The U.S. School That Trains Dictators & Death Squads – YouTube

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=1bwyxuhq5FE

28 minute video from Abby Martin.
The history is known- long and incidious. Latin America has paid the price of US imperialism.

The lessons are there to be learned because the plots continue across the globe.
What is happening in the Middle East is no accident and is not civil war and it is playing out in your neck of the woods.

Adani and the Wangan and Jagalingou people

Adani the transnational mining company states on it’s site….
The Adani Group is an integrated business employing about 9,000 people across its operations, whichspan several countries. We are a young and dynamic organisation with trust, courage and innovation at the core of our values.
Companies like this sprout shit. They talk of trust….they speak about indiginous ‘participation’. Bollocks!
Then they say…
We respect the traditional owners of the land

Adani has always positively engaged with traditional owners and has come to agreements with all relevant groups regarding Cultural Heritage and has signed Cultural Heritage Management Plans  with all relevant groups.

It has always been Adani’s policy to reach mutual agreement with all groups and sign Indigenous land Use Agreements (ILUA) that cover the Adani Mine, Rail and Port projects. Negotiations have resulted in two ILUAs signed, two with agreements in Principle reached and we will always continue to work constructively with indigenous stakeholders.

BUT WAIT….
THATS ONLY IF THEY GET WHAT THEY WANT…..

It’s Adrian Burragubba here. I’m writing to you again because we need your help. 

After I first wrote to you and others, were overwhelmed by the response. To know Wangan and Jagalingou people that more than 90,000 people have chosen to stand with us as we fight to protect our land and our culture from Adani has given us real strength and confidence. On behalf of Wangan and Jagalingou people who are opposed to this mine, we sincerely thank you. 

But Adani is playing dirty, and the fight is even bigger than we expected. 

we rejected Adani’s offer to exploit our land they took aggressive legal action to overrule our rights just six days later. Now we have to fight to protect our land in court. 

They have betrayed our trust and are getting set to destroy our land and our culture. You’ve pledged your support, but now I’m going to have to ask you, if you can, to help me again. 

We face losing everything that is our inheritance. But to mount this fight to protect our heritage, we need more than our conviction and courage. We desperately need funds to mount a legal challangeand appeal against Adani’s action. Can you please make a donation so we can fight Adani in court? 

Adani is trying everything, and from the beginning have shown their arrogant, disrespectful treatment of our law and customs. They have misrepresented us, and they have betrayed us. They have now taken action to remove our rights through a legal system designed to favour big mining over the rights of Indigenous peoples. It seems they’ll stop at nothing to get their mine, which will destroy our ancestral land and the underpinnings of our lore and culture. 

If we can raise enough money, we will appeal the National Native Title Tribunal’s decision to allow the Queensland Government to issue mining leases to Adani, despite our refusal to enter an agreement with the company. The Tribunal even recognised that we have not given our consent or agreement to the mine, but still overruled our internationally recognised rights in favour of Adani. 

The Tribunal has sanctioned the destruction of our ancestral lands and cultural heritage on the grounds that it’s in the ‘public interest’. We will contest the idea that building one of the world’s largest coalmines is good for the people and the country. 

Our right to self-determination and free, prior, and informed consent is being trampled. 

We have to fight back, but we can only do it with the help of our supporters. Can you please get behind us to fight for our rights and our land in court by donating to our fighting fund? 

The truth is we’re up against a multi-billion dollar company and a legal system that makes it very tough for traditional owners. We know we’ve got a strong, righteous case to run, but we’re not going to leave it at that. 

We’ll continue to fight for our rights through the courts, and look to international law if need be. We will visit investment banks around the world to stop the project getting funding. And if it comes to it, we will take our fight all the way to the United Nations. 

This fight will define our people and be a landmark moment for Indigenous rights and climate change in Australia. Can you help us defeat Adani by donating to our fighting fund? 

Adani think they can walk all over us but they’ve never seen anything like this. Our lands and our way of life, and the legacy of our ancestors, mean too much to our people to rollover. We are here to fight and we won’t stop until our land is protected. 

Adrian Burragubba, 
on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council 
for the Wangan and Jagalingou people 

David Hicks and the Australian ‘political judgment’ override on legal matters and it’s citizens

The David Hicks story is one that if you read his own book “Guantanamo- My Journey” Heinemann 2010 reads like a ‘wrong guy in the wrong place with the wrong passport’ tale. His ex US Army lawyer, Michael ‘Dan’ Mori who bravely championed the legal rights of Hicks, remains high on my list of people I respect. He now lives in Melbourne.

