Search This Blog

Friday, March 25, 2016

NPR Week in Politics referees GOP food fight, ignores voter suppression

NPR's Week in Politics manages to work in a pitch for Mrs. Clinton's foreign policy strength in the aftermath of the Belgium attacks, dedicating the remainder of the 7 minute slot to "rubber neck" the latest nuggets from the GOP's "scorched earth" presidential season.

This comes after playing a tasty tidbit of that strong foreign policy statement in which, when it comes to combating ISIS - a terror organization which she greatly enabled as Secretary of State when she had Ghadaffi snuffed - she carefully redefines what works in foreign policy.

"We need to rely on what actually works, not bluster that alienates our partners."

If by "works" she means, "fails miserably", I suppose it makes sense to stick with her plan.

Let's look at the first part: We take this to mean continuing the exact policy we have been using for the past 15 years in which, despite overthrowing at least four "threatening" countries in the Middle East and North Africa, running a global drone assassination program,  spending $3 trillion and counting - terrorism has increased five fold since 911?

Now the second:

"We came, we saw, he died." - Mrs. Clinton on camera in 2011 after learning Ghadaffi was dead (CLICK ABOVE TO WATCH)

The assassination of Ghadaffi and chaos of civil war would lead to a vacuum in leadership and the spread of ISIS four years later. See first part.

But never mind that.

With no hint of irony, David Brooks and EJ Dion, the dynamic duo of the right and left, respectively, then proceed to trudge through the latest Trump character defects. A conversation better suited to Dr. Phil.

Meanwhile at the ballot box:
In Maricopa County alone, election officials infuriatingly reduced the number of polling places by 70 percent. Such a drastic reduction meant there was only one polling place per 21,000 residents of the highly populated Phoenix metroplex. Some Voters had a five hour wait!
Clinton is silent on this major example of voter suppression, despite the Arizona Democratic Party calling for a Justice Department investigation. Gerrymandering of districts is an issue that has plagued the supreme court recently after the conservative majority stripped a key provision calling for federal review of redrawn districts, mostly in the south, to combat entrenched Jim Crow-era voting restrictions.

Save mention the overwhelmingly better performance of Bernie Sanders in open, caucus states meant to capture more voters we're Sanders smoked clinton 3-1 in both Idaho and Utah compared to closed primaries - Arizona - where Hillary is favored and where sonly the most fervid establishment Democrats can cast votes.

I guess Brooks and Dion don't want us to hurt our brains too much this election season. They are not alone. Nor the most egregious. But because we don't hold them accountable, we have the frontrunners we deserve.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NPR’s All things Considered glorifies zionist radicalization, clarifies US foreign policy

In NPR’s obtuse series onWhy People Change Their Minds”, All Things Considered host Emily Harris introduces us to “an Israeli woman (who) talks about the surprising journey her life took after being raised in a secular, mainstream Jewish family.”

Only later do we learn of her Jewish radicalization - a process that changed her “worldview” from that of an unassuming secular Israeli Jew to a full fledged Israeli Zionist armed with a “God given right” to the lands set aside by world powers for a never-to-be negotiated Palestinian state.

Shamed at a holiday gathering in which she realized her liberal upbringing - colored by the international consensus on “a two state” solution - had deprived her of her Jewish heritage, traditions and most importantly, “God-given” right to the land.

Through her study of Jewish history, and deeper relationship with her Orthodox friends she made the decision.

Her epiphany: God gave ALL the land to the Jewish people, from the Jordan to the sea. It is then, Harris tells us, she “crossed a line”.

That’s when the Tel Aviv suburbanite decided to do her part for the zionist cause and continue the process of “displacement and dispossession” of the Palestinian people from the land to which they too have a deep historical connection.

She went from despising settlers to becoming one.

Something NPR leaves out: Our heroine has just broken international law.

Israeli settlement expansion into the West Bank - aka Judea and Samaria (named after Jewish Kingdoms conquored some 3,000 years ago) - is uncontroversially illegal. Dozens of Israeli UN Security Council Violations attest to as much.

