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Atlantic Free Press News

Mon

27

Oct

2008

Depletion And Abundance - Protecting our Families and Future - Book review by Carolyn Baker
Monday, 27 October 2008 14:07
by Carolyn Baker

When I realized that everything was going to change, I was at first afraid. Because I  thought, if my government or public policy or other choices weren't going to fix everything, what could I possibly do? What hope was there, if I had to take care of myself, if my community had to take care of itself?

But when I began looking for solutions that could be applied on the level of ordinary human lives, that involved changes in perspectives and pulling together, the reclamation of abandoned ideas and the restoration of strong communities, I began to feel hopeful, even excited. Because I realized that when large institutions cease to be powerful, sometimes that means that people start being powerful again.(10)

I consider the above quote by Sharon Astyk the absolute crux of her extraordinary book. Having read every book I've been able to get my hands on regarding collapse preparation, I was at first uncertain about what Sharon might have to offer us that would be new and refreshing. However, that concern was quickly assuaged when I opened Depletion and Abundance. 
 

Thu

24

Jul

2008

Bush Looks to His (Secret) Legacy
Thursday, 24 July 2008 11:17
by Jason Leopold

George W. Bush, who has expanded his power to access the e-mails and other electronic communications of Americans, is resisting congressional demands that White House e-mails be saved for later research by historians.

Bush signaled he would veto a House-passed bill that seeks to overhaul the Presidential and Federal Records Act to ensure that e-mails and other government documents are preserved in the age of the Internet.

The measure passed the House, 286-137, on Wednesday, after congressional investigations revealed that the Bush administration apparently purged millions of e-mails and that dozens of administration officials used e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee to conduct official White House business and thus evade federal records laws.
 

Sun

18

May

2008

Nature Adds to Occupation Blows
Sunday, 18 May 2008 13:53
by Dahr Jamail and Ahmed Ali

BAQUBA, May 15 (IPS) - Farmers in the Diyala province in Iraq have been hit by just about every crisis possible. First the security disaster dried up supplies and markets, then lack of electricity cut irrigation, and now comes a drying up of water resources.

Nothing now seems more difficult in Iraq than the business of farming.

"The shortage of water is the biggest threat that Iraqi agriculture has ever faced," an employee in the directorate-general of irrigation for Diyala province, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "It threatens not only food but also employment in this city (Baquba, capital of the province).
 

Sat

10

May

2008

Running Out of Water in Rising Heat
Saturday, 10 May 2008 00:18
by Dahr Jamail and Ahmed Ali

BAQUBA, May 9 (IPS) - Water supply is drying out in what was once the agriculturally rich Diyala province north of Baghdad. Baquba, the capital city of Diyala, is now running out of water both for drinking and for irrigation.

Water supply has been hit by power failures. The central pumping station has been running short of electricity supply over the last two years.

The pumping station is located between two districts in conflict — Hwaider, which is predominantly Shia, and Jupenat, mostly Sunni. For two years now, fighting between Sunnis and Shias here has led to reduced water supply.

"The Diyala river passes by the two villages before the pumping station," resident Zuhair Mahmood told IPS. "They try to change its stream to deprive the other of water for irrigating their farms. The diversions mean relatively little water can reach the station."

Often, Mahmood added, "farmers irrigate their farms by setting up pumps on the banks of the river, which further contributes to reduced supply to the station."

Some farmers have demanded that the pumping station be supplied directly from the Diyala river upstream of the conflict area.
"But this suggestion was rejected because people know that the Diyala river carries the bodies of those killed in the sectarian fighting," said Abdul-Qadir Omran, a now unemployed trader. "It is not good for drinking, and psychologically it is unacceptable."
 

Fri

09

May

2008

Office Of Special Counsel Raided By Fbi - Agency Head and Staff Suspected of Obstructing Justice
Friday, 09 May 2008 22:37
ATLANTIC FREE PRESS - Washington, DC — In a notably ironic turn of events, FBI agents raided the office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch this morning, seizing computers and documents as part of an ongoing obstruction of justice investigation. Bloch, who is charged with protecting federal whistleblowers, has been under investigation for, among other things, whistleblower retaliation within his own agency.

