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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Gay rights activist Terry Bean who raised $500,000 for Obama’s re-election campaign indicted for sexually abusing 15-year-old boy

A high profile gay rights activist and Democrat fundraiser has been charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy with his boyfriend.

Terry Bean, 66, co-founded two of the biggest national campaign groups and raised more than $500,000 for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid.

He was arrested at his home in southwest Portland on Wednesday and indicted with two counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree sex abuse.

Bean’s lawyers insist he is the victim of an ’extortion ring’, which they claim involves several men ’known to law enforcement’.

The alleged incident involved a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy in 2013 in Eugene, Oregon, police said.

His ex-boyfriend, Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, was also arrested and charged, according to USA Today

Bean is a revered character among the gay rights activist community and with the Democratic Party, Oregon Live reports.

He helped to form the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay And Lesbian Victory Fund.

The trained broker was forced to defend himself earlier this year after his co-accused, Lawson, revealed Bean secretly filmed their sexual encounters.

However, his lawyer Kristin Winemiller has lambasted claims he abused a teenage boy.

The modernized slave labor system: Also known as the prison industrial complex

The United States prison system, not only a machine for mass incarceration, but a machine for modernized slave labor. The United States has 5% of the worlds population, yet we have 25% of the worlds prison population. Land of the free right?

It would seem the statistics say otherwise, since the official drug war president Nixon announced in the 70′s, our prison population has grown over 700%! Recent estimates put our prison population to well over 2.4 million inmates. 50% of the federal prison inmates are for non violent drug offenses. All the while 20% of state prison inmates are drug related.

Prison Stats

© TheAntiMedia.org

Is this making Americans safer, or is there an entire industry making money off of imprisoning human beings? It's estimated that nearly 1 million convicts fill the ranks of Unicor. Unicor being the government owned corporation that handles the labor of inmates! It's no doubt the federal government see's an opportunity in prison labor, as they have used Unicor to have $100 million worth of military uniforms made for as little as $2 an hour. The government has no problem with using prison labor, and Unicor is estimated at raking in over $900 million a year.

McDonald's, Walmart, AT&T, Chevron, and IBM are just the names of a few companies that support the use of prison labor. Now these company's obviously endorse the modernized form of slave labor, and are benefiting off of it. It's no surprise to find out that the Correctional Vendors Association, a lobbyist group that represent companies that use prison labor, has spent well over $200 thousand this year alone in shaping bills that effect the prison system, mainly the mandatory minimum sentencing. Maybe these companies want people to remain in prison for their practically free modernized slave labor?

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Police reveal Cleveland boy shot by cop did not point BB gun at him

© AFP Photo/Jordan Gonzalez

People display sigs at Cudell Commons Park in Cleveland, Ohio, November 24, 2014 during a rally for Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot by police on November 23

The 12-year-old boy fatally shot Saturday by Cleveland police did not point a pellet gun at officers who approached him at a playground, police said. The shooting officer, police added, was only ten feet away from Tamir Rice when he fired at the boy.

Police officers were responding to a 911 call about a "man" with a gun that was "probably fake." The caller added, "I don't know if it's real or not." Cleveland Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said Monday he did not know if the dispatcher passed this information to the officers. The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association said the officers were not informed that the gun was likely fake, AP reported.

The pair of officers approached Rice, who was told to raise his hands. He was shot twice by one of the officers when he reached for the pellet gun in his waistband. He did not, according to official accounts, point the "airsoft" gun at police or verbally threaten the officers.

"Airsoft" pellet guns are designed to resemble actual firearms, but they shoot round plastic pellets. The fake guns are usually distinguished from real weapons by a strip or spot of orange paint, but police said Rice's toy did not have a safety indicator. An Ohio state lawmaker has already proposed legislation that would require all such airsoft guns to come with bright or obvious fluorescent stripes.

"Our officers at times are required to make critical decisions in a split second," Chief Calvin Williams said. "Unfortunately this is one of those times."

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The Cleveland police officer who shot Rice has yet to be named, though a police spokesman said the officer will be identified late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.

The shooting officer was relatively new to the force, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Police union officials said the officer had been patrolling city streets for less than one year. The officer was placed on three days of administrative leave following the shooting.

Deputy Chief Tomba said surveillance video of the incident was "very clear" about what happened at Cudell Recreation Center. The video was shown Monday to representatives of Rice's family but, considered evidence, was not released publicly, according to officials.

An investigation into the incident, and whether the officer used excessive force unjustifiably, has begun. The officer will be interviewed upon returning to work in a limited capacity.

Following completion of the investigation, the case will go to a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges against the officer are warranted, according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office refused to share details about the killing, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group, including information about Rice's size, an issue central to the manner of police response.

Rice's killing echoes the August shooting of black, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury decided Monday to withhold an indictment of white police officer Darren Wilson for Brown's death.

"Whether there was Ferguson down there or not doesn't matter to me," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at a Monday news conference. "What matters to me is that it happened in Cleveland, and it happened to a child."

Jackson added that the city is trying to maintain transparency so citizens will have faith in the investigation's eventual findings.

Timothy Kucharski, attorney for Rice's family, did not respond to AP's request for comment. He has said previously that Rice went to the park with friends on Saturday, but that he wanted to talk to witnesses and gather more information.

According to AP, about 100 people gathered Monday near the spot where Rice, who died Sunday, was shot. Demonstrators carried placards denouncing police brutality and calling for "Justice for Tamir!"

"We will not accept any excuse why this young man was shot down unjustly," said Art McKoy, a local community activist at the gathering.

