Archive for July, 2011

Terrorism Experts on Parade

Terrorism Experts on Parade

http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2011/07/27/terrorism-experts-on-parade/

Posted By Philip Giraldi On July 27, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 6 Comments

On Friday night and Saturday morning I scanned the newspapers and watched the usual after-the-fact nonsense on television in the wake of the horrific terror attack in Norway. The late edition of Friday’s Wall Street Journal featured a lead editorial blaming “jihadis” for the slaughter, an attack that was, per the editorial writer, launched because Norway is a liberal democracy. Even though it was a plausible turn on the “they hate us because of our freedom” argument, the Journal later expunged the editorial from its website. The New York Times meanwhile was quoting terrorism expert Will McCants, who also was blaming the carnage on Islamic militants, though both he and the Times later recanted. Over at the Washington Post, it was more of the same from the predictable and utterly reliable Zionist “conservative” Jennifer Rubin. Muslims are to blame, look no further.

At Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, blood was in the water and there was a virtual feeding frenzy, with a number of ready-at-hand “terrorologists” quick to pronounce that it was a Muslim deed and probably even linked to al-Qaeda, while the usual band of follow-on experts, including Christian Whiton, expounded for five minutes on the danger of Islamic terrorism even after conceding that the attack was carried out by a Norwegian who described himself as a Christian. Laura Ingraham and Liz Cheney were also quick to denounce the perfidious Muslims on Fox. “How could it be otherwise?” they asked.

On the NBC network on Saturday morning, Lester Holt interviewed a pundit who had been dutifully produced to explain what had occurred. He was Evan Kohlmann, who was described at the bottom of the screen as the network terrorism expert. Kohlmann had done his homework, and he stuck to his script, plausibly describing the likely link of the killer to extremist groups in northern Europe. But then he veered off to pursue his own particular fantasy. He said that the example of a single man killing a large number of people with a rifle and thereby paralyzing an entire country would likely serve as a teaching point for Islamic extremists who would do the same thing, rendering it unnecessary to learn how to make bombs and similar complicated devices. Kohlmann seemed to think that a Muslim could not work out how to buy a gun, aim at a crowd, and shoot it without outside help, or figure out that it is tougher to make a bomb than to pull a trigger.

It was somewhat intriguing that Kohlmann was giving advice on how to carry out a terrorist act, but it also seemed clear that he was trying to turn his narrative to somehow keep the terrorism focus on Islamists, even though it was already evident that they were not involved in any way in the incident. Other pundits followed suit, labeling the tragedy “domestic terrorism” to distinguish it from the Islamic variety. Lost amid all the shucking and jiving was the fact that hatred of Muslims undeniably served to motivate gunman Anders Behring Breivik.

Within the intelligence community and at the Pentagon, Kohlmann, like many of his expert colleagues, is widely considered a phony who has somehow ingratiated himself with those who want an affable young media resource who will say just the right things when it comes to terrorism, keeping the public suitably alarmed while exuding a facile expertise. His credentials and connections, are to say the least, unusual.

Kohlmann has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He is 32 years old and has never worked in law enforcement, intelligence, or the military. Everything he knows about terrorism comes from his apparent obsession with the subject and his research in libraries and, more often, over the Internet. In other words, his actual exposure to terrorism and terrorists is largely academic or derivative in nature, and even there he is essentially self-taught. One observer has noted that “he appears to have risen almost without trace.”

Kohlmann does not have the tools that would normally be required even in the academic world to be considered well-informed. He does not speak or read any of the primary languages, such as Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, and Pashto, that relate to the terrorist groups that he focuses on. He has never even traveled to either Iraq or Afghanistan. While he claims to have compiled one of the world’s largest databases on terrorism, it appears to be in languages that he can deal with, meaning most probably English. That means that he is limited to secondary sources written by others when he does his research and analysis, and the material has to be in English or translated from another language into English. Does all of that taken together make him something less than an expert? Well, it depends on how you define that word, but most intelligence professionals would agree that without practical experience, he has no idea at all of counterterrorist operations, possesses no particular insights, and is not worth listening to.

But Kohlmann does have excellent credentials in the agenda-driven, neocon-dominated world of terrorism punditry, and that is what really counts, because association with right-wing or pro-Israel organizations is a sine qua non. He first became involved in studying terrorism during his freshman year at Georgetown University. In 1998, he began an internship with The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a think tank set up by Steve Emerson — a notably Islamophobic journalist who had also become a terrorism expert. Emerson, who also cannot speak any Middle Eastern languages, was one of the first to proclaim that Oklahoma City was an attack by Muslims, without producing any evidence whatsoever, arguing that “inflicting as many casualties as possible is a Middle Eastern trait.” He later claimed that the “U.S. has become occupied fundamentalist territory.” As Alexander Cockburn once observed, Emerson’s “prime role is to whitewash Israeli governments and revile their critics.”