Marshall Chriswell, Communications Director of the National Whistleblower Center issued the following statements on this issue:
"It is shocking that the individual who is primarily responsible for investigating federal whistleblower complaints would be the target of an investigation in which he and his staff are suspected of obstructing justice."

"The Bush administration must take whistleblower protection seriously, relieve Mr. Bloch of his position, and appoint a Special Counsel who possesses the necessary qualifications and integrity to do the job right."
 

Tue

06

May

2008

Four Palestinian media men were killed since the third of last May
Tuesday, 06 May 2008 09:24
ATLANTIC FREE PRESS - As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day on third of May, we fell sad for the retreat of Palestinian media since the celebration of this day last year, due to the serious violations that occurred, especially the killing of four media men (Suleiman Al-A'shi, Mohammed Abdu from Felesteen newspaper, Isam Al-Jojou from Felesteen Mubasher site news, by Palestinian armed groups, and Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana'a, by the Israeli occupation forces, they also tried to kill Aqsa TV cameraman Imad Ghanem deliberately, which led to the amputation of his legs.
 
The Israeli occupation forces continued attacks on journalists and media outlets in the occupied Palestinian territories, which have been continuing for several decades, to withhold their crimes and continuous violations of the Palestinian people rights, including the arrest of journalists such as Hassan Abdel Jawad, Waleed Khalid, Muhammad Halaiqa, Tarek Abu Zeid, closed media outlets such as Radio Al-Majd in Jenin, and raided and seized equipment from TV and Radio stations such as Gamma and Afaq TVs in Nablus city, Seraj and Manbar Alhureyah Radios in Hebron, opened fire and used tear gas bombs against journalists covering the weekly march in Bila'in Village (Ramallah) and a number of other areas, wounding many of them, In addition to other forms of attacks.
 

Fri

25

Apr

2008

National Coalition To Hold “Citizens Walk For Human Dignity”
Friday, 25 April 2008 07:50

ATLANTIC FREE PRESS - A national coalition of over 50 local, state and national organizations are participating in walk from Tucson to Phoenix beginning May 2 to call for an end to racially fomented hate crimes. The ten-day peaceful walk will end with a rally in downtown Phoenix on Mother’s Day, May 11, honoring mothers for teaching children to treat all human beings with equal dignity.

“We walk in support of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and join them in seeking the indictment and prosecution of any who willfully abuse the constitutional rights of citizens,” states organizer Jay Johnson-Castro. “American values and the future of our country are at stake when people live in fear and are terrorized.

Among the more than 50 organizations endorsing the event are:

LULAC National; Cesar Chavez March for Justice; National Indian Treaty Council;
Border Angels; Freedom Ambassadors; National Network for Immigration and Refugee Rights; Veterans for Peace; Derechos Humanos; Humane Borders; Gente Unida;
American Indian Movement; International Indian Treaty Council; Texas Indigenous Council; Border Ambassadors; Border Network for Human Rights; Southwest Workers Union; No Mas Muertes; LUPE; Somos America, the 42 member Phoenix coalition;
IUE-CWA/AFL-CIO; Labor Council for Latin American Advancement AFL-CIO;
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law; Dallas Peace Center and MADRES.

Groups as well as individuals are invited to participate in the walk for an hour, a mile, a day or whatever circumstances allow. The walk will begin immediately after a 10 a.m. rally on Friday, May 2 in downtown Tucson at the Plaza on South 6th Avenue, between 12th and 13th Streets.

For further information contact
Rick Romero Citizens Walk, Coordinator (602) 515-9844
Annette Sexton-Ruiz Citizens Walk, Assistant Coordinator (602) 505-4147

 

Tue

22

Apr

2008

Torture Question Hovers Over Chertoff
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 10:30
by Jason Leopold

John Yoo and some other Bush administration lawyers who built the legal framework for torture are now out of the U.S. government, but one still holds a Cabinet-level rank – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In the summer of 2002, Chertoff, then head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, offered assurances to the CIA that its interrogators would not face prosecution under anti-torture laws if they followed guidelines on aggressive techniques approved by the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where Yoo worked.