A similar incident occurred in Santa Rosa, California last year, as 13-year-old Andy Lopez was fatally shot by police for carrying a plastic replica of an assault rifle which the officer mistook for an actual firearm. Prosecutors did not bring charges against the officer, as RT previously reported. The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office concluded that Deputy Erick Gelhaus "honestly and reasonably" acted out of belief that he faced an imminent threat of death or serious injury to himself.

Meanwhile, back in Cleveland, members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous launched Monday an attack on the official website for the City of Cleveland.

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"This rookie officer apparently was not trained," Anons said in a statement. "The police department he works for is to blame for this lack of appropriate training. Officers are equipped with many non-lethal options such as Taser guns. Why did he not use a Taser on this child? Shooting him in cold blood was not necessary with these non-lethal options available."


Citizen warns that 12-yr-old child's toy gun on playground is FAKE, cops shoot and kill child anyway

Drink less and be 'virtuous' and campus sexual assaults will stop sez Florida college president

© Rawstory/Screengrab

The president of St. Petersburg, Florida's Eckerd College has stirred up controversy by telling students that excessive drinking and casual sex are what leads to on-campus rapes.

According to the , Eckerd's President Donald Eastman III urged students in a campus-wide email to "do your part" to prevent sexual assaults by drinking less and being less promiscuous.

"Virtue in the area of sexuality is its own reward, and has been held in high esteem in Western Culture for millennia because those who are virtuous are happier as well as healthier," wrote Eastman in the loftily-worded email on Sunday. "No one's culture or character or understanding is improved by casual sex, and the physical and psychological risks to both genders are profound."

The 69-year-old Eastman went on to say that incidents of rape "are almost always preceded by consumption, often heavy consumption, of alcohol, often by everyone involved in them."

He offered two "fairly simple suggestions" to the 1,800 students at Eckerd.

1. By limiting your own consumption of alcohol, and encouraging your friends to do the same. Socrates included wine at his Symposium, but he did not get drunk.

2. You can be thoughtful about the dramatic and often negative psychological effects that sexual activity without commitment can have. Virtue in the area of sexuality is its own reward, and has been held in high esteem in Western Culture for millennia because those who are virtuous are happier as well as healthier. No one's culture or character or understanding is improved by casual sex, and the physical and psychological risks to both genders are profound.

"I wish each of you good luck in your final weeks of the semester, and a happy, healthy, virtuous 2015," he concluded.

Students responded with incredulity at Eastman's lack of tact with regards to a sensitive issue that is dividing campuses across the country.

"I'm pretty p - - off. That's a pretty insensitive thing to say," said Marlene Heyning, 19, to the . "Instead of teaching people that it's wrong to have casual sex and drink alcohol, how about teaching them that having sex with someone who says 'no' is not okay?"

"I don't think casual sex is in any way related to sexual assault," said sophomore Katie Wheeler, 18, "the problem is people breaking boundaries and not learning respect from a young age."

Senior Adrien Krajnik, 22, said that Eastman's letter may have been well-intentioned, but the tone was off-putting.

"However, it's also very clear he doesn't understand the problem, nor does he understand his students very well, which is a scary," said Krajnik, adding that "the word 'disgust' has been thrown around."

Eastman said that many students have responded positively to his email, but that "(t)he ones that are unhappy are really unhappy."

These students, he said, say "don't tell us this is the fault of the victim, don't blame sexual assault on alcohol, don't blame sexual assault on casual sex."

"But so far," he complained, "they haven't told me what you really ought to blame it on."

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Mass demonstrations across US, #MikeBrown may be the focus, his murder only part of the cause

protest nyc

© @NYHarmReduction via Twitter

Crowd has taken over the street in #TimesSquare chanting #JusticeForMikeBrown, riot cops have shown up with flexicuffs

As I write this, three separate protests are happening NYC, where I live. There's a group in Times Square, another that just blocked off 11th avenue and the Lincoln Tunnel and another group that started in Union Square and marched down 14th Street. There have also been protests in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Oakland, CA and Ferguson, MO. Ostensibly, these are because a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson of the murder of Mike Brown, however the root cause goes much deeper.

There was a lot to delve through: 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses and three medical examiners. Ultimately, the St. Louis County grand jury of nine white and three black members appeared to side with Wilson's view that he was defending himself against a much larger, fast-approaching aggressor.

Said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch: "The physical and scientific evidence examined by the grand jury, combined with the witness statements, supported and substantiated by that physical evidence, tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened."

Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time of the shooting, disagreed.

"I know exactly what I saw. I was there the whole time, and I definitely saw my friend stop and put his hands up," he told CNN's on Tuesday.

Unfortunately we may never know what happened to Mike Brown. There is a lot of reason to believe that the police are lying, that they manipulated evidence, and that the grand jury was only allowed to hear one narrative: Darren Wilson acted in self defense.

There's also the fact that the Ferguson prosecutor's office and the police department have a relationship, it's an obvious conflict of interest, with the prosecutor basically being asked to make against a case 'one of their own'. Anthony Gray, an attorney for Mike Brown's family, made the same point:

The decision by the grand jury was "an exact reflection of the prosecution ... a direct reflection of the sentiments of those who presented the evidence." Grey added, "He indicted himself ... Most of what he said didn't line up with the physical or the forensic evidence ... If you really want to hide something you hide it in plain view. It's right there for all of us to see."

In fact, this is the basic problem with police shootings. The cops and prosecutors are forced to 'investigate' themselves, or one of their own. Rarely does an officer ever get charged with a crime, often times he's merely put on paid leave until the storm blows over and then returns to active duty. There have been a few times when the officer in question is involved in multiple shootings. The twisted part is that some, likely psychopathic officers, take pride in their kills.