At Emerson’s Investigative Project, Kohlmann was responsible for tracking Maghreb-based militant groups and monitoring websites, which soon became his particular interest despite his lack of any relevant language skills. He began writing articles on terrorism for The Journal of Counterterrorism & Security, one of which was co-authored with yet another comradely terrorism expert, Rita Katz. “Pandering to Terrorists” argued that calling Hezbollah a resistance group is a dangerous misconception because it is actually a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel and even the entire Western world. Katz, an Israeli Zionist who actually knows Arabic, later set up her own organization called Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE), which cherry-picks information from Arabic-language websites to keep government officials and private clients informed of the terror threat from Muslims.

Kohlmann has written a book, Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network. It postulates that Bosnian Muslims are linked in a worldwide conspiracy with al-Qaeda affiliates in Afghanistan and have successfully introduced the latter into Europe. One critic dryly noted that “Of all the Muslims in the world, Bosnian Muslims are irrefutably the most secularized ones … religion has always had a rather insignificant role in the social life of the Muslims in Bosnia. Given this incontrovertible fact, how can anyone even attempt to link the Muslims of Bosnia to the Muslims in Afghanistan? … Kohlmann bases his argument [that all Muslims were working together across the globe] on the fact that a small number of Mujahedeens arrived in Bosnia in 1992 in order to aid Bosnian Muslims in the war.”

Another critic described how sloppy and poorly edited the book was: “From the get go Mr. Kohlmann is making cardinal mistakes starting from names of the places, and people (even ex Croat president), to the flipping [of] geographical positions of numerous places in the book. Mr. Kohlmann’s writing … is flat out incorrect and far from the truth as one could get.” Kohlmann has also produced a video called The al-Qaida Plan, a documentary sponsored by the Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions. It was used as evidence during the Guantanamo trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, bin Laden’s chauffeur. The 90-minute video combines film clips showing the evolution of al-Qaeda from its formation in 1988 until the 9/11 attacks, including video of fighters training at a camp and gruesome photos of those killed in the East Africa embassy bombings. The chief prosecutor of the Guantanamo tribunal agreed that the film was prejudicial, which is exactly why it was shown, because it “props up the official government version of events on 9/11 and asserts that there was a coordinated ‘overarching conspiracy’ by operatives of Osama bin Laden to carry out the attacks.”

Kohlmann is also no stranger to the U.S. judicial system. He has frequently appeared in court as an “expert witness” paid for by the prosecution in terrorism cases, never for the defense, something that has been referred to as the “guilty-verdict industry.” This has bolstered his reputation and earnings, but for those unfamiliar with expert witnesses, the term is frequently a misnomer, with the prosecution or defense putting up someone who can plausibly make a case without necessarily possessing any real expertise. Kohlmann has provided testimony in 17 court cases in the United States, plus nine more in Europe. The cases are often “based on charges of conspiracy or supporting a terrorist organization, where the individual’s guilt is established by association … the demand for Kohlmann’s expertise by prosecutors is not surprising … [he] tends to demonize Islamist groups, and to link disparate groups and individuals into an encompassing narrative of international terrorism.”

There have been frequent challenges raised about Kohlmann’s expertise, both regarding his command of the facts and his analysis. A genuine “expert witness” should ideally have publications subjected to peer review or other intimate knowledge of the issue being examined. In one case, Kohlmann was supposed to be an expert on the Bangladeshi Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, but under cross examination “it transpired that he had never written any papers on the party, nor been interviewed about the group. He had never been to Bangladesh, could not name the country’s prime minister nor the name of the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami.” But he was still permitted by the court to be an expert witness.

Fortunately, sometimes a smarter-than-average judge will not be taken in. That actually happened to Kohlmann in London, where a judge downgraded him from expert witness to “fact witness” because a 19-page report produced by him on a Libyan group had clearly been completely researched on the Internet. In short, the judge ruled that Kohlmann had no direct knowledge of terrorism or terrorists relevant to the case.

Kohlmann is just one manifestation of the global war on terror’s big-money expert business. Like many of his colleagues, he is selling a product, and the product is all too often denigrating and targeting Muslims because he knows he will have access to the mainstream media to do so. Why does he do it? Partly because he knows that’s where the money is and partly because it has given him his moment of fame. Andy Warhol said someday everyone would have 15 minutes of fame, and it might be that this is Kohlmann’s time in the sun. Someday perhaps he will regret what he now does for a living, but, for the present, asking him to develop a conscience or a sense of responsibility would likely be to seek too much. In the meantime, he continues to do that which brought him to prominence: playing the role of an expert in order to arouse the same sort of fear in jury and military commission members as well as television viewers as neocon websites incited in the Norwegian terrorist.

