Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pentagon Law Of War Manual Justifies War Crimes And Press Censorship

Pentagon now openly targeting journalists for assassination

STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION
By Patrick Martin
08/11/2015

The lead editorial Monday in the New York Times has brought to the attention of the general public the Pentagon’s issuance of a major new document defining rules of conduct on the battlefield for US military personnel and their commanders. 


The Law of War Manual, a massive 1,165-page document, was published in June, but was initially discussed exclusively in blogs specializing in military law and security policy.

The major US newspapers and television networks, which have full-time Pentagon correspondents and regularly review Pentagon press releases, chose to say nothing about the Law of War Manual, for reasons that become obvious when the content of the document is explored. 


Nor did they comment initially on the manual’s provisions for journalists until the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement July 31 under the headline, “In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies.”

The CPJ statement noted the rising number of journalists imprisoned or killed while covering the actions of armed groups in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa. It attacked the Pentagon document for justifying the treatment of journalists as belligerents or outright spies, who may be detained, imprisoned or even killed at the discretion of battlefield commanders, as well as endorsing blanket military censorship of press reporting.

The CPJ declared,

“The Obama administration’s Defense Department appears to have taken the ill-defined practices begun under the Bush administration during the War on Terror and codified them to formally govern the way US military forces treat journalists covering conflicts.”


The continuity between administrations is underscored by the identity of the Law of War Manual’s principal author, Pentagon General Counsel Stephen W. Preston. Before moving to the Department of Defense, Preston was general counsel of the CIA from 2009 to 2012, the period when the agency was ferociously resisting a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into torture at CIA secret “black site” prisons under the Bush administration. The Times editorial complains about the guidelines for treatment of journalists and pleads with the White House to take action to force their immediate repeal. 


At the same time, it notes that a spokesman for the National Security Council refused even to say whether the White House had signed off on the manual.

The Times objects to the manual’s claim that “Reporting on military operations can be very similar to collecting intelligence or even spying,” and its insistence that journalists must “act openly and with the permission of relevant authorities,” a provision that would make impossible virtually any kind of war reporting other than the state propaganda provided by the notorious “embedded journalists” of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

But the editors give no explanation why the news pages of the Times have never mentioned the Law of War Manual, or why their concern is limited to the two pages of the manual that apply to journalists and not to the bulk of the document, which amounts to a green light for military atrocities including mass killings.




The World Socialist Web Site will examine the 1,165-page Pentagon document more fully in the coming days, but certain preliminary points can be made. The Law of War Manual:

* Declares legitimate the use of nuclear weapons, stating, “There is no general prohibition in treaty or customary international law on the use of nuclear weapons.” Nor is the use of nuclear weapons considered “inherently disproportionate,” even if the target is a military force that does not possess nuclear weapons.

* Authorizes the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, herbicides (such as Agent Orange in Vietnam), laser weapons and riot control agents (tear gas, pepper spray, etc.), as well as depleted uranium munitions.

* Authorizes cluster munitions, mines and booby-traps, noting that “the United States is not a Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”




* Authorizes the use of exploding (hollow-point) bullets, stating that the United States government was not a party to the 1868 St. Petersburg declaration banning their use or the 1899 Declaration on Expanding Bullets.

* Justifies drone missile attacks by both the Pentagon and intelligence agencies such as the CIA, declaring flatly, “There is no prohibition in the law of war on the use of remotely piloted aircraft…”

* Declares that when human rights treaties and the laws of war come into conflict, “these apparent conflicts may be resolved by the principle that the law of war… is the controlling body of law with regard to the conduct of hostilities.”




As pointed out in discussions in specialist journals, the new Law of War Manual redefines the principles set out in the most comprehensive previous such document, issued by the Pentagon in 1956, by declaring that “the main purposes of the law of war are: protecting combatants, noncombatants, and civilians from unnecessary suffering.”

The previous document did not include civilians in the concept of “unnecessary suffering,” not because it permitted greater violence against civilians, but because it assumed that any such violence was prohibited, and that any deliberate targeting of civilians was illegal and a war crime.

The new document seeks to distinguish between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” acts of military violence against civilian targets, using the criterion of military necessity. Thus, acts of mass slaughter of civilians could be justified if sufficient military advantages were gained by the operations.