An NPR profile from Aug. 28, 2002 makes that clear in the opening:
Since the beginning of the latest Palestinian uprising, Jewish settlers have established dozens of illegal outposts in the occupied territories. Despite repeated promises by Israel's defense minister to shut them down, almost no action has been taken against this illegal seizure of Palestinian land. NPR's Anne Garrels reports
Is the fact these settlements are still "illegal" left  out today because NPR has no comfortable explanation for the continued settlement expansion which has in fact accelerated since that 2002 feature?

There is an explanation, but it's not fit for broadcast.

Israeli intransigence is a hard sell today, in a right wing militant environment where to state the facts of the matter openly and clearly using words like "illegal" and "occupied" is considered radical and confrontational. Like the United States' actions oversees over the same time span, the occupation and theft of Palestinian land by Israel, we are to believe, is one of those "necessary evils"that are above international law.

Israel has and will continue to do as Israel likes. And so long as it proves its worth to the United States in the region, the US will not object. When it does, the settlements will stop, no sooner. The real horror is to accept, like Israel's overt and tolerated development of "facts on the ground", that International Law is not internationally applicable. It applies to the rest of the world, not the US or it's allies.

But if we let these violent repressions, occupations and indefinite incarcerations continue among the allies, how can we expect better of those we seek to "liberate"? What credibility is left in our "human rights" game at home or abroad?


Leaving her naive belief that striking a land-sharing peace between the two peoples behind, our late blooming Zionist adopts a more militant tone.

Peace will come, settlers believe, when Israel permanently annexes the West Bank.

While NPR is quick to parrot the official outrage toward ISIS expansion; expanding the "Jewish State" by occupation, violence and ethnic-religious cleansing passes without criticism.

Her belief is a popular one in Israel as most recently outlined by Knesset leaders this summer.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the ultra-nationalist, pro-settlement Jewish Home party, established a special committee to legalize the facts on the ground.
There are many areas in Judea and Samaria where the status is unregulated," she said, referring to the West Bank. "The time has come to dispel the legal fog and to enable the residents of Judea and Samaria—most of them in settlements set up by generations of Israeli governments—to stop worrying about the constant threat to the very ownership of their homes.
Coincidentally, and perhaps awkwardly for US and UN Officials - spring-loaded with “strongly worded” public reprimands of the settlements  which have quadrupled since 1993 - what our awakened Zionist proclaims in public is essentially the vision the US has effectively supported since the beginning.

Israel receives some $3.7 billion per year in US military aid and is looking for a raise. With this allowance, Israel turns around and purchases armaments from Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other defense contractors who picnic on this taxpayer funded buffet.

These weapons are primarily used against the occupied Palestinians as in the 2014 Massacre of Gaza which again, left significant evidence of war crimes as determined by noted human rights NGOs including the Israeli organization, B'tselem, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Israeli settlements receive an additional $1.7 billion per year in tax-free contributions from the non-profits that comprise what has been called the American Jewish Charity Industry. And all or most goes to finance aspects of the military expansion, Israeli demolition of Palestinian communities and illegal settlements.

The result?  Half a million heavily armed and guarded Jewish settlers in the West Bank - often including violent Zionist extremists - in what was to be the heart of a “future Palestinian State” but has become instead the heart of Israeli apartheid.

The settlement expansion and land expropriations are the primary source of “tension” and “terror” of the past 20 years in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Though there are no longer settlements in Gaza, both the West Bank and Gaza are two parts of one Palestine.

So even if Hamas' wasn't subjected to night raids, invasions, mass incarceration without charge, drone strikes, attacks on fishermen and farmers to name a few, the Gaza Strip government could just as easily be launching rockets for what they see as the systematic slo-theft by violence of one half of what's left of the their self-determined Palestine.

VIDEOStreet Execution in Hebron where 1,000 Jewish settlers live among 200,000 Arab Palestinians.