Read more by Philip Giraldi


Neocons and Muslim Haters:

http://america-hijacked.com/2011/07/27/neocons-and-muslim-haters/

The Wall Street Journal (which is neocon influenced) And Jerusalem Post Publish Editorials Saying Norwegian Terrorist Had A Point

The Wall Street Journal (which is neocon influenced) And Jerusalem Post Publish Editorials Saying Norwegian Terrorist Had A Point

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/07/25/277863/wsj-jerusalem-post-norway-terrorist-had-a-point/

Neocons and Muslim haters

Council for the National Interest Foundation

 

Dear friends,

Below is information compiled by CNI’s Phil Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist. I hope you’ll share widely.

MEMO: CNI friends and allies

FROM: Phil Giraldi, Executive Director

There has been considerable commentary over the possibility that the terrorism in Norway will trigger a reaction against “conservative” websites and will stifle legitimate debate over immigration and asylum policies. But the websites in question are not conservative at all but rather neoconservative, and the only immigration they oppose is immigration by Muslims.

Some leading neoconservatives cited by Anders Behring Breivik in his rambling commentary are David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Pamela Geller, all of whom have been leaders in the indictment of Islam and each of whom is, not coincidentally, a vocal advocate of Israel and its policies. They are the alligators in the swamp that they have created and are now frantically engaged in distancing themselves from their words and deeds. But sometimes the truth will out.

Pamela Geller, who is one of a network of groups and individuals funded by elements within the pro-Israel lobby who are pushing Islamophobia on behalf of Israel, posted the following rambling message from a Norwegian admirer back in 2007. Could it have been Breivik? Possibly. He speaks of stockpiling weapons and violence.

Did Geller alert the Norwegian authorities? No, but she did make sure the Norwegian message was read by her thousands of supporters. Geller has removed the posting from her website but it can still be found through Google.

“I am running an email I received from an Atlas reader in Norway. It is devastating in its matter-of-factness:

‘Well, yes, the situation is worsening. Stepping up from 29,000 immigrants every year, in 2007 we will be getting a total of 35,000 immigrants from Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. The nation’s capital is already 50% Muslim, and they ALL go there after entering Norway. Adding the 1.2 births per woman per year from Muslim women, there will be 300,000+ Muslims out of the then 480,000 inhabitants of that city.

Orders from Libya and Iran say that Oslo will be known as Medina at the latest in 2010, although I consider this a PR-stunt nevertheless it is their plan.

From Israel the hordes clawing at the walls of Jerusalem proclaim cheerfully that next year there will be no more Israel, and I know Israel shrugs this off as do I, and will mount a strike during the summer against all of its enemies in the Middle East. This will make the Muslims worldwide go into a frenzy, attacking everyone around them.

 

Before, I thought about emigrating to Britain, Israel, USA, South Africa, etc. for taxes and politics, but instead (although I believe we are the very last generation on earth before the return of God) I will stay and fight for the right to this country and indeed the entire peninsula, for the God-fearing people, just in case this isn’t the end of the world after all. Doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan.

It’s far from impossible to achieve, after all my people has done it every time before, in feats that match the ancient Greek, Hebrew and British “legends”.

Oslo and the southeast may fall easily, but there are other lines than “state”-borders drawn across this country since long before there was even a single Muslim in the world, and we have held them this long, against everyone else too. We are entering a new golden age for my people, and those of a handful other countries, but only through struggle.

 

Breivik was reportedly also a regular poster on a similar blog run by Hans Rustad, a former left-wing, Jewish journalist who, like Geller, is extremely pro-Israel and, coincidentally, warns against ‘Islam-isation.’

As John Sugg, Max Blumenthal and others have exposed, pro-Israel neocons such as Geller are closely related to the growing hostility toward Muslims. We hope, but doubt, that the recent tragedy in Norway will cause them to re-think their actions, not simply try to hide them.

We also hope that others will not be taken in by their despicable manipulation.