It is no surprise that the New York Times and the entire American media have been silent on the issuance of the Law of War Manual. They are following orders to conceal from the American people, and from the world’s population, the Pentagon’s preparations for new and more massive war crimes, along with the destruction of democratic rights spelled out in the US Constitution.

The Times separates the Pentagon’s rejection of the First Amendment guarantee of press freedom from the eruption of American militarism, which it supports. In fact, the new manual demonstrates the incompatibility of militarism and democracy. The struggle against imperialist war is inseparable from the struggle against dictatorship. They both require the development of an international struggle of the working class against capitalism.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

The Fake War On ISIS : U.S., Turkey Escalate In Syria - Making OVERT The COVERT WAR

Erdogan commits suicide using a blade provided by master Obama  

THE 4TH MEDIA
08/08/2015

It is late July 2015, and the media is abuzz with the news that Turkey will allow US jets to use its bases to bomb Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria. 


As with Gaddafi, Obama now leads Erdogan down
the path to complete destruction
There is much talk about how this development is a “game-changer,” and how this is a clear escalation of the much ballyhooed, but more fictional than real, US war on ISIS: the terror organization that US intelligence welcomed as a positive development in 2012 in their continued attempts to instigate regime change against the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.

The western public is told that “This is a significant shift…It’s a big deal,” as a US military official told the Wall Street Journal


What the corporate media fail to mention, however, is the fact that Turkey has been, and continues to be, a central actor in the war in Syria and, consequently, in the development and maintenance of ISIS.

So, while Washington waxes poetic about stepping up the fight against the terror group, and lauds the participation of its allies in Ankara, the barely concealed fact is that Turkey is merely further entrenching itself in a war that it has fomented.

Of equal importance is the simple fact that a “war on ISIS” is merely a pretext for Turkey’s military engagement in Syria and throughout the region.




Not only does Turkey’s neo-Ottoman revanchist President Erdogan want to flex his military muscles in order to further the regime change agenda in Syria, he also is using recent tragic events as political and diplomatic cover for waging a new aggressive war against the region’s Kurds, especially Turkey’s longtime foe the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

In this way, Turkey’s recent moves should be seen as merely a new phase of its engagement in the regional war that it has helped foment. Contrary to western corporate media talking points, Turkey has not just recently become actively engaged in the conflict; Ankara has merely shifted its strategy and its tactics, moving from covert engagement to overt participation.

Same War, New Phase 

The immediate justification for the launching of renewed airstrikes by Turkey and the US is the expansion of the war against ISIS. In the wake of the bombing in Turkey’s majority Kurdish town of Suruç, which killed 32 youth activists, the Turkish government has allegedly struck hard against both ISIS and PKK targets. 


CNN, FOX "News" frauds, hacks and corporate warmongers screech non-stop for WWIII

It is against this backdrop that any analysis of the new phase of this war must be presented.

First and foremost is the fact that even if one were to accept the Turkish government’s official story – the suicide bomber was linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) – not at all a certainty, the question of ultimate responsibility becomes central.

While Ankara would have the world believe that its hands are clean, and that it is the innocent victimof international terrorism, the reality is that Turkey has done everything to foster and promote the growth of ISIS from the very beginning. As such, it is the Turkish government who must shoulder much of the blame for the Suruç bombing.


Since at least 2012, Turkey has been the principal conduit for weapons flowing into Syria. In June of that year, the NY Times confirmed that the CIA was smuggling weapons to anti-Assad forces from the Turkish side of the border using agents of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, long-time assets of US intelligence.


Also in 2012, Reuters revealed that Turkey had “set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border… ‘It’s the Turks who are militarily controlling it. Turkey is the main coordinator/facilitator. Think of a triangle, with Turkey at the top and Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the bottom,’ said a Doha-based source.”

It is now also documented fact that Turkish intelligence (MIT) has been an active player in the ongoing campaign to arm and resupply the terror groups such as the al Nusra Front and others.

The evidence of this fact was made public by the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet which published video footage along with transcripts from wiretaps confirming what many eyewitnesses have stated: Turkish security forces have been directly involved in shelling and support operations for Nusra front and other jihadi groups in and around Kassab, Syria, among other sites.

Many of the very same terrorists who have been armed and supported by the Turkish government are today being held up as enemies of Turkey, and rationalization of the need for Turkish military intervention.




So, with the inescapable understanding that Turkey’s government is the primary supporter and sponsor of terrorist groups in Syria, the justification for war becomes flimsy at best. But, if it’s not about fighting terror, then what exactly is Ankara’s objective? What does it hope to gain?

