the meeting that the Christian world will soon be celebrating Christmas and New Year’s.

The first will see Livni speaking with her counterparts around the world. The second will send Israel’s diplomats stationed abroad to explain the situation to both the public and the leadership of their respective host countries. And the third calls for Livni to meet with the foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel, some of whom she will take on a tour of the rocket-battered town of Sderot and its neighboring communities.

Ignoring that Hamas did not renew the truce because Israel broke it in November while continuously besieging Gaza, yet most media only report Hamas as being responsible for the truce failing. It’s going to be murder in Gaza, first starved, now in for the kill. Colonisation as usual and an arms race of brutality to fuel political careers-

Tzipi Livni, currently the Israeli foreign minister, said on Sunday that her primary goal if she wins the February election is to overthrow Hamas. “The Hamas government in Gaza must be toppled, the means to do this must
be military, economic and diplomatic,” she said. “Whenever they shoot at Israel, Israel must respond.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud party leader and Livni’s main rival, made similiar statements. “In the long-term, we will have to topple the Hamas regime,” he said. “In the short-term … there are a wide range of possibilities, from doing nothing to doing everything, meaning to conquer Gaza.”

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