 

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—————————————————
 
Draining the Swamp (by Philip Giraldi):
 
 
Terrorism Experts on Parade: (by Philip Giraldi)
 
 
Anders Brevik: Neo-conned
 

U.S. attack still significant al Qaeda goal: official

U.S. attack still significant al Qaeda goal: official

http://news.yahoo.com/u-attack-still-significant-al-qaeda-goal-official-200425228.html

What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? See testimony most didn’t!:

http://tinyurl.com/911motivation

Even General David Petraeus conveyed that US support for Israel against the Palestinians is a threat to US (scroll down to the Yemen comments at bottom of following link):

http://tinyurl.com/petraeusinnewstatesman

Miral, a new film by acclaimed director Julian Schnabel, is based on a book by Palestinian author Rula Jebreal

Miral, a new film by acclaimed director Julian Schnabel, is based on a book by Palestinian author Rula Jebreal

http://story.middleeaststar.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/940f2bfd509e743b/id/815618/cs/1/

Miral, the Movie:
 
 
Rula Jebreal on Charlie Rose (click on pic to watch):
 
 
We saw the same Israeli torture tactics (note when ‘Miral’ had the black bag put on her head just before she was beaten by the Israeli interrogator in the Israeli jail during the torture scene) in Iraq:
 
Israeli interrogators in Iraq:
 
 
Journalists Rula Jebreal and Issandr El Amrani on Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Hamas and Palestinian Authority
 
 
Rula Jebreal on Charlie Rose (click on pic to watch):
 
 
Devolution (Rula Jebreal was a guest as well):
 
 
One really has to read courageous Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ book after/before watching ‘Miral’ to understand what Deir Yassin (http://www.deiryassin.org/mas.html)  was about and read the following article by him as well:
 
Phil Weiss (of http://mondoweiss.net) who is Jewish mentioned (via following link) how even the left in the US ignores the suffering of the Palestinian people:
 
Phil Weiss’ response to Daily Kos ‘anti-Semitic’ smear
 
 
Occupation 101: Voices Of  The Silenced Majority: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28522.htm
 
CODEPINK’s Kristen Ess Schurr discusses Israeli Crimes against Humanity on USS Liberty Survivor Phil Tourney’s ‘Your Voice Counts’ radio show (scroll down to links at following URL):
 
 
 

Israel Attacks Gaza, Silence from Mainstream Media about Israeli Violations of International Law

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1kt8qi0M-M

If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing! VIDEO WAS CENSORED!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynWjYHP91gA

http://tinyurl.com/ifamericansknew 

What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? See testimony most didn’t!:

http://tinyurl.com/911motivation

See Los Angeles Times article near top of following URL:

http://tinyurl.com/motivation911

 
Even General David Petraeus conveyed that US support of Israel against the Palestinians is a threat to US troops!:
 
General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel (scroll down to the comments section at following URL):
 
 
Pro-Israel biased media threat to US Security (above New Statesman blog entry mentioned in following Press TV interview):
 
 
Israel and 9/11 (General Petraeus mentioned as well in following youtube):
 
 
Will Israel Kill Americans Again (by retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern who gave the daily intel brief to Bush, Sr. when he was VP under Reagan as Ray mentioned General Petraeus email exchanges in following article as well)?
 
 
Why They Attacked US on 9/11http://tinyurl.com/whytheyattackedUSon911
 
Don’t forget how Israel deliberately murdered and maimed Americans on the USS Liberty:
 
 
James and John Scott on FOX NEWS on USS Liberty attack 
 
 

US support for Israel against Palestinians motive for worst attack on CIA

 
 
 

The High Cost of Subservience to Israel (by Paul Findley):

http://tinyurl.com/subserviencetoIsrael

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http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/09/26/Commentary-Creeping-annexation/UPI-81551317035919/

Commentary: Creeping annexation

By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
UPI Editor at Large
WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) — In the perennial Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Barack Obama decided to enhance his 2012 re-election chances by giving his pro-Israel credentials a much-needed boost. By the same token Obama scuttled his chances of improving America ‘s image in the Arab world.

The Palestinians are no nearer to achieving statehood and U.N. membership. And the land for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues to shrink steadily as the ban on expanding Israeli settlements was lifted last spring.

New Jewish settlements aren’t authorized but the existing 141 Israeli settlements that house 320,000 in the West Bank — and another 215,000 in East Jerusalem — increase by several hundred dwellings at a time.

Last July 18, Israel issued bids to build 336 apartments in West Bank settlements. The Ministry of Construction and Housing spokesman said developers were being asked to compete to build 294 apartments in Beitar IlLit and 42 more in Karnei Shomron.

Area C is Israel’s designation for 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000 (out of 2.4 million) and where almost all Israeli settlements are located, including the road network that links them, and which Palestinians aren’t allowed to travel.

Residents of Khallet Zakariya, located in Area C south of Bethlehem , complained last month to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that Israeli authorities are demolishing their homes and settlers destroying their livelihoods in an effort to force the community to relocate.

Mohamed Khalil, 55, said Israeli settlers “ruined” a little more than an acre of his crop of grapes and plums and “spray painted” in black on the wall of his home a death warning to get out.

Khalil also told an OCHA rep that officials from the Civil Administration, the Israeli governing body that operates in the West Bank, came to see him with an offer to relocate his community of some 350 people to an area west of Bethlehem called Nahlin. He said he declined to abandon the land that his father cultivated.