At the top of Erdogan’s agenda is using ISIS as a pretext for effecting the regime change in Syria that he has failed to bring about for these past four years. Despite providing weapons and cash, training sites and political cover, Turkey’s terror proxies have been roundly defeated by the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah, and allied forces.

As such, Erdogan now needs to provide the overwhelming military superiority required to get the job done. This means air support and a “No Fly Zone” along the Turkey-Syria border, one which ostensibly will allow Turkey to fight ISIS, but in actuality is a means of securing territory for the terrorists who otherwise have been unable to do so. It is a de facto military intervention into Syria. Perhaps not even de facto, but outright declaration of war – a clear war crime.


Spawn of Satan: CIA Director John Brennan responsible for
flow of arms to FSA/ISIS
Secondly, the alleged war on ISIS is a politically expedient cover for Erdogan to wage a full-scale war on the Kurds, and the PKK specifically. 

Within hours of announcing the new phase of the war, Turkish forces were bombing Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq, effectively declaring war on both countries, in blatant violation of international law, to whatever extent such a thing still exists.



Indeed, Erdogan made his position quite clear when he stated, “It is not possible for us to continue the peace process with those who threaten our national unity and brotherhood.” Essentially, Erdogan has declared war on all Kurds of the region.

Perhaps most important, and almost never discussed in the West, is the simple fact that Turkey is perpetuating an outright myth in their supposed strategy to create “Islamic State-free zones” along the border; Turkey plans to work with “moderate opposition” and “Free Syrian Army” in this endeavor.

However, the fact remains that there is really no such thing as the “moderates,” and those terrorists that had at one time been labeled such have all either gone home, fled the country, gone over to the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, or are now fighting under the ISIS banner. And so, by stating such a plan, Erdogan is unwittingly admitting what this author has already reported numerous times – Turkey acts as military muscle for ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria and now Iraq.

But of course, were Turkey the only relevant party, these developments would not be of nearly the same global significance. Rather, it is the participation and collusion of the US and NATO that makes this troubling escalation far more dangerous.

Making Overt the Covert War 

As of writing, NATO has not yet been convened to discuss Turkey’s war on Syria and the Kurds, though Ankara has called for the meeting under Article 4 of the NATO treaty which provides for consultation, but not necessarily collaborative military action. However, regardless of how the meeting proceeds, Turkey has been given overt support in its war by the US, which is, in effect, NATO.




Although the US feigns concern for the Kurds and the expansion of the war, Washington has in fact endorsed Turkey’s policy. White House spokesman Alistair Baskey noted that the US “strongly condemns” recent attacks by the PKK, reiterating the fact that Turkey is an important US and NATO ally.

As Obama’s close adviser on national security matters Ben Rhodes stated, “The US, of course, recognises the PKK specifically as a terrorist organisation. And, so, again Turkey has a right to take action related to terrorist targets.”

While it would appear that Washington is taking a measured approach, cautiously supporting Turkey while trying to limit the scope of the operation, that illusion is merely for appearance’s sake.

In fact, the Brookings Institution just last month issued a policy paper entitled Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country, which brazenly laid out a plan to, as political analyst Tony Cartalucci astutely pointed out, “divide, destroy, then incrementally occupy” Syria using the pretext of ISIS and terrorism. And that is precisely what we’re witnessing now.




But neither Cartalucci, nor this author, nor any other colleagues who have predicted this turn of events are clairvoyant. Rather, this development was very much expected.

As noted above, those terrorists who now provide the rationale for a new war were the very same ones openly supported by the countries now waging the war. It was clear at the time that this would be their ultimate role. Sadly, the world has not effectively mobilized to stop this imperialist war thus far.

The question remains: will Syria survive? The answer depends on the continued resolve of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, and on the global Resistance’s capacity to organize itself to effectively oppose the Empire in Syria and beyond.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Obama Government Targeting U.S. Journalist Expats

U.S. investigative journalists being threatened and harassed overseas for their exposure of government criminal activity - after being driven into exile 

THE 5TH ESTATE
By Robert S. Finnegan
08/12/2015

Investigative reporters working in the United States have long been subject to harassment and threats against their lives following the publication of their reports on government malfeasance and criminal activity. It is and has been an accepted fact of life and goes with the territory.