Some 200 Palestinians and 30 Israeli’s have been killed in confrontations, Palestinian knife attacks and Israeli army street executions over the past 6 months.
Palestinians are not strangers to settler terrorism. In fact, the number of settler attacks against Palestinians rose by about 150 percent every year between 2008 and 2012. Settler terrorism has intensified not only in volume but also in the nature and viciousness of its attacks. For example, in 2014 Israeli settlers kidnapped 16-year-old Palestinian Jerusalemite Mohammad Abu Khdair—and burned him alive.
But it wouldn’t due for NPR to mention these things.

Might sour this sweet story of "why people change their minds" and decide to support ethnic cleansing.

Unobserved by Harris is that our awakened Zionist, her Jewish State and the US State Department that allows, supports and finances the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, are not only in contravention of international law but are inciting and escalating the very Palestinian violence all parties say sabotages the "peace effort" performance.

While the newly converted colonialist notes that her spiritual advisor tells her "we must see the Palestinians...we must care for them," she does not explain, nor does Harris pry, as to how continued land expropriation, displacement and dispossession of the Palestinians conforms to "caring for" the Palestinian people whose lands you are stealing.

The arrangement of providing a tax haven to finance the condemned illegal activities of an occupying power accused of significant war crimes has drawn a whisper of disdain from US Officials but not enough for any action to be taken.

The settlements and their jurisdictions currently capture some 42 percent of the “to be negotiated” West Bank, occupying and effectively annexing it sans the Palestinians. They  are not afforded Israeli citizenship, much less human rights.
“The UN Human Rights Council's call for sanctions against Israel is crucial because it clearly expresses the idea that the settlement enterprise leads to "ethnic cleansing" in the West Bank." - International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements
But alas who can be bothered with things an ally's ethnic cleansing, never mind US tolerance, support and financing of it. No such luck here. These trifles fade in what Harris jubilantly describes as the the "stunning view from her home, high on a hill in the central West Bank."

Contact NPR's All Things Considered and tell them to stop whitewashing the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bernie’s Israel speech is progress if not progressivism

By this point in the wearying presidential campaign in which Bernie Sanders’ citizen-funded revolution appears to be giving way to the Hillary Clinton Wall Street juggernaut, a cloud of cynicism is beginning to creep across the horizon.

We look to Bernie not as the dreamy “hope and change” candidate, but as someone who knows the score and has kept his balance firmly on the left since elected to public office. Through his tenacity, we drew hope.

It is not uncommon to begin counting small victories.

Like Sanders’ decision to skip the annual AIPAC genuflection, to which ambitious politicians flock for financial blessings and potential votes from the Jewish-Zionist sect, rabid Israel-apologists and Christian evangelicals who are counting on an Israel-driven catastrophe to fulfill their “second coming” apocalypse.

As if skipping the annual Zio-Con was not enough, Sanders proceeded to deliver a, if not pro-Palestinian, then definitely pro-justice talk remotely from Utah carried by ABC in which he uttered what has become the unthinkable in modern right wing pro-Israel, State Department hegemony politics: “Palestinian rights”.

“But peace also means security for every Palestinian. It means achieving self-determination, civil rights, and economic well-being for the Palestinian people.”


Not since Obama’s first naive run at tackling the Israel Palestine conflict in the fledgling days of his presidency when he had the audacity to state (out loud no less) official US policy regarding the "1967 lines and mutual swaps."

The effective US policy is quite different. In fact, it is the opposite.

While Hillary called for “better tunnel detection” and maintenance of Israel’s “qualitative edge” via billions in US military aid, Sanders called on equitable sharing of resources, namely water, of which Israel controls 80 percent.

As if the divide between the two candidates were not already clear, Sanders mention of Palestinian self-determination and civil rights - a mention none of the hawkish three remaining Republican candidates or hawkish Clinton dared breath - sent the usual Israel-apologists into hyperdrive - most bearing the frayed and tattered flag of Palestinian rejectionism.