American lawyer Michael Mori with two of his three sons, Enrico (far left) and Dante. Photo, Simon Schluter (SMH 2012)

American lawyer Michael Mori with two of his three sons, Enrico (far left) and Dante. Photo, Simon Schluter (SMH 2012)

The timeline of events from David Hicks leaving Australia at 24 years old, on a ‘one-way ticket to Pakistan’ in 1999, through his capture by the Northern Alliance Mujahadeen in Afghanistan in December 2001,  ‘sale’ to the US army for $5,000,  ‘Interview’ by Australian intelligence officials aboard the USS Peleliu and transfer to Gitmo on Jan11 2002 for a 5 year period of incarceration and unfathomable torture, legal fight and eventual winning of his legal challenge to his terrorism conviction before a military court on February 19th this year can be seen here http://www.abc.net.au/news/2007-05-18/a-timeline-of-key-events/2552220

The response of our venerable leader extraordinaire?

When Toe Knee Ahh But…was asked if he thought David Hicks’s conviction should be overturned, he was reported by the ABC to have, (full article here)

advised Australians not to “fret” about an old terrorist threat.

“This is a matter for the lawyers. I will leave it for the lawyers,” Mr Abbott said.

“If I may say so, the important thing is not to fret about an old terrorist threat, it’s to focus on the current terrorist threat which is real, which is serious.”…………

Mr Abbott said Australia “did what was needed” to help Mr Hicks.

Let’s not forget whatever the legalities, and this was essentially a matter for an American court dealing with American law, he was up to no good on his own admission,” the Prime Minister said.

“I’m not in the business of apologising for the actions that Australian governments take to protect our country.”

I have read Hick’s book and can see nowhere that Australia “did what was needed” to help Mr Hicks, nor did I see any such thing happen over the years he was in Guantanamo. The struggle of his father Terry was heartwrenching. Even the Brits got their citizen’s home before Hicks was released. But of course we continue to lock up asylum seekers including children in ‘ofshore’ hell holes.

I have reposted below Binoy Kampmark’s recent article that clearly states Australia’s so-called ‘help’ for our citizen. And below the article Steve Earl’s song “John Walker Blues” from his 2002 album Jerusalem because this (then 20 year old) US citizen still languishes in gaol on a 20year sentence in the US following dubious ‘process’ in the US court system. I must add I don’t know this man’s ‘story’ but insights are there in Earl’s song, and Walker’s father’s story to the Guardian in 2011, here http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jul/10/john-walker-lindh-american-taliban-father

 

David Hicks and the Death of a Legal System

Global Research, February 20, 2015
Article in full, below (site here in new tab)

 

In the annals of obscene legal history, that of David Hicks, whose terrorism conviction was just quashed by the United States Court of Military Commission Review, must rank highly.[1]  It is also instructive on various levels: what is says about his treatment by the US legal system; and what it reveals about the attitudes of the Australian government. 

Australians tend to demonise or sanctify their legal villains, casting a social net around them that either protects, or asphyxiates them.  If one is an Irish scribbling horse thief with murderous tendencies and eccentric battle dress sense, then one is bound to get a spot in the hero’s pantheon.  The book collecting, education promoting judge who sentenced him to death receives the opposite treatment: snubbed by the juggernaut of historical folklore.

Hicks, from the start, was not quite that horse thief, Ned Kelly.  But he did engage in the mischief that would earn him demerit points after September 11, 2001.  He travelled to Pakistan. He spent time at al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.  He drank of that radicalisation soup that has gotten Europe, Australasia and the United States worried.

In the scheme of grand power politics, he found himself involved with an organisation that did not always have the official designation of terrorism – after all, elements of al Qaeda, and their hosts, the Taliban, had been recipients of US-funding during and in the aftermath of the Cold War.  The Taliban’s opponents, the Northern Alliance, captured Hicks, and surrendered him to the US in late 2001.

In confinement within the Guantánamo camp system, subject to around the clock artificial light, inedible food, forced drugging, beatings and a range of other indignities, Hicks received the brunt of juridical inventiveness.  The US Military Commissions, designed to specifically target non-US citizens, was born.  Being neither courts-martial nor civilian courts, they amputated due process and merged the role of jury and judge.  The rule on hearsay was thrown out.  The commissions restricted the accused’s right to hear all the evidence. Appeals to any other court, foreign or US, would be cut. And the death penalty might well be applied.