Those guidelines stretched the rules on permissible treatment of detainees by narrowly defining torture as intense pain equivalent to organ failure or death. Specific interrogation techniques were gleaned from a list of methods that the U.S. military feared might be used against American soldiers if they were captured by a ruthless enemy.

Three years ago, when Chertoff was facing confirmation hearings to be Homeland Security chief, the New York Times cited three senior-level government sources as describing Chertoff’s Criminal Division as fielding questions from the CIA about whether its officers risked prosecution if they employed certain harsh techniques.
“One technique the CIA officers could use under circumstances without fear of prosecution was strapping a subject down and making him experience a feeling of drowning,” the Times reported.
 

Tue

22

Apr

2008

CCR Supports National Lawyers Guild Call for Dismissal and Prosecution of John Yoo
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 08:33
by Marjorie Cohn

On April 1, a secret 81-page memo written by former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo in March 2003 was made public. In that memo, Yoo advised the Bush administration that the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel would not enforce U.S. criminal laws, including federal statutes against torture, assault, maiming and stalking in the detention and interrogation of enemy combatants. The week after the publication of Yoo's memo, the National Lawyers Guild issued a press release calling for the Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California to dismiss Yoo, who is now a professor of law there. The NLG also called for the prosecution of Yoo for war crimes and for his disbarment.

Two days later, the Center for Constitutional Rights released a letter supporting the NLG's call for Yoo’s dismissal and prosecution. CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren wrote, "The 'Torture Memo' was not an abstract, academic foray. Rather, it was crafted to sidestep U.S. and international laws that make coercive interrogation and torture a crime. It was written with the knowledge that its legal conclusions were to be applied to the interrogations of hundreds of individual detainees... And it worked. It became the basis for the CIA’s use of extreme interrogation methods as well the basis for DOD interrogation policy... Yoo’s legal opinions as well as the others issued by the Office of Legal Counsel were the keystone of the torture program, and were the necessary precondition for the torture program’s creation and implementation."
 

Thu

17

Apr

2008

"MISTAKEN IDENTITY - A 9/11 STORY"
Thursday, 17 April 2008 06:28
Have you heard about "MISTAKEN IDENTITY: Discovering Sikh Neighbors" - A 9/11 Story ? Have you seen the DVD film - winner of three first prize awards for documentary, directing and acting ? It is the first film produced for mainstream North America, UK and EU and part of a series of "getting to know the cultural and religious backgrounds of multicultural ethnic minority neighbors" in today's pluralistic society worldwide.

Filmmaker Vinanti Sarkar organizes joint fundraising screenings of MISTAKEN IDENTITY across the USA, Canada, UK and EU and India as part of a global media event, inviting partners to promote cultural and religious diversity in America. The demand has been incredible !!! regular demand from university libraries, college and school screenings. She is now working on JAIN ENLIGHTENMENT - A Way of Life" to introduce Ahimsa (Non-Violence), compassion, forgiveness and peace.

When PBS requested that we give the one hour TV program for "free", we moved across the USA and Canada successfully selling DVDs at the institutional Library Distribution rate of $250.00. for the classroom and auditorium teaching ethnic media, multicultural communications, divinity and comparative religions, modern and Asian anthropology, South Asian studies, human rights, tolerance, racial equality, etc., and strongly recommended for the attention of the Librarian. Most partners held fundraisers for their departments as a celebration of cultural diversity !!!

We have had great demand for screenings of MISTAKEN IDENTITY as "A Celebration of Cultural Diversity" from mainstream British viewers, across the UK and EU. Especially, in places where there are large communities of British Sikhs. It is a documentary film anchored by 22-year old Amanda Gesine, from Greenwich, CT, who discovers her Sikh neighbors after 9/11 for the first time. She never had a Sikh friend in school or college and strongly felt that racial profiling starts with ignorance and fear.

 

Mon

14

Apr

2008

Shia Battles Spread to Baquba
Monday, 14 April 2008 08:16
by Dahr Jamail and Ahmed Ali

BAQUBA, Apr 7 (IPS) - Battles between rival Shia groups have spread from Basra in the south to Baquba in the north.

Clashes between the Mehdi Army of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Badr Organisation militia of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) have been reported in the predominantly Shia district of Hwaider in Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province located 40 km northeast of Baghdad.