While Sanders’ modest proposal is not particularly progressive - George H.W. Bush after all, in what critics call a symbolic gesture, briefly withheld military loan guarantees as a tool to stop the settlements and jumpstart the peace process. Israel did attend the Madrid Peace Conference as a result; the settlements however, continued. 

 The reaction to Sander's modest proposal indicates how far right the political discourse on this issue has shifted in the post-Clinton I, post-Oslo Miracle Grow expansionism.

Israel-apologist on Democracy now!

“Peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza – once considered an unthinkable move on Israel’s part.”

While this is the general view of both the US and EU - that the settlements are illegal and not helpful to the “peace process” - the rhetoric has typically covered for increased settlement expansion the population of which has quadrupled since 1993 at the advent of the Oslo Accords.

It’s a commentary both on how far discourse has drifted away that Sanders’ comments are perceived as in any way controversial, but the US State Department has operated on a platform of doublespeak for decades - supporting Palestinian self-determination through rejection of both a Palestinian state and ending the Israeli occupation by vetoing various germane resolutions in the UN secretary council.

It is worth noting for the record the farcical nature of the Israel-apologist cries of Palestinian rejectionism, as explored in the concise work by Jeremy Hammond, The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination.
As noted, the Arab representatives reiterated something similar to what had been proposed at the conference in London a year earlier: a unitary Palestine with a democratic constitution guaranteeing full civil and religious rights for all citizens and an elected legislative assembly that would include Jewish representatives. UNSCOP dismissed this as “an extreme position”. In accordance with their adopted framework, the Arab proposal for a single democratic state was rejected as “extreme” because it didn’t take into account the desires of the Zionists, who rejected the idea. And yet the partition recommendation was not similarly “extreme” despite being “strongly opposed by Arabs”. The federal state solution, moreover, was simply “unworkable”, UNSCOP asserted in its majority recommendation, without discussion.”
Sadly these egregious, discriminatory and racist historical missteps cannot be undone. But if there is to be any significant understanding of the conflict and the US obligation to not only protect its strategic asset in the middle east - Israel is no democracy even within it’s borders; without, it is the most barbaric apartheid -  but the long overdue commitment to Palestinian self-determination in deeds, not just words.
“During one of its (UNSCOP's - United Nations Special Committee on Palestine) hearings, the Arab representatives expressed their view with regard to the Zionist “recourse to terrorism”, which was that “This aggressive attitude . . . will not fail to give rise in turn to the creation of similar [terrorist] organizations by the Arabs.” The Arab delegates also declared that “against a [Jewish] State established by violence, the Arab States will be obliged to use violence; that is a legitimate right of self-defence.”
We need not re-visit the ludicrous arguments posited by Zionist extremists through the decades concerning God’s generous real estate deal for Jews or how one injustice - the holocaust - does not justify another - ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Should we be surprised to learn the chief motivation of Palestinian militancy is not some inherent hatred of Arabs toward Jews or even Muslims toward Jews, but a simply case of a "legitimate right of self-defence”  as noted by Israeli historian Benny Morris in his book, Righteous Victims.
The fear of territorial displacement and dispossession was to be the chief motor of Arab antagonism to zionism down to 1948 (and indeed after 1967 as well).
When the question of the British Mandate over Palestine was discussed in Parliament in 1922, it became clear that opinion in the House of Lords was strongly opposed to the Balfour policy, as illustrated by the words of Lord Sydenham in reply to Lord Balfour.
 "... the harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country - Arab all around in the hinterland - may never be remedied ... what we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far that sore will extend."
From Bin Laden to ISIS - two Islamic terror groups that have noted the establishment of the state of Israel at the expense of Palestinian justice as motive - how far indeed the sore has extended.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

American Statist: Greatest threat to world peace

These are days filled with talk of "Russian Aggression" and means of countermanding it by an expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe.

Is this strategy really taking into account the safety and protection of population?

The Russian invasion of Crimea was in perfect pitch with State Department practice yet pales in comparison to the invasion of Iraq.

As for who should be concerned with "state aggression", the US or Russia, it seems perfectly clear who the global aggressor has been. Clear to the population that is, not to the states. The states have their own version of the facts they want adhered to.