The former Oxnard police officer told American Justice Notebook that officers who have been involved in shootings, regardless of circumstances, will many times get a tattoo of a gun on their left shoulder. With each victim that the officer kills, a puff of gun smoke would allegedly be added to the tattoo. The gun smoke in the tattoos are reportedly shaped like a skull and cross bones.


The Oxnard Police Department is also currently dealing with a wrongful death controversy, where four officers shot an innocent bystander 16 to 21 times and saw no consequences.

We also have to consider that Mike Brown and Ferguson is the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to cops killing people in the streets. Since Mike Brown's murder, there have been 14 teenagers killed by cops in questionable circumstances. One was a 12 year old boy who was holding a BB gun.

Tamir Rice

© Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer

Tamir Rice was killed on Nov 23rd while at a family picnic

There have been so many shootings in the last year, it seems to happen weekly. So what changed? Why all of a sudden are cops killing people on a weekly basis, effectively executing folks, who are guilty of nothing more than carrying a sandwich, cell phone or disrespect their authority?

Might it have something to do with the fact that during the George W Bush administration police nationwide were mandated to be trained by the Israeli Occupation Force?

During the Bush administration, Israeli-American dual citizen and Director of Homeland Security Chertoff mandated that American police forces be trained by Israeli groups in crowd control, counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering.

Since that time, shootings of unarmed civilians has gone up 500%, attacks on legal political protests by police have become a scandal and huge stockpiles of ammunition and military heavy weaponry have been distributed to law enforcement groups in every region of America, both local and federally controlled.

© Unknown

It takes three NYPD officers to sexually assault one woman apparently. Take during Occupy Wall St in NYC, 2011.

Considering that throwing stones at Israeli Storm Troopers can now earn you a 20-year prison sentence, it is easy to see the parallels between the repressive policies that Israel uses against Palestinian and our own police force uses against us. Recall that just this summer Israel slaughtered over 2,000 people in Gaza, 44% of those were women, children, or elderly folks.

That's the bigger picture. Our police forces were trained, using our tax dollars, to be more repressive, more brutal, to kill first and ask questions later. Our entire justice system allows it to happen, and since the police investigate themselves they consistently claim they were justified, regardless of the truth.

People of color are consistently victimized, but white people, women as well as children, are also executed. There's push now for a nation-wide law requiring cops to wear cameras, and while I think that's a good idea, it still isn't getting to the root of the problem. That problem is that our national and state governments are infested with psychopaths. They're white collar, rich, and they'd like to have an army of well armed goons and politicians to execute their will, and they're willing to pay big bucks for it.

If they kill a few hundred of us here and there, it's no big deal to them. They don't have a conscience remember. Until we acknowledge the problem presented by psychopaths in government, and talk about it on a national scale, we won't be able to resolve the issue of cops killing people.

To get a good idea of how psychopaths infect government on a large scale and subsequently cause their ideals to be passed down amongst the populace, get and read a copy of by Andrew Lobaczewski or check out the Ponerology 101 articles written exclusively for Sott.net by Harrison Koehli.


Brent (Profile)

Brent is a research scientist, writer and avid reader. He lives in NYC and has spent the last decade unraveling secret history, molecular biology, diet and nutrition as well as plumbing the depths of psychopathy and its impact on society. He enjoys bacon, chocolate, romps in the wilderness and hanging out with dogs.

Nearly 60 million in path of East Coast, Appalachian snowstorm - 6-12 inches forecast

A storm with rain and heavy snow will cause major disruptions and delays for Thanksgiving travel on the East Coast and in the Appalachians.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "In most cases, the worst time to travel in the mid-Atlantic and New England due to the storm will be on Wednesday and Wednesday night."

"The best time to travel will be through Tuesday night in these same areas, with the next best time on Thanksgiving Day."

Rain will initially spread northward along the Interstate-95 with snow and rain to start farther west in the I-81 corridor. However, a change to snow will take place from west to east from northern Virginia to New England.

The storm will bring mostly snow to the I-81 swath in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, I-84 in southeastern New York state, as well as much of interior New England, where a general 6-12 inches of snow are forecast.

In anticipation of delays or cancellations, several airlines, including US Airways, American and Delta, have announced they will waive change fees for passengers scheduled to fly into airports in the line of the storm.

Some places across the Hudson Valley and New England could even have snow totals exceeding a foot.

"The storm should rapidly strengthen off the coast of New England on Wednesday night, leading to strong and gusty winds, especially near the coast," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Ben Noll as he discussed the impacts in this storm scenario.

Problems due to blowing and drifting snow will be the greatest in northern and western New England.

Enough rain, low clouds and fog will occur to lead to airline and highway delays ahead of the snow.

Rain will change to snow in the I-95 cities from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston during the latter part of the storm. Farther north along I-95, such as in Portland, Maine, this will be primarily a snowstorm.

While the heaviest snow will fall well north and west of the I-95 cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston, enough snow and sleet can fall to make roads in the cities and suburbs slushy and slippery.

Best Bets for Avoiding Weather-Related Travel Delays

The best bet for ground and air travel in the mid-Atlantic and New England will be through Tuesday night. Travel by ground may be satisfactory in northern New England Wednesday morning. However, for those traveling long distance by vehicle will run the risk of getting caught in the snowstorm Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Even though weather conditions will improve in the South later Wednesday and Wednesday night, possible flight delays may continue as some aircraft originating from the Northeast may be stuck in the snowstorm. These same issues can impact some flights throughout the nation.

Travel conditions will improve on Thanksgiving Day in the Northeast. However, some roads may still be snow-covered early in the day. Be on the lookout for icy spotty Thanksgiving night as areas that were previously wet and slushy can become icy.

Travelers in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast planning to head to their Thanksgiving destinations should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com for the latest on this storm and consider travel alternatives.