Ido Hevroni, a resident of Alon Shvut (population: 3,000), south of Khallet Zakariya, says there is “peace between his community and Palestinian families” and that he is against “any illegal structure, Palestinian or Israeli.”

With Jewish settlement Bat Ayin located directly west and settlement Rosh Zurim directly to the north, residents of Khallet Zakariya complain there is a strategy to force them out to allow settlement expansion.

These vignettes of daily life in the West Bank demonstrate that the U.S. pledge of a “viable and contiguous” Palestinian state isn’t about to materialize.

The post-U.N. outlook now is for a third “intifada” or Palestinian insurrection, not suicide bombings as in the past, but demonstrations by Palestinian youth up and down the length of the Wall of Separation — a 420-mile-long electrified and fortified electronic barrier that snakes in and out of the West Bank and cost more than $2 billion to build. The 1967 border with Israel is 120 miles long.

Palestinians tested this new form of intifada last May — and got worldwide television news coverage. Israeli soldiers breaking up these demonstrations produced the kind of scenes that inflamed Arab streets.

It was under Israeli pressure that Facebook deleted a Web site that called for a third Palestinian intifada after it had quickly clocked 300,000 supporters.

It is this original 1967 border that Obama suggested become the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with minor adjustments and compensation for any loss of land — and which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu categorically rejected.

About 50 percent of the West Bank population is affected by the Wall through loss of land or isolation through de facto annexed areas. It also sits astride the West Bank ‘s water aquifer.

By rejecting the Palestinian demand to be recognized by the United Nations as a full-fledged member state, Obama lost what little goodwill he had recovered from his support for the NATO operation to dethrone Libya ‘s Moammar Gadhafi and from the way he tipped the balance against long-time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt .

By autumn, the Arab Spring was already shimmering like a desert mirage. Gadhafi was turning into an Arab Scarlet Pimpernel, the hero of the Reign of Terror that followed the start of the French Revolution.

The new military garrison chief for Tripoli is a man who was tortured in Thailand under the CIA’s rendition program. Abdelkarim Elhaj said with a sarcastic smile he isn’t holding it against Obama but he would like to see those involved brought to justice.

And in Egypt , the sight of Mubarak on a gurney being wheeled into a military court where America ‘s close friend for 30 years is accused of corruption, as the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist extremists prep their election campaigns, confident they’ll win 50 percent of the vote next November, Obama must be asking himself where he went wrong.

Netanyahu is convinced he has the correct game plan vis-a-vis the Palestinians. He says some are ignoring that Fatah, the moderate Palestinians, and Hamas, whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel , reconciled in May 2011.

The deal included an agreement to form a unity government and to have elections within a year. Israel made clear it would reject any deal that included Hamas.

For Hamas and other hard-liners, their idea of a permanent frontier is simple — the Mediterranean Sea . Hence, Netanyahu’s steadfast refusal to budge — and to go on expanding Jewish settlements.