After all, which country has 800 plus military bases all around the world?

Which country just in the last 15 years over threw three (3) governments directly - Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya (re:NATO) - and at least (4) countries indirectly - Syria, Egypt(re:Israel), Yemen(re:KSA), Honduras.

Just a few more to go if we are to believe Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark. A few of the names have changed but the impulse and history remain  consistent if more blatant.

Put another way, say you look up in the sky and you see a drone. its coming right at you. It hovers around your home all afternoon. Well, if you're in the US maybe you call the police and report your neighbor for trespassing. If you live in any other country aside from the centers of non-US powers - EU, Russia, China - anywhere else, especially in the middle east and North Africa, you had better be mortified.

The poorer the area in which you live the more dangerous. Chances are it could be a Predator Drone and you may have associated with a certain prime suspect at some inconsequential occasion. You may not have. The criteria is not really high. And 9/10 times drones strikes leave body counts that don't include the primary target, or "jackpot".

Just easier to take you out rather than risk the potential someone in this drone-terrorized region might have a notion to fight back.

Now imagine these aggressive modes of behavior carried out in Canada, Latin America or Mexico on behalf of Russia or China? It simply would not be tolerated. We would bomb them into the next world.  As would any logical defensive administration. No sane country would allow it.

Yet we expect Americans to believe that Russia is the aggressor?

How insulting to our intelligence.

Furthermore the invasion and annexation of Crimea, while clearly a war crime, does have a historical territorial connection to Mother Russia. As does the Ukraine. While explicit US support for Ukrainian militias is taken as an acceptable response in the states,  Soviet intervention in a civil war in Canada would never be tolerated.

So it may be helpful to replace Russian Aggression with American Aggression - AA - the next time you hear a politician rail about the "greatest threat to world peace."

The expansion of NATO into E. Europe and presumably, Ukraine in order to provoke a confrontation...combined with the recent notice the DOD would be beefing up and modernizing its nuclear weapons arsenal, it's easy to see why the world might view us as a threat.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Bernie's not-so-impossible funding shuffle

In an ongoing series we will consider a number of revenue generating proposals based on cutting funding for current failing projects and foreign policies. Turns out there are plenty of options for funding the "unrealistic" investments in the public good proposed by Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.

While not getting too bogged down in detail we will examine a few choice examples of revenue generators he may have missed.

1) Intellectual property

Henry Ford didn't invent the internal combustion engine. Nor did he invent the assembly line. He took that cue from the meatpacking industries in Chicago.What he did do was take two existing technologies, each the result of a thousand independent discoveries revealed through individual investments of time talent and treasure over centuries.

Let us not forget Defense Dept. R&D - your tax dollars at work - has given us not only the atomic bomb and nuclear technology but penicillin, air travel, microwaves, GPS, computers, the Internet and on and on.
The Berkley Roundtable on the International Economy co-director Michael Borrus cites a 1988 Department of Commerce study showing that "five of the top six fastest growing U.S. industries from 1972 to 1988 were sponsored or sustained, directly or indirectly, by federal investment," the only exception being lithographic services. "The winners" in earlier years, he writes, "computers, biotechnology, jet engines, and airframes were each the by-product of public spending for national defense and public health." The record goes back to the earliest days; "defense" and "public health" are the familiar Newspeak disguises, perhaps a shade less deceptive than "free market neoliberalism."
Excerpt from The Pentagon System by Noam Chomsky and published by Z Magazine, February 1993
Say you are a substantial investor in a startup. After endless delays and cost overruns and bankruptcies, you finally get your product to market. It is a hit and the stock goes through the proverbial roof. When you go to cash out, the broker looks at your shares and starts to laugh like a shopkeep presented with monopoly money by a child.

That's the reaction you get when you broach the topic of back payment for tech that has made millionaires of many. But at every turn - cloaked in terms of national defense - it has been the taxpayer who has funded the essential technologies to get these companies off the ground. Unfortunately the Social Network got it wrong. It wasn't Zuckerberg's idea all along. Without a somewhat secure viable public Internet, and the infrastructure to run it, Facebook would be a filthy boardgame at an unseemly cocktail party.