Timeline of the Worst Weather Conditions for Travel

Florida The worst conditions for travel due to rain and thunderstorms will be through Tuesday night. Travel will improve from north to south on Wednesday.

Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina The worst travel conditions due to rain will be Tuesday night into early Wednesday. However, the heaviest rain will slide east of these areas. Travel conditions will improve Wednesday afternoon and night.

Savannah, Georgia, to Norfolk, Virginia The worst travel conditions due to rain will be Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Travel conditions will improve from south to north during the balance of Wednesday.

Raleigh, North Carolina, to Richmond, Virginia The worst conditions due to rain will be Tuesday night into Wednesday midday. Travel conditions will improve from south to north Wednesday afternoon.

Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel Wednesday morning, but the worst conditions will be during the late afternoon and evening as the wintry mix changes to snow. Some roads will become slushy.

Philadelphia Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel Wednesday morning and midday, but the worst conditions will be from the middle of the afternoon into the evening as the wintry mix changes to snow. Some roads will become slippery.

New York City Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel into Wednesday afternoon, but the worst conditions will be toward evening into Wednesday night as snow falls. Some roads will become slippery.

Boston Rain, or a mix of wet snow and rain will slow travel during the early part of the day Wednesday, but the worst conditions will begin Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night as snow falls. Roads will become slippery.

Portland, Maine A mix of rain, sleet and snow to start at midday on Wednesday will change to all snow and continue through Wednesday night. The worst conditions will be from late Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.

Harrisonburg, Virginia, to Hagerstown, Maryland Any wintry mix to start on Wednesday will change to all snow and become heavy at times. Travel will be difficult throughout the day Wednesday. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.

Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania Rain will change to snow Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be during the day Wednesday into Wednesday evening. Roads will become snow-covered and slippery.

Binghamton and Albany, New York Snow will arrive Wednesday morning. The worst conditions will be Wednesday afternoon and night. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery.

Worcester, Massachusetts to Concord, New Hampshire, and Bangor Maine Snow will spread northward during Wednesday. The worst conditions will be Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Roads will be snow-covered and slippery with blowing and drifting snow.

UFO researchers' computers hacked over mysterious "Roswell slides"

More alien autopsy images in the pipeline?

Ross, a commenter at the 'UFO Conjecture(s)' blog, stated today in an email exchange with 'The UFO Trail' that his email and the accounts of some high profile UFO-researchers were hacked in relation to the alleged Roswell slides. Ross further stated that he believed "a three letter agency" was responsible.

Ross stated that he assumed he was initially targeted due to his involvement in email exchanges about the slides. He first got involved in the saga, he indicated, about 18 months ago through reading 'UFO Conjecture(s)' and exchanging emails with its author, Rich Reynolds.

"The 'hacking' thing involved Tony Bragalia, Rich Reynolds, Nick Redfern and myself," Ross wrote.

"Based on the resources required to do what I think they were doing; intercepting our comms as opposed to just 'hacking' and just the way things transpired I'm of the opinion this was a three letter agency," he added.

The party responsible for compromising the emails was obviously interested in the slides, Ross explained, and generally caused disruption.

"My instinct was that whoever we were dealing with had a sophisticated operation behind them," Ross wrote, "and figured I may as well try communicating to see what they have to say (the hacker used various safe-mail accounts to interact with us)."

Ross continued, "The first response I received to a communication I had initiated was a list of emails which were mostly discussions about the slides, but there was some unrelated material there (which I discarded). This was obviously the hacker wanting to let me know the extent of the surveillance. There was a lot of smoke and mirrors, but overall the story was that these slides were of interest to certain three letter agencies. There were offers of money, a sit down meeting with someone fully briefed in what the government really knows about UFOs, and even the opportunity to see for real what the slides supposedly depict. All these offers were related to my acting as a conduit to arrange a meeting between the people handling the slides and the party/parties doing the 'hacking'. This wasn't something I was in a position to set up not being in contact with or on good terms with the people involved."

Ross alleged that further intrusions involved telephone disruptions, explaining, "I got some strange calls and some even stranger interruptions into calls I was making. It would be things like 'have you considered our offer', 'we can help each other', that kind of thing. I had kept that part quiet because people just tend to write people who say stuff like that off as loons."

The events unfolded "over the last few months," subsiding in the last six weeks or so. Ross interpreted that computer experts and the FBI were alerted to the circumstances but investigations resulted in "dead ends".

"It was clear to me that what they were engaged in was a labor, it wasn't recreational, it was a case of this is how we do this and it has to be done. For example, 'these issues crop up from time to time and it is important that we deal with them so they can be managed in a way consistent with established practices', which was an answer as to what was with all the smoke and mirrors and bullshit riddles."

"I think the goal was to spook people," Ross concluded, "to derail the slides investigation and to attempt to recruit people into a conspiracy with the ultimate goal of securing the slide material on their behalf."

Prior to the email exchange with Ross, attempts were made to obtain comments from writer/researcher Thomas Carey about his statements about the slides during his recent appearance at American University. Carey was emailed Nov. 13 and permission was requested to submit a few questions, to which Carey replied the same day, "Sure."

The questions, which included inquiries about what evidence he felt existed that directly linked the alleged slides to Roswell and what he would say to critics that assert the slides only contain images of unknown circumstances that cannot be conclusively demonstrated to involve an ET life form, were emailed Nov. 14. After receiving no responses, a reminder that his comments would be appreciated was sent Nov. 18. As of this post, no further emails have been received from Carey.

California psychologist sez that low-IQ girls 'suffer less' trauma from sex assault

© Youtube

Forensic psychologist Dr. Stan Katz

An expert hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) argued in court that a 9-year-old girl seeking damages after she was sexually assaulted would be protected from emotional stress by her low IQ.