——————————————————————————————-

How Israel takes its revenge on boys who throw stones
Video seen by Catrina Stewart reveals the brutal interrogation of young Palestinians
Friday, 26 August 2011
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/how-israel-takes-its-revenge-on-boys-who-throw-stones-2344037.htmlThe boy, small and frail, is struggling to stay awake. His head lolls to the side, at one point slumping on to his chest. “Lift up your head! Lift it up!” shouts one of his interrogators, slapping him. But the boy by now is past caring, for he has been awake for at least 12 hours since he was separated at gunpoint from his parents at two that morning. “I wish you’d let me go,” the boy whimpers, “just so I can get some sleep.”
During the nearly six-hour video, 14-year-old Palestinian Islam Tamimi, exhausted and scared, is steadily broken to the point where he starts to incriminate men from his village and weave fantastic tales that he believes his tormentors want to hear.
This rarely seen footage seen by The Independent offers a glimpse into an Israeli interrogation, almost a rite of passage that hundreds of Palestinian children accused of throwing stones undergo every year.Israel has robustly defended its record, arguing that the treatment of minors has vastly improved with the creation of a military juvenile court two years ago. But the children who have faced the rough justice of the occupation tell a very different story.
“The problems start long before the child is brought to court, it starts with their arrest,” says Naomi Lalo, an activist with No Legal Frontiers, an Israeli group that monitors the military courts. It is during their interrogation where their “fate is doomed”, she says.
Sameer Shilu, 12, was asleep when the soldiers smashed in the front door of his house one night. He and his older brother emerged bleary-eyed from their bedroom to find six masked soldiers in their living room.
Checking the boy’s name on his father’s identity card, the officer looked “shocked” when he saw he had to arrest a boy, says Sameer’s father, Saher. “I said, ‘He’s too young; why do you want him?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he said”. Blindfolded, and his hands tied painfully behind his back with plastic cords, Sameer was bundled into a Jeep, his father calling out to him not to be afraid. “We cried, all of us,” his father says. “I know my sons; they don’t throw stones.”
In the hours before his interrogation, Sameer was kept blindfolded and handcuffed, and prevented from sleeping. Eventually taken for interrogation without a lawyer or parent present, a man accused him of being in a demonstration, and showed him footage of a boy throwing stones, claiming it was him.
“He said, ‘This is you’, and I said it wasn’t me. Then he asked me, ‘Who are they?’ And I said that I didn’t know,” Sameer says. “At one point, the man started shouting at me, and grabbed me by the collar, and said, ‘I’ll throw you out of the window and beat you with a stick if you don’t confess’.”
Sameer, who protested his innocence, was fortunate; he was released a few hours later. But most children are frightened into signing a confession, cowed by threats of physical violence, or threats against their families, such as the withdrawal of work permits.
When a confession is signed, lawyers usually advise children to accept a plea bargain and serve a fixed jail sentence even if not guilty. Pleading innocent is to invite lengthy court proceedings, during which the child is almost always remanded in prison. Acquittals are rare. “In a military court, you have to know that you’re not looking for justice,” says Gabi Lasky, an Israeli lawyer who has represented many children.
There are many Palestinian children in the West Bank villages in the shadow of Israel’s separation wall and Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands. Where largely non-violent protests have sprung up as a form of resistance, there are children who throw stones, and raids by Israel are common. But lawyers and human rights groups have decried Israel’s arrest policy of targeting children in villages that resist the occupation.
In most cases, children as young as 12 are hauled from their beds at night, handcuffed and blindfolded, deprived of sleep and food, subjected to lengthy interrogations, then forced to sign a confession in Hebrew, a language few of them read.Israeli rights group B’Tselem concluded that, “the rights of minors are severely violated, that the law almost completely fails to protect their rights, and that the few rights granted by the law are not implemented”.
Israel claims to treat Palestinian minors in the spirit of its own law for juveniles but, in practice, it is rarely the case. For instance, children should not be arrested at night, lawyers and parents should be present during interrogations, and the children must be read their rights. But these are treated as guidelines, rather than a legal requirement, and are frequently flouted. And Israel regards Israeli youngsters as children until 18, while Palestinians are viewed as adults from 16.
Lawyers and activists say more than 200 Palestinian children are in Israeli jails. “You want to arrest these kids, you want to try them,” Ms Lalo says. “Fine, but do it according to Israeli law. Give them their rights.”
In the case of Islam, the boy in the video, his lawyer, Ms Lasky, believes the video provides the first hard proof of serious irregularities in interrogation.
In particular, the interrogator failed to inform Islam of his right to remain silent, even as his lawyer begged to no avail to see him. Instead, the interrogator urged Islam to tell him and his colleagues everything, hinting that if he did so, he would be released. One interrogator suggestively smacked a balled fist into the palm of his hand.
By the end of the interrogation Islam, breaking down in sobs, has succumbed to his interrogators, appearing to give them what they want to hear. Shown a page of photographs, his hand moves dully over it, identifying men from his village, all of whom will be arrested for protesting.
Ms Lasky hopes this footage will change the way children are treated in the occupied territories, in particular, getting them to incriminate others, which lawyers claim is the primary aim of interrogations. The video helped gain Islam’s release from jail into house arrest, and may even lead to a full acquittal of charges of throwing stones. But right now, a hunched and silent Islam doesn’t feel lucky. Yards from his house in Nabi Saleh is the home of his cousin, whose husband is in jail awaiting trial along with a dozen others on the strength of Islam’s confession.
The cousin is magnanimous. “He is a victim, he is just a child,” says Nariman Tamimi, 35, whose husband, Bassem, 45, is in jail. “We shouldn’t blame him for what happened. He was under enormous pressure.”
Israel’s policy has been successful in one sense, sowing fear among children and deterring them from future demonstrations. But the children are left traumatised, prone to nightmares and bed-wetting. Most have to miss a year of school, or even drop out.
Israel’s critics say its policy is creating a generation of new activists with hearts filled with hatred against Israel. Others say it is staining the country’s character. “Israel has no business arresting these children, trying them, oppressing them,” Ms Lalo says, her eyes glistening. “They’re not our children. My country is doing so many wrongs and justifying them. We should be an example, but we have become an oppressive state.”
Child detention figures 
7,000 [Figure corrected, with apologies for earlier production error.] The estimated number of Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts since 2000, shows a report by Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP).
87 The percentage of children subjected to some form of physical violence while in custody. About 91 per cent are also believed to be blindfolded at some point during their detention.
12 The minimum age of criminal responsibility, as stipulated in the Military Order 1651.
62 The percentage of children arrested between 12am and 5am.