To say nothing of Amazon and other Internet wholesalers that have grown exclusively thanks in part to a taxpayer subsidized infrastructure and core technologies. To add insult to injury these corporations then pay far less than the declared 35% corporate tax rate if they pay anything at all.

Imagine having a founding majority stock ownership in Apple, Microsoft or IBM not to mention, Google, Facebook and Twitter? Because you see, these companies rely on the pioneering technology, the billions upon billions in public $ coffers poured into the DOD over the past 100 years.
"The Pentagon system was considered ideal for these purposes. It imposes on the public a large burden of the costs (research and development, R&D) and provides a guaranteed market for excess production, a useful cushion for management decisions. Furthermore, this form of industrial policy does not have the undesirable side-effects of social spending directed to human needs...The defects of social spending do not taint the military Keynesian alternative, which had the added advantage that it was well-adapted to the needs of advanced industry: computers and electronics generally, aviation, and a wide range of related technologies and enterprises.
Lots of tech.

Billions in wealth.

In fact there's practically nothing in Apple's iPhone that wasn't a result of taxpayer funded DOD research. A 2014 International Business Times article seems positively bemused by the way Apple loads its coffers while governments go broke.
"The world's biggest company may have more cash on hand than many actual governments. But the technological breakthroughs behind its iconic iPods, iPhones, and iPads were funded almost exclusively by government agencies — and by one particular segment of one particular country's government."

Meanwhile this $700 billion to $1 trillion company pays approximately 9% to 13% on a declared 35% corporate tax rate in the US. This is due to profits held overseas and not returned to the US. While the frequent business sector refrain is that the rate is simply too high and burdensome, few corporations, let alone the most profitable, ever pay close to that rate, if they pay taxes at all.

What does all this taxpayer funded innovative technology research land the average US citizen? Austerity. Cuts to social programs. War on "entitlements". That is to say there is a zero net gain to the primary investor - the US taxpayer - save the warm fuzzy feeling that the corporate sector is being sufficiently juiced to produce maximum profit and concentration of wealth, Save the privilege of paying again and again to have the "newest" "latest" and "fastest" gizmo, this corporate gang rape must end.

Tech surcharge? Public investment tax?

Long overdue and it could be used to promote real public aims in sectors long overlooked or disdained such as the department of transportation, energy costs and the social safety net.

Friday, March 18, 2016

NPR's All Things Considered evades deeper study of US "commitment" to human rights

A Human Rights Watch guest and US Senator are allowed to voice impassioned concern for Cuba's "horrible" human rights record Friday on NPR's "All Things Considered" without a hint of irony.

In a stunning lack of concern for either history or audience intelligence, Daniel Wilkinson of Human Rights Watch is deeply troubled by Cuban disregard for freedom of speech.

Cuba's Dangerousness Law allows the government to try and convict people not for having committed a crime, Wilkinson tells us, but for having the alleged "propensity" to do so sometime in the near future.

While the US Patriot Act and monumental government surveillance of the population are seen as prudent if opaque compromises between liberty and security post-911, Castro's Cuba apparently, is given no such allowance to respond to what Noam Chomsky calls "a half-century of horror, even worse than the US-backed tyranny that came before."

No, things like CIA terror and plots against Castro's Cuba - where Cubans by the 100's were slaughtered - nor our intercontinental drone assassination program - register as credible threats, in Wilkinson's calculus, to the Cuban human rights we are so concerned with.

Strikes against these "potential" threats in 9 out of 10 cases, kill someone other than the  intended targets or, "jackpots", in drone parlance.

This means the suspect's friends and relations, even neighbors, none of whom are on Obama's list are frequently blown to shreds as collateral damage. This is why the drone program is recognized as a "terror generating" program by administration higher ups.