Court documents obtained by KPCC investigative producer Karen Foshay detailed forensic psychologist Dr. Stan Katz's 2013 testimony in a trial to determine how much in damages the 9-year-old girl would receive after she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a boy at one of the district's schools.

The girl reportedly had an IQ between 64 and 70, but the boy was not developmentally disabled.

According to the transcripts, attorney David Ring, who represented the girl, asked Katz to explain what he meant when he said that the girl's disability "acts as a protective factor."

"There's a relationship between intelligence and depression," Katz replied. "What happens is the more you think about things, you can ruminate, you can focus on things, you can look at the complexities of the matter and become less depressed."

"So because she may be less intelligent than a general education student, she's going to suffer less depression because of it?" Ring pressed.

"Very possible, yes," Katz insisted.

He did agree that the girl would need therapy to cope with the trauma. But he said that he had interviewed the girl in 2012 - two years after the 2010 sexual assaults - and had determined that the crime was not connected to her emotional distress. Instead, he blamed her problems on a lack of a father in her life, and on her mental disability.

KPCC talked to two experts who said that there was no science to support Katz's testimony.

"I have never seen developmental disability in a child that age used as a protective factor with respect to how they handle trauma," University of California San Francisco psychiatrist Dr. Lynn Ponton explained. "In fact, developmental disability quite often puts them at risk for this type of trauma."

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine associate professor Dr. Steven Berkowitz agreed that disabled persons may have difficulty "decision making or problem solving around the use of coping strategies to assist them in dealing with the stress or trauma."

In the end, the jury awarded the girl $1.4 million in damages, even though her lawyer had only asked for up to $12,500 to pay for therapy.

"The jury was offended, they were and they thought it was unbelievable that an expert witness could come in and say something like that," Ring recalled to KPCC.

Katz, who was better known for his numerous appearances on reality television, was also consulting with LAUSD about another child abuse case that was scheduled to go to trial in February.

Must-read statement by Russian FM Sergey Lavrov

Behind this friendly exterior lies a Fawkesian force to be reckoned with!

I'm happy to be at this annual Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (Russian abbreviation SVOP). It is always a great pleasure for me to meet people and feel the intellectual potential, which enables the Council, its leaders and representatives to respond to global developments and analyse them. Their analysis is always free from any hysteria, and its members offer well-grounded and solid arguments, taking a step back, since those caught in the midst of events can hardly adopt an unbiased perspective. We are inevitably influenced by the developments, which makes your observations, analysis, discourse and suggestions even more valuable to us.

As far as I know, this year's Assembly will focus on prospects for accelerating domestic growth in Russia. There is no doubt that concerted efforts by our society as a whole to bring about comprehensive economic, social and spiritual development are a prerequisite for making Russia's future sustainable. That said, by virtue of my professional duties, I have to focus on foreign policy issues, which are still relevant for the Assembly's agenda, since in this interconnected, globalised world, isolating internal development from the outside world is impossible. Russia's President Vladimir Putin provided a detailed analysis of the international developments at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi, as well as in his interviews during his trip to Asia. For this reason, I won't offer any conceptual observations, as everything has already been said. Nevertheless, I would like to share with you some considerations based on our day-to-day foreign policy efforts. It is not my intention to deliver a comprehensive or clear outlook, since at this stage all forecasts are provisional, no matter who makes them. Moreover, diplomats seek to influence developments as they unfold, not contemplate them.

Naturally, I will start with Ukraine. Long before the country was plunged into the crisis, there was a feeling in the air that Russia's relations with the EU and with the West were about to reach their moment of truth. It was clear that we could no longer continue to put issues in our relations on the back burner and that a choice had to be made between a genuine partnership or, as the saying goes, "breaking pots." It goes without saying that Russia opted for the former alternative, while unfortunately our Western partners settled for the latter, whether consciously or not. In fact, they went all out in Ukraine and supported extremists, thereby giving up their own principles of democratic regime change. What came out of it was an attempt to play chicken with Russia, to see who blinks first. As bullies say, they wanted to Russia to "chicken out" (I can't find a better word for it), to force us to swallow the humiliation of Russians and native speakers of Russian in Ukraine.

Honourable Leslie Gelb, whom you know all too well, wrote that Ukraine's Association Agreement with the EU had nothing to do with inviting Ukraine to join the EU and was aimed in the short term at preventing it from joining the Customs Union. This is what an impartial and unbiased person said. When they deliberately decided to go down the path of escalation in Ukraine, they forgot many things, and had a clear understanding of how such moves would be viewed in Russia. They forgot the advice of, say, Otto von Bismarck, who had said that disparaging the millions-strong great Russian people would be the biggest political mistake.

President Vladimir Putin said the other day that no one in history has yet managed to subjugate Russia to its influence. This is not an assessment, but a statement of fact. Yet such an attempt has been made to quench the thirst for expanding the geopolitical space under Western control, out of a mercantile fear to lose the spoils of what they across the Atlantic had persuaded themselves was the victory in the Cold War.

The plus of today's situation is that everything has clicked into its place and the calculus behind the West's actions has been revealed despite its professed readiness to build a security community, a common European home. To quote (singer/song-writer) Bulat Okudzhava, "The past is getting clearer and clearer." The clarity is becoming more tangible. Today our task is not only to sort out the past (although that must be done), but most importantly, to think about the future.