US to oppose Palestinian UN bid (for AIPAC/Israel of course!)

US to oppose Palestinian UN bid

US envoy terms Palestine’s approaching of UN as “unilateral action”, despite backing of over 120 countries

 

Even General David Petraeus conveyed that US support for Israel against the Palestinians was a threat to US troops:

General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel (scroll down to the comments section as well):

http://tinyurl.com/petraeusinnewstatesman

The High Cost of Subservience to Israel:

http://www.tinyurl.com/subserviencetoisrael

US was Cheerleader for Israel’s Gaza Onslaught

US was Cheerleader for Massacre

Wikileaks Cables on Israel’s Gaza Onslaught

http://www.counterpunch.org/christison01192011.html

By KATHLEEN CHRISTISON

CounterPunch has accessed Wikileaks’ file of cables on Israel’s Gaza assault two years ago (Operation Cast Lead, December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009). Though the cables often  simply rehash Israeli press reporting, providing  little new insight into Israel’s attack or the planning behind it, they show with pitiless clarity  the U.S. government to be little more than a handmaiden and amanuensis of the Israeli military machine.

 

The cables make clear, were any further disclosure needed, exactly where the United States stands with respect to Israel’s unprovoked attacks on Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors.  Although Operation Cast Lead took place in the last days of the Bush administration, ending two days before Barack Obama was inaugurated, every Obama policy in the succeeding  two years – including the administration’s repudiation of the Goldstone Report detailing Israeli atrocities and war crimes during Cast Lead – has demonstrated a striking continuity of support for Israeli actions.

 

The cables give a notably one-sided account of the assault.  Because they take their daily reporting primarily from the Israeli media, the cables keep a tally of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza and dramatically describe “burned dolls and destroyed children’s toys” at an unoccupied kindergarten in Beer Sheba hit by a rocket, but make virtually no mention of Israel’s intensive air and artillery bombardment of Gaza, including its civilian population.  There are no reports of burned Palestinian babies or very few of destroyed property in Gaza.  Even the western media provided more accurate coverage of Palestinian casualties than this.

 

The U.S. embassy cables did provide some information on Palestinian casualties, but the reporting was minimal.  In one cable buried in the collection, approximately ten days into the assault, western press reports are cited giving a single report of 530 Palestinians killed.  This was at a point when the cables counted five Israelis having been killed.  Israeli casualties were totted up repeatedly.  This roughly 100-1 ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed persisted throughout the operation, but this is not noted in the U.S. cables.  In a few instances, U.S. consular officials report the views of a few Gazans, frankly conveying Palestinian distress, but even here, when one Gazan reports that his town is increasingly being assaulted by Israeli fire, the cable qualifies his report by referring to “what he termed ‘indiscriminate’ Israeli fire.”

 

Whenever the cables mention a specific location in Gaza having been attacked or destroyed, including hospitals and mosques, the cables repeat Israeli claims without questioning them; on January 2, for instance, it is reported that the Israeli Air Force destroyed a mosque “reportedly serving as a weapons depot and communications hub.”  The embassy reports, without a hint of skepticism, the Israeli claim midway through the operation that Hamas operatives were reconstituting “certain command and control capabilities” at Shifa Hospital in Gaza by disguising themselves as doctors and nurses.

 

The earliest of this collection of cables reveals U.S. bias by reporting several days before Cast Lead began that pressure had been building in Israel for a “response” to rocket attacks from Gaza, “since Hamas announced the end of the ‘tahdiya’ truce agreement December 19.”  This effort to place responsibility for the hostilities on Hamas ignores the fact, which was no secret to those following the situation at the time, that it was Israel that had violated the truce, in effect since the previous June, on November 4 when it launched an unprovoked incursion into Gaza and killed several Palestinians.  Hamas’s action in ending the truce weeks later was a response to Israel’s violation.

 

The most blatant evidence of U.S. bias – and the only instance of analysis or policy advice in this collection of cables – also comes before the operation began.  “Our recommendation,” Ambassador James Cunningham writes on December 22, “is that USG start with putting the blame on Hamas for the illegitimacy of its rule in Gaza, its policy of firing or allowing other factions to fire rockets and mortars at Israeli civilian targets, and its decision to end the ‘tahdiya’ calming period.”  Cunningham seems to confuse cause and effect: even were Hamas rule illegitimate, which it was not – Hamas having been democratically elected three years earlier – it is not a common presumption that political illegitimacy justifies a massive military assault.  And particularly not when, as the U.S. had to know, Hamas did not provoke the hostilities.  Cunningham goes on to recommend support for “Israel’s right to defend itself.”  Hamas apparently has no such right to defend Gazans from Israeli attack.