However, following the election of George W. Bush and the advent of the "war on terror" along with the passage of the treasonous "Patriot Act," this systematic persecution has been taken to an entirely new level with the Obama administration now directly targeting U.S. reporters who have been forced into exile overseas as a result of assaults and death threats carried out by police and government authorities, doubling down on the Bush-era criminal abuses perpetrated investigative journalists.


U.S. born investigative reporter Janet Phelan has become one of the latest victims and target of U.S. government harassment and persecution following her exit from the country after being assaulted by members of the Long Beach, California Police Department, leaving her hospitalised and in a coma in 2003. She considers herself lucky to have survived.

“I thought things would get better for me after I survived the assault. After all, I figured they took their best shot.” Phelan recently told The 5th Estate.

As with many journalists who have fled the country following near-fatal incidents she believed that in leaving the country of her birth it would be the end of her problems, and as most she was  quick to realise she was mistaken. 


Janet Phelan
"When I recovered sufficiently," Phelan told The 5th Estate, "I attempted to file a report with Internal Affairs. I fingered Officer Loren Dawson as one of the perpetrators."

She was told by IA that she was "not allowed" to contact the department.

According to Phelan, her situation in Mexico “blew up” following the 2014 publication of her book, EXILE


The book recounts the story of the murder of her mother, Dr. Amalie Phelan and the circumstances surrounding the aftermath.

"There has been no justice for my mother and no justice for me," she declares.

The publication of her story resulted in a virtual bullseye being painted on her back by vengeful government and police authorities. The book details attempts of chemical assassination against her and also delves into her investigative reporting, which focuses mainly on biological weapons and eugenics issues.

In May of 2015 Phelan contacted the Ecuador Embassy in Mexico City requesting an appointment to discuss an application for asylum. In her communications with embassy officials, she specifically requested that Ecuador not make contact regarding her request with Mexico or the U.S. State Department as she feared increased harassment would be the result of her inquiry. 




In a letter dated May 24, 2015, she asked the Ambassador of Ecuador to keep her communications confidential. After thanking him for his interest in her situation, she wrote:

“I must now request that you keep our communications between us and not involve the United States or Mexican governments. My fear of retaliation is realistic and profound. I therefore must insist on your absolute discretion."


When no reply was forthcoming, Phelan telephoned the Embassy. 

An official in political affairs stiffly informed her that they were inquiring about her story of endangerment in Mexico with the Mexican government. 

The official then informed Phelan that it would be “months” until they had an answer for her.

“They sure weren't checking out any of this with me,” said Phelan. 


Mexico has long had a policy of deporting journalists who "cause trouble," and Phelan states there was one sentence in her communications with the Ecuador Embassy which, if related to the Mexican authorities, might provide “cause” to deport her back to the US.

As with many other American journalists who have been forced to flee as a result of their reporting, Phelan knew her decision was irrevocable.




“I simply cannot risk going back to the U.S.,” said Phelan. “After what already happened to me there, well, it is a miracle I am still alive.”

“I only asked Ecuador for an appointment,” she states. “I had no idea they would burn me like this. Everything I told them was the truth. So if one is at risk in one country, and asks for help from another country and that country is cooperating with the abuser country, where does one go?”




Phelan also told The 5th Estate that following disclosure by the official in the Ecuador Embassy that they had violated her request for confidentiality, she paid up her rent in Mexico in advance and fled once again, this time to Central America.

In her letter to the Ecuador Embassy dated May 24, 2015, Phelan stated she only wanted to be able to live and work in peace. She wrote “I trust you will not put my life and my journalistic efforts in danger, efforts which have already born the fruit of helping other persecuted individuals and bringing to public attention systemic human rights violations. There is still so much to be done and I simply seek a safe environment in which to continue on with my work.” Phelan is currently a foreign correspondent for the Russian publication New Eastern Outlook based in Moscow.




Phelan is now once more travelling down the road that many self-exiled American investigative journalists overseas who have dared to expose government criminality find themselves on, uprooted yet again and travelling a long, lonely path with the future relegated to a question mark.



Robert S. Finnegan is a retired investigative journalist residing permanently in Indonesia with his spouse, photographer Imas Kurniawati-Finnegan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

 photo
Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

 photo
STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

 photo capitalism_zpsah78uy5p.jpg
We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

 photo TAMIFLU_small_zpssojx6okt.jpg
THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 photo WHO02_zpsplmhtlpr.jpg
The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

READ MORE >>