Talks about Russia's isolation do not merit serious discussion. I need hardly dwell on this before this audience. Of course, one can damage our economy, and damage is being done, but only by doing harm to those who are taking corresponding measures and, equally important, destroying the system of international economic relations, the principles on which it is based. Formerly, when sanctions were applied (I worked at the Russian mission to the UN at the time) our Western partners, when discussing the DPRK, Iran or other states, said that it was necessary to formulate the restrictions in such a way as to keep within humanitarian limits and not to cause damage to the social sphere and the economy, and to selectively target only the elite. Today everything is the other way around: Western leaders are publicly declaring that the sanctions should destroy the economy and trigger popular protests. So, as regards the conceptual approach to the use of coercive measures the West unequivocally demonstrates that it does not merely seek to change Russian policy (which in itself is illusory), but it seeks to change the regime -- and practically nobody denies this.

President Vladimir Putin, speaking with journalists recently, said that today's Western leaders have a limited planning horizon. Indeed, it is dangerous when decisions on key problems of the development of the world and humankind as a whole are taken on the basis of short electoral cycles: in the United States the cycle is two years and each time one has to think of or do something to win votes. This is the negative side of the democratic process, but we cannot afford to ignore it. We cannot accept the logic when we are told to resign, relax and take it as a given that everyone has to suffer because there are elections in the United States every two years. This is just not right. We will not resign ourselves to this because the stakes are too high in the fight against terror, the threats of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and many bloody conflicts whose negative impact goes far beyond the framework of the corresponding states and regions. The wish to do something to gain unilateral advantages or to endear oneself to the electorate ahead of another election leads to chaos and confusion in international relations.

We hear the daily repeated mantra that Washington is aware of its own exclusiveness and its duty to bear this burden, to lead the rest of the world. Rudyard Kipling spoke about "the white man's burden." I hope that this is not what drives Americans. The world today is not white or black, but multi-coloured and heterogeneous. Leadership in this world can be assured not by persuading oneself of one's exclusiveness and God-given duty to be responsible for everyone, but only by the ability and craft in forming a consensus. If the US partners committed their power to this goal, this would be priceless, and Russia would be actively helping them.

However, so far, US administrative resources still work only in the NATO framework, and then with substantial reservations, and its writ does not reach beyond the North Atlantic Alliance. One proof of this is the results of US attempts to make the world community follow its line in connection with the anti-Russian sanctions and principles. I have spoken about it more than once and we have ample proof of the fact that American ambassadors and envoys across the world seek meetings at the highest level to argue that the corresponding countries are obliged to punish Russia together with them or else face the consequences. This is done with regard to all countries, including our closest allies (this speaks volumes about the kind of analysts Washington has). An overwhelming majority of the states with which we have a continuing dialogue without any restrictions and isolation, as you see, value Russia's independent role in the international arena. Not because they like it when somebody challenges the Americans, but because they realise that the world order will not be stable if nobody is allowed to speak his mind (although privately the overwhelming majority do express their opinion, but they do not want to do so publicly for fear of Washington's reprisals).

Many reasonable analysts understand that there is a widening gap between the global ambitions of the US Administration and the country's real potential. The world is changing and, as has always happened in history, at some point somebody's influence and power reach their peak and then somebody begins to develop still faster and more effectively. One should study history and proceed from realities. The seven developing economies headed by BRICS already have a bigger GDP than the Western G7. One should proceed from the facts of life, and not from a misconceived sense of one's own grandeur.

It has become fashionable to argue that Russia is waging a kind of "hybrid war" in Crimea and in Ukraine. It is an interesting term, but I would apply it above all to the United States and its war strategy - it is truly a hybrid war aimed not so much at defeating the enemy militarily as at changing the regimes in the states that pursue a policy Washington does not like. It is using financial and economic pressure, information attacks, using others on the perimeter of a corresponding state as proxies and of course information and ideological pressure through externally financed non-governmental organisations. Is it not a hybrid process and not what we call war? It would be interesting to discuss the concept of the hybrid war to see who is waging it and is it only about "little green men."

Apparently the toolkit of our US partners, who have become adept at using it, is much larger.

In attempting to establish their pre-eminence at a time when new economic, financial and political power centres are emerging, the Americans provoke counteraction in keeping with Newton's third law and contribute to the emergence of structures, mechanisms, and movements that seek alternatives to the American recipes for solving the pressing problems. I am not referring to anti-Americanism, still less about forming coalitions spearheaded against the United States, but only about the natural wish of a growing number of countries to secure their vital interests and do it the way they think right, and not what they are told "from across the pond." Nobody is going to play anti-US games just to spite the United States. We face attempts and facts of extra-territorial use of US legislation, the kidnapping of our citizens in spite of existing treaties with Washington whereby these issues are to be resolved through law enforcement and judicial bodies.

According to its doctrine of national security, the United States has the right to use force anywhere, anytime without necessarily asking the UN Security Council for approval. A coalition against the Islamic State was formed unbeknownst to the Security Council. I asked Secretary of State John Kerry why have not they gone to the UN Security Council for this.

He told me that if they did, they would have to somehow designate the status of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Of course, they had to because Syria is a sovereign state and still a member of the UN (no one excluded it from UN membership). The secretary of state said it was wrong because the United States is combating terrorism and the al-Assad regime is the most important factor that galvanises terrorists from around the world and acts as a magnet attracting them to this region in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian regime.

I believe this is perverse logic. If we are talking about precedents (the United States adheres to case law), it is worth remembering the chemical disarmament in Syria when the Assad regime was a completely legitimate partner of the United States, Russia, the OPCW and others. The Americans maintain talks with the Taliban as well. Whenever the United States has an opportunity to benefit from something, it acts quite pragmatically. I'm not sure why the ideologically-driven position took the upper hand this time and the United States chose to believe that Assad cannot be a partner. Perhaps, this is not so much an operation against the Islamic State as paving the way for toppling al-Assad under the guise of a counter-terrorist operation.