The fighting for control of Baquba has left at least seven dead and several more wounded, according to local doctors.
"Police chief Ghanim al-Qureyshi gave orders to control the fighting in this district very secretly," a policeman in the 2nd battalion told IPS on condition of anonymity. "The 2nd battalion of Iraqi police moved to Hwaider, whose people witnessed severe military clashes between the Mehdi Army and police."
The policeman said that U.S. jets and helicopters launched attacks to target Mehdi Army fighters. But rather than Mehdi Army members, two policemen were wounded, he said. "After that, U.S. troops stormed houses to search for the Mehdi militants." The policeman and two others said politicians from Diyala province attempted to conceal the incident.
 

Mon

31

Mar

2008

National Lawyers Guild Welcomes Discussion Of Racism Occasioned By Senator Barack Obama's Historic S
Monday, 31 March 2008 00:19
ATLANTIC FREE PRESS - In response to highly-publicized sound-bites from sermons by Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Sen. Barack Obama delivered an historic speech on racism, titled "A More Perfect Union."

Rev. Wright had strongly criticized the U.S. government for putting Indians on reservations, Japanese in internment camps, and Africans into slavery. He said, "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant. Because the stuff we have done overseas has now brought right back into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost." Rev. Wright did not justify the 9/11 attacks; he explained they were blowback for a vicious U.S. foreign policy.

Rev. Wright's words were not unlike those uttered by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. about the Vietnam War in 1968: "God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war. . . . And we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation. But God has a way of even putting nations in their place."
 

Fri

14

Mar

2008

Inspector General: High-Ranking Fbi Officials Approved Illegal Searches
Friday, 14 March 2008 06:39
ATLANTIC FREE PRESS (Netherlands): Today the Department of Justice Inspector General's office has released yet another report confirming that the highest ranking FBI counterterrorism officials violated the Patriot Act when authorizing warrantless searches of over 3000 phone numbers through the use of National Security Letters ("NSL"). These Letters, authorized under the Patriot Act, permit FBI managers to sign search warrants without judicial notification or approval.

Buried on pages 129-30 of today's report, the Inspector General found:
"More troubling, 11 blanket NSL's issued by [FBI] Headquarters officials in 2006 that sought telephone data on 3,860 telephone numbers did not comply with the Patriot Reauthorization Act requirements respecting these provisions, internal FBI policy, or both. We are concerned by the failure of senior Counterterrorism Division officials to comply with statutory requirements and internal policy regarding the issuance of NSL's and their failure to consult legal counsel."
The officials who signed the National Security Letters include the two highest ranking FBI counterterrorism managers, the current Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism.

Stephen M. Kohn, the President of the National Whistleblower Center, issued the following statements:
"The FBI continues to make grave errors within its counterterrorism program. These mistakes threaten both individual civil liberties and national security. It is unacceptable that over six years after the 9/11 attacks the FBI still does not understand basic rules governing counterterrorism operations. The FBI and Department of Justice have refused to listen to internal whistleblowers who have documented numerous problems within the counterterrorism program which threaten the safety of every American. Although the Inspector General has again documented problems with the abuses of the NSLs, they have refused to order changes in basic FBI policies which caused the NSL violations."
Mr. Kohn represents Bassem Youssef, the highest ranking Arab American FBI agent employed within the FBI's Counterterrorism Division. According to a report issued by the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility, the FBI illegally retaliated against Mr. Youssef after he reported deficiencies in the counterterrorism program to Congress and the Director of the FBI. On January 12, 2008, Mr. Youssef addressed a convention of the American Library Association and explained how the lack of subject matter expertise within the FBI was the root cause of the FBI's NSL fiasco.

Since 1988 the NWC has championed whistleblower protection. The NWC is currently supporting FBI Whistleblower Bassem Youssef, who has reported serious misconduct in the War on Terror, and the NWC is currently assisting Bunnatine Greenhouse (the former Army Corps of Engineers top contracting officer who opposed the no-bid multi billion dollar contracts awarded to Halliburton for the reconstruction of Iraq)

For more information, please visit www.whistleblowers.org and www.whistleblowersblog.org.

 
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