 

The embassy burnishes its conscience by “emphasizing our concern for the welfare of innocent Palestinian civilians and the U.S. readiness to provide emergency humanitarian relief.”  This is the only mention of innocent Palestinian civilians in the entire collection of cables.

 

The hypocrisy is glaring.  The U.S. bias shown here is obviously not at all a new phenomenon.  But here it is in black and white—or, more accurately, in pin-stripe: diplomacy as cheerleader for massacre and genocide (a term used by not a few Jewish and other commentators during the Gaza assault).  Such atrocities are all right in U.S. eyes if Israel commits them, but Hamas is not allowed.

 

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and the author of several books on the Palestinian situation, including Palestine in Pieces, co-authored with her late husband Bill Christison.  She can be reached at kb.christison@earthlink.net

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Israel Attacks Gaza, Silence from Mainstream Media about Israeli Violations of International Law

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1kt8qi0M-M

‘Blockade on Gaza root cause of crisis’

http://www.presstv.com/detail/191562.html

Gaza kids hit kite flying record

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/191274.html

Gaza activists protest israel’s buffer zone

http://www.presstv.com/detail/191559.html

Gaza reconstruction projects hindered by Israeli siege

http://www.presstv.com/detail/192519.html

Even General David Petraeus conveyed that US support for Israel against the Palestinians was a threat to US troops:

General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel (scroll down to the comments section as well):

http://tinyurl.com/petraeusinnewstatesman

Calling Bono:

http://tinyurl.com/callingbono

The High Cost of Subservience to Israel:

http://www.tinyurl.com/subserviencetoisrael

Americans vs. the Gaza blockade: portraits

Americans vs. the Gaza blockade: portraits

http://rt.com/community/columns/extra-ordinary-lives/americans-gaza-blockade-portraits/

‘Blockade on Gaza root cause of crisis’

http://www.presstv.com/detail/191562.html

Gaza kids hit kite flying record

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/191274.html

Gaza activists protest israel’s buffer zone

http://www.presstv.com/detail/191559.html

Gilad Atzmon: Was the Massacre in Norway a reaction to BDS?

Just saw the following by another courageous Israeli (or former Israeli at least) as we won’t see this motivation for the Norway attacks mentioned in our news (I am sure of that!) as Gilad gave up his Israeli citizenship and is a famous Jazz musician (based out of London) in Europe!:
 
Gilad Atzmon: Was the Massacre in Norway a reaction to BDS?
 
http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-was-the-massacre-in-norway-a-reaction-to-bds.html

Report: Norwegian Murderer an Ardent Supporter of Israel
 
 

‘Zionist trail in Norway terror attacks’

http://www.presstv.com/detail/191372.html

Norway youths discussed Palestine prior to attack

http://thepassionateattachment.com/2011/07/24/norway-youths-discussed-palestine-prior-to-attack/

The grumpy diplomats of the rogue state (by Ilan Pappe)

http://electronicintifada.net/content/grumpy-diplomats-rogue-state/10201

Israel detained more than 3,000 Palestinian children in 5 years

http://tinyurl.com/3thr283

Even General David Petraeus (now head of the CIA) conveyed that US support of Israel against the Palestinians is a threat to US!

General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel:

http://tinyurl.com/petraeusinnewstatesman

USS Liberty song on USS Liberty survivor Phil Tourney’s ‘Your Voice Counts’ RBN radio show

USS Liberty song on USS Liberty survivor Phil Tourney’s ‘Your Voice Counts’ RBN radio show

 
 
USS LIBERTY SONG “PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ-IKqu1STo

USS LIBERTY SONG “I’LL HEAR THE BOMBS AGAIN”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4wFTVTczAY

Sinking Liberty (by Philip Giraldi)

http://tinyurl.com/4rslrje

USS Liberty survivor Phil Tourney call for C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal': http://tinyurl.com/philoncspan

Following is the link for the first broadcast of USS Liberty survivor Phil Tourney’s ‘Your Voice Counts’ radio broadcast (scroll down to the audio mp3 link at the bottom):

http://gidusko.webs.com/YourVoiceCounts/ 

Temporary audio (mp3) file of latest ‘Your Voice Counts’ show with USS Liberty survivor Phil Tourney:

http://gidusko.webs.com/Yo​ur_Voice_Counts/

James Morris speaks with General James David & Tom Murphy of RepresentativePress.org about  Israel & 911 while guest hosting for USS Liberty survivor Phil Tourney on his ‘Your Voice Counts’ RBN (http://republicbroadcasting.org) radio program:
 
http://www.investigate911.info/index.php?special=morris