In 2006, the US Supreme Court in Hamdan v Rumsfeld held that the Bush administration did not have the power to create such commissions without Congressional authorisation, a feature that ran foul of such instruments as the Geneva Conventions.[2]  Not to be deterred, the then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard kept insisting that “I do not want [Hicks] to come back to Australia without first facing trial in the United States.”  Let the Americans do it, “because if he comes back to Australia he can’t be tried”. Hicks, in other words, was already guilty in the minds of Australia’s top officials.  “Of what?” posed his military defense lawyer Michael Mori. “Howard didn’t know.  How should he be tried?  Howard did not know.”

Hicks became the first, and most dubious scalp, of the reconstituted commission system.  Much of the account of his defence is discussed by Mori, a freshly recruited defence lawyer who was rapidly blooded in the byzantine legal labyrinth being constructed around his client.  His account, discussed in In the Company of Cowards (2014) reflects, not merely on Hicks defence, but the atrophying of a legal system.

Two vital issues came up in Hicks’s attempt to seek his ultimately successful appeal.  The first central legal disfigurement here lay in the pre-trial machinations that placed Hicks on the road to conceding guilt for a lesser sentence.  In accepting this “Alford plea”, the hope was to insulate the entire treatment of his plight, and by implication those in similar cases, from further legal scrutiny.

On March 30, 2007, Hicks pleaded guilty to the dubious charge of providing material support “from in or about December 2000 through in or about December 2001,… to an international terrorist organisation engaged in hostilities against the United States, namely al Qaeda, which the accused knew to be such an organization that engaged, or engages in terrorism”. The rather inventive, and retrospective charges, had been brought in February 2007, with the attempted murder charge subsequently dropped.

He was then sentenced to confinement for seven years, with the question on what would count to time already served. (The latter point is important: the prosecutors were reluctant to budge on the issue, but conceded to the balance of nine months.)   On May 20, 2007, Hicks returned to Australia, serving time at Adelaide’s Yatala prison, and was out by December.

What was significant in this case was that Hicks, his defense counsel and the convening authority had signed a pre-trial agreement indicating that the appellant had offered to plead guilty to the first charge provided he “voluntarily and expressly waive all rights to appeal or collaterally attack my conviction, sentence, or any other matter relating to this prosecution whether such a right to appeal or collateral attack arises under the Military Commission Act of 2006, or any other provision of the United States or Australian law.”

Then comes a good deal of legal stumbling.  The review commission, after accepting it had jurisdiction over the appeal, attacked the verdict in a very specific way.  The first waiver was deemed to have been made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily.  Hicks’s pre-trial agreement was deemed favourable.  He was granted concessions.  But failure to resubmit “his appellate waiver within 10 days after the convening authority provide notice of action invalidated his appellate waiver.”

“There is insufficient indication… that the appellant reiterated his desire to not appeal within 10 days.”  In other words, Hicks had not given sufficient grounds to show that he had waived his right of appeal. “Thus we hold the waiver is invalid and unenforceable.”  The result: “The findings of guilty are set aside and dismissed and the appellant’s sentence is vacated.”

The second point noted by the review commission, citing the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit case of Al Bahlul (2014) was that “it was a plain ex post facto violation” to try a person for the offense of providing material support to terrorism after the fact.  It was a “prejudicial error” that required a vacation of the conviction.  While Al Bahlul’s plea was different from Hicks, “those differences do not dictate a different result.”  Hicks, in other words, had been bludgeoned by unlawful retrospective punishment.

In a most conspicuous way, the treatment offered to Hicks did not merely violate every sacred canon of presumed innocence, it suggested a new legal order, one stacked with ghastly, Kafka-like qualifications.  In the sinister legal purgatory of Guantánamo, Hicks could suffer Washington’s own version of a disappearance, with connivance from a subservient Canberra.

Australia’s political authorities continue that line, trumpeting a view that validates outsourcing torture, detention and confinement of its own citizens.  (They can’t even be patriotically indecent enough to inflict cruelties on their own people.)  Showing a continuing tendency to ignore evidence placed before him, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was resolute about the quashed sentence.  “David Hicks was up to no good and I’m not in the business of apologising for the actions the Australian government takes to protect our country.”  (The statement would better read “inaction” in the name of Australian security.)

Others have preferred to ignore the procedure as a trifle.  Commercial radio stations such as Sydney’s 2UE suggested that the quashing of terrorism convictions did not imply he was a “saint”.[3]  “He may be legally innocent, but not absolved of the guilt he did [sic].”  Guilt has many shades, and such arguments fittingly ignore the one critical issue in all of this: that of the law.  In the realms of such debate, a sober middle ground is nigh impossible.

The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, proved surprisingly qualified in his statements.  “There is no doubt on one hand David  Hicks was probably foolish to get caught up in that Afghanistan conflict, but clearly there has been an injustice done to him” (The Daily Telegraph, Feb 19).