Francis Fukuyama recently wrote the book, Political Order and Political Decay, in which he argues that the efficiency of public administration in the United States is declining and the traditions of democratic governance are gradually being replaced with feudal fiefdom ruling methods. This is part of the discussion about someone who lives in a glass house and throws stones.

All of this is happening amid the mounting challenges and problems of the modern world. We are seeing a continued "tug of war" in Ukraine. Trouble is brewing on the south border of the EU. I don't think the Middle Eastern and North African problems will go away all by themselves. The EU has formed a new commission. New foreign actors have emerged, who will face a serious fight for where to send their basic resources: either for the continuation of reckless schemes in Ukraine, Moldova, etc., within the Eastern Partnership (as advocated by an aggressive minority in the EU), or they will listen to the Southern European countries and focus on what's happening on the other side of the Mediterranean.

This is a major issue for the EU.

So far, those who are not guided by real problems, but rather by a desire to quickly grab things from freshly turned up ground. It is deplorable. Exporting revolutions - be they democratic, communist or others - never brings any good.

State, public and civilisational structures are actually disintegrating in the MENA region. The destructive energy released in the process can scorch states that are located far beyond this region. Terrorists (including the Islamic State) are claiming a national status. Moreover, they are already beginning to create quasi-governmental bodies there that engage in the administrative work.

On this backdrop, minorities, including Christians, are banished. In Europe, these issues are deemed not politically correct. They are ashamed when we invite them to do something about it together at the OSCE. They wonder why would we focus specifically on Christians? How is that special? The OSCE has held a series of events dedicated to keeping memories about the Holocaust and its victims alive. A few years ago, the OSCE started holding events against Islamophobia. We will be offering an analysis of the processes leading to Christianophobia.

On 4-5 December, OSCE ministerial meetings will be held in Basel, where we will present this proposal. The majority of EU member states elude this topic, because they are ashamed to talk about it. Just as they were ashamed to include in what was then the EU constitution drafted by Valery Giscard d'Estaing a phrase that Europe has Christian roots.

If you don't remember or respect your own roots and traditions, how would you respect the traditions and values of other people? This is straightforward logic. Comparing what's happening now in the Middle East to a period of religious wars in Europe, Israeli political scientist Avineri said that the current turmoil is unlikely to end with what the West means when it says "democratic reforms."

The Arab-Israeli conflict is dead in the water. It's hard to play on several boards at a time. The Americans are trying to accomplish this, but it doesn't work for them. In 2013, they took nine months to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will not go into the reasons, they are known, but they failed at this as well. Now, they asked for more time to try to achieve some progress before the end of 2014, so that the Palestinians wouldn't go to the UN and sign the Statute of the International Criminal Court, etc. Suddenly, it transpired that negotiations on Iran are underway. The US State Department dumped Palestine to focus on Iran.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and I agreed to talk on this subject some time soon. It's important to understand that you can't keep the problem of the Palestinian state deeply frozen forever. Failure to resolve it for nearly 70 years has been a major argument of those who recruit extremists in their ranks, "there's no justice: it was promised to create two states; the Jewish one was created, but they will never create an Arab state." Used on a hungry Arab street, these arguments sound quite plausible, and they start calling for a fight for justice using other methods.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi that we need a new version of interdependence. This was a very topical statement. The leading powers must return to the negotiating table and agree on a new framework that takes into account the basic legitimate interests of all the key parties (I can't tell you what it should be called, but it should be based on the UN Charter), to agree on reasonable self-imposed restrictions and collective risk management in a system of international relations underpinned by democratic values. Our Western partners promote respect for the rule of law, democracy and minority opinion within countries, while failing to stand up for the same values in international affairs. This leaves Russia as a pioneer in promoting democracy, justice and rule of international law. A new world order can only be polycentric and should reflect the diversity of cultures and civilisations in today's world.

You are aware of Russia's commitment to ensuring indivisibility of security in international affairs and holding it in international law. I won't elaborate on this.

I would like to support the point the SVOP has been making that Russia won't succeed in becoming a major, successful and confident power of the 21st century without developing its eastern regions. Sergei Karaganov was among the first to conceptualise this idea, and I fully agree. Taking Russia's relations with the Asia Pacific countries to a new level is an absolute priority. Russia worked along these lines at the Beijing APEC meeting and the G20 forum. We will continue moving in this direction in the new environment created by the upcoming launch of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on 1 January 2015.

We have been treated as "subhumans." For over a decade, Russia has been trying to establish partnership ties with NATO through CSTO. These efforts were not just about putting NATO and CSTO "in the same league." As a matter of fact, CSTO is focused on catching drug dealers and illegal migrants around the Afghan border, and the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation is the backbone of the international security forces, which, among other things, were tasked with fighting the terrorist threat and eliminating its financing schemes, which involve drug trafficking. We tried everything: we pleaded and then demanded real-time contact, so that once NATO detects a caravan transporting drugs and is unable to stop it, it alerts us across the border, so that this caravan could be intercepted by CSTO forces. They simply refused to talk to us. In private conversations, our NATO well-wishers (and I actually mean this in the positive way) told us that the alliance can't view CSTO as an equal partner for ideological reasons. Until recently, we saw the same condescending and arrogant attitude with respect to the Eurasian economic integration. And that despite the fact that countries intending to join the EAEU have much more in common in terms of their economies, history and culture than many EU members. This union is not about creating barriers with anyone. We always stress how open this union is expected to be. I strongly believe that it will make a significant contribution to building a bridge between Europe and Asia Pacific.