Top Democrat on the Senate's foreign Relations Committee and "outspoken" human rights advocate, Sen. Ben Cardin reflects on Cuba's "horrible record on human rights" yet has no comment on other, far greater crimes committed by US allies.

In fact the Senator's outspokenness has resulted in exactly zero clarification of when our precious  human rights standards are applied and to whom. Little more is known about these standards, save they are never applied to us.

The good Sen. Cardin fails to muster anything more than a strategic concern with regard to US support for ally Saudi Arabia at a hearing last fall on its devastating bombardment of Yemen, where 6,000 have been killed in the civil war there, most deaths occurring from Saudi airstrikes.

But our man Cardin is more perplexed by the fact the Saudis don't seem to have a diplomatic solution in place, than by their flat out military aggression. "There is no military solution," he says, not giving a damn over KSA's repression of speech, women and religion through arbitrary application of Sharia Law.

Further, the friends and family of said individual could also, by sheer accident mind you, be blown to bits, as well as the accused. Even persons not one of the above who do not know the individual may stand "accused",  may be slaughtered.

Yet let us worry ourselves over Cuban human rights abuses and decline the first visit by a US President since pre-WWII.

What of our "allies" human rights records. Saudi Arabia? The KSA being the #1 recipient of US weapons last year which are being used to bombard Yemen's civilian population. Israel? With its half century old occupation of the West Bank and the periodic bombardment of Gaza- 2008, 2012, 2014? The last slaughter killing 500 children?

But Obama needn't fret. As the irony of ironies plays out on cable tv and he gives a human rights lecture to Senior Castro in the shadow of Guantanamo.

There on the island in Cuba's most strategic port, we have a foreign occupation AND indefinite imprisonment without charge. A worse torture than rotting away in a cell for crimes I did not commit, for crimes yet undeclared, I cannot imagine.

Less hideous kinds of torture yet to be fully revealed.

Some things it just wouldn't do for NPR to say.

Iran ordered to pay 911 victim families $10.5 billion, U. S. memory hole disgusts self

Am I losing my mind...

U.S. Court Fines Iran 10.5 Billion Dollars for Backing 9/11 Terrorist Attackers 
Iranian ballistic missile in preparation for launch-E.P.A
Iranian ballistic missile in preparation for launch-E.P.A
London- A federal courthouse in New York has held Iran responsible for the September 9/11 attacks, and has passed a judge order demanding that Iran pays a $10.5 billion worth fine in compensation for the families of the victims who died during the 2001 attacks. 
The case is In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, 03-cv-09848, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Judge George Daniels in New York ordered that Iran pays 3 billion dollars for the insurance companies, including Insurance Chubb Ltd, which is the company that paid for the asset damage afflicted, labor disrupt, and other demands due to the incident, Bloomberg reported. 
U.S. District Judge Daniels issued a default judgment Wednesday against Iran for $7.5 billion to the estates and families of people who died at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It includes $2 million to each estate for the victims’ pain and suffering plus $6.88 million in punitive damages.
Earlier in the case, Daniels found that Iran had failed to defend claims that it aided the Sept. 11 hijackers and was therefore liable for damages tied to the attacks. Daniels’s ruling Wednesday adopts damages findings by a U.S. magistrate judge in December. While it is difficult to collect damages from an unwilling foreign nation, the plaintiffs may try to collect part of the judgments using a law that permits parties to tap terrorists’ assets frozen by the government.
However, Tehran denied on several occasions the support it offered al-Qaeda for the September 11 attacks. Data recently revealed that al-Qaeda has been present in Tehran after the 9/11 attacks, with no apparent reaction from the Iranian government. 
On the other hand, a recent ballistic missile test for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), mid last week, has proven that President Rouhani’s administration is failing to keep its end on the nuclear deal terms. Upon the incident, mutual reactions among senior officials in the government and the IRGC revealed the ever-deepening disputes between the Iranian official government and the IRGC on the timing the current maneuvers are taking place, and how they endanger the nuclear agreement. International stances condemned the trials to violate the U.N. resolution 2231.