The troubling feature of the findings by the review commission is that, at its heart, little is made of the plea bargain system itself.  Nor is the entire military commission process examined in its crude corrosion of judicial protections.  The conviction was quashed because it violated a procedural requirement, and a judicial requirement.  Invalidating a badly understood waiver is one thing; invalidating the entire process of how he was dealt with, quite another.  We can at least take heart from the fact that the judges were aware of ex-post facto nastiness.

For that reason, the fate of Hicks remains the greatest affirmation of fiendish legal inventiveness, the sort of cleverness that threw the law book out in favour of gossip, arbitrariness and political judgment. It is one the US legal system has, and continues, to pay dearly for.  The Australian citizen, on the other hand, can always rely on his or her own government to surrender liberties at the drop of the judicial hat, an anaemic form of patriotism if ever there was one.  Washington, right or wrong, will have its day.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Miami Five home! (Finally)

 In my e-mails this morning……………….

Today at 7:21 AM

VIDEO: “Israeli Control of Congress”, American intelligence team [FIRST TIME IN HISTORY!] gave a military briefing at ‘Damascus Terror Conference’, to an audience of key military leaders of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia

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sedwith:

Must see video: Gordon Duff speaks in Damascus on US Policy links to organised crime and Israeli control of policy, John McCain and his Da’ash IS gangs and Chuck Hegals role in preventing US bombing of Syria over ‘gas attacks’.

 

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

Israeli Control of Congress Cited in Terrorism Keynote

Russian and US delegations chiefs with Barakat of Syria reading findings-750

Damascus Terror Conference Gets a Taste of “AIPAC’s” Criminal Ties

By Gordon Duff, Veteran Today Senior Editor

Two days of meetings were brought to a screeching halt when Gordon Duff spoke at the Damascus conference.

Seated on his right, and speaking next, was Colonel James Hanke, US Army Special Forces (ret). On his left, the Syrian Minister of Justice Najm al Ahmad and Mike Harris. Handling the camera on this short video is Jim W. Dean.

.

.

This may well have been the first time in history an American intelligence team of “non-activists” gave a military briefing to an audience of this type, including key military leaders of diverse tribal forces throughout Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, a Russian delegation and others from around the world.

VT_s Colonel Jim Hanke, former Attache to Israel VT’s Colonel Jim Hanke…

View original 245 more words

the real Syrian Free Press

Israeli Control of Congress Cited in Terrorism Keynote

Russian and US delegations chiefs with Barakat of Syria reading findings-750Russian and US delegations chiefs with Barakat of Syria reading findings

Damascus Terror Conference Gets a Taste of “AIPAC’s” Criminal Ties

By Gordon Duff, Veteran Today Senior Editor

Two days of meetings were brought to a screeching halt when Gordon Duff spoke at the Damascus conference.

Seated on his right, and speaking next, was Colonel James Hanke, US Army Special Forces (ret). On his left, the Syrian Minister of Justice Najm al Ahmad and Mike Harris. Handling the camera on this short video is Jim W. Dean.

.

.

This may well have been the first time in history an American intelligence team of “non-activists” gave a military briefing to an audience of this type, including key military leaders of diverse tribal forces throughout Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, a Russian delegation and others from around the world.

VT_s Colonel Jim Hanke, former Attache to IsraelVT’s Colonel Jim Hanke, former…

View original post 243 more words

Xanana Gusmao PM of Timor Leste speaks at the UN General Debate

http://webtv.un.org/watch/timor-leste-general-debate-69th-session/3808487676001

Watch 30 minutes of SANITY in the UN from a tiny, poor nation with INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Timor-Leste, General Debate, 69th Session 25 Sep 2014 –

Statement by His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste at the general debate of the 69th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (New York, 24-30 September 2014).

Syria: Aleppo IDP’s including Children Killed as U.S. bombs Syria.

So much for the US “air campaign” looks a lot like the Israeli one on Gaza where civilian deaths don’t matter if they’re Arab.

They apparently underestimated the terrorist threat in Syria and overestimated the capacity of their US trained Iraqi’s. Perhaps if they had not supported the Nusrats and their funders and perhaps if they had not trained the IS they wouldn’t be in this invidious position……of course who will say ‘WAR CRIMES BY US”

Will our Australian ‘top guns’ join them in bombing Syria or will the US send their UAE buddies to do the dirty work like they are in Libya?

Global Research Article link below.

Syria: Children Killed as U.S. Targets Mysterious Al-Qaeda Splinter Group Worse than ISIS.