I can't fail to mention Russia's comprehensive partnership with China. Important bilateral decisions have been taken, paving the way to an energy alliance between Russia and China. But there's more to it. We can now even talk about the emerging technology alliance between the two countries. Russia's tandem with Beijing is a crucial factor for ensuring international stability and at least some balance in international affairs, as well as ensuring the rule of international law. We will make full use of our relations with India and Vietnam, Russia's strategic partners, as well as the ASEAN countries. We are also open to expanding cooperation with Japan, if our Japanese neighbours can look at their national interests and stop looking back at some overseas powers.

There is no doubt that the European Union is our largest collective partner. No one intends to "shoot himself in the foot" by renouncing cooperation with Europe, although it is now clear that business as usual is no longer an option. This is what our European partners are telling us, but neither do we want to operate the old way. They believed that Russia owed them something, while we want to be on an equal footing. For this reason, things will never be the same again. That said, I'm confident that we will be able to overcome this period, lessons will be learned and a new foundation for our relations will emerge.

The idea of creating a single economic and humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok can now be heard here and there and is gaining traction. Germany's Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said publicly (while we have been saying it for a long time) that the EU and the EAEU should engage in dialogue. The statement President Vladimir Putin made in Brussels in January 2014, when he proposed the first step by launching negotiations on a free-trade zone between the EU and the Customs Union with an eye on 2020, is no longer viewed as something exotic. All of this has already become part of diplomacy and real politics. Although this is so far only a matter of discussion, I strongly believe that we will one day achieve what is called "the integration of integrations." This is one of the key topics we want to promote within the OSCE at the Ministerial Council in Basel. Russia is about to assume BRICS and SCO presidency. The two organisations will hold their summits in Ufa. These are very promising organisations for the new age. They are not blocks (especially BRICS), but groups where members share the same interests, representing countries from all continents that share common approaches regarding the future of the global economy, finance and politics.

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SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Bidding for war! VP Joe Biden goes to Ukraine

The merchants of death and destruction in the US are still itching for a fight with Russia, and they're willing to sacrifice as many Ukrainians as necessary to do so. Things have not exactly gone their way however. In contrast to US puppet Poroshenko's claim that the so-called 'anti-terrorist operation' would be over in a matter of weeks, the rebels of Dontesk and Luhansk have so far successfully repelled all attempts by Kiev's neo-Nazis to bludgeon them into submission. As is usual in cases where the US is waging a proxy imperial war in someone else's country and the plan isn't going as expected, top US officials have flown in to Ukraine for 'attaboys' to get things moving.

yats biden

© AP Photo/ Andrew Kravchenko, Pool

Yats: "And then we bombed their houses, raped their wives, and tortured the captives!" Biden: "LOL!"

Last Thursday, US vicepresident Joe Biden made the third call to Kiev in seven months to meet his underlings friends and to turn the heat up on the warmongering. It should not be forgotten that the son of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, is on the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, the largest private producer of natural gas in Ukraine that holds large licenses to . And as long as there is a war going on, no drilling is possible.

So what did daddy Biden say in Ukraine:

Speaking at the Presidential Administrative Building in Kiev, Biden encouraged the Ukrainian government to press forward with its draconian economic reform agenda to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has promised $17 billion in loans to prop up the collapsing Ukrainian economy. Biden reassured his audience that the American government is "looking for opportunities to improve Ukraine's business climate and increase trade and investment."

While in Kiev, the vice president also announced a further $23 million in assistance to the Ukrainian government. So far this year the Obama administration has committed $320 million in aid to Ukraine, with a $118 million dedicated to providing equipment and training to bolster the Ukrainian Armed Forces, State Border Guard Service and the National Guard.

Yes, the US is so generous,don't you think? $23 million in further assistance to the Ukrainian government, which will undoubtedly go to the war effort. That the US stole the best part if not all of Ukraine's 42 tons of gold back in March is of course a minor issue, something that the Ukrainian people will only be to happy to give. And who needs gold in the life hereafter, a place/condition that the US is doing its level best to achieve for every Ukrainian.

If any of the previous visits by top officials is an indicator, then this can only mean an escalation of the war, which despite the supposed ceasefire has continued with daily Ukrainian bombings of civilian targets ever since. The US has not officially given lethal aid, but it doesn't have to, since its compliant puppets in NATO countries such as Poland and Lithuania are more than willing to supply it on behalf of the US. Lithuania just agreed to supply Ukraine with weapons and training. The empire of chaos is like a Lernaean Hydra, that pops up two more heads for every one cut off. In this case, since there was no official US backing for the supply of lethal arms to Ukraine, up pop the puppets AND the CIA to the rescue, just like in Syria where the CIA and NATO puppet Turkey supplied the Syrian rebels aka ISIS with heavy weapons and training. The script is the same every time, with just a few minor changes.

So has Poroshenko been encouraged by recent signals from the West, including the outrageous vote by the US to not fight Nazi ideology?

It appears so. The OSCE have reported movement of the Ukrainian army's Uragan launch rocket systems in the security zone in eastern Ukraine. These are serious heavy weapons (220mm) and according to the defunct Minsk agreement all heavy weapons should be moved out of the security zone...not into it.

Poroshenko also made a speech less than two weeks ago that made it clear that he understood the signals. He showed complete and utter disregard for the ordinary people of Donbass.

...we [in Ukraine] will have work - they [in the Donbas] won't. We will have pensions - they won't. We will care for our children and pensioners - they won't. Our children will go to school, to kindergartens - their children will sit in cellars. They don't know how to organize or do anything. This, ultimately, is how we will win this war.

[embedded content]

Talking about winning hearts and minds! It is easy for billionaire oligarch Poroshenko to sacrifice the population of Ukraine, as he himself at any time can scurry off to a cushy palace on the French Riviera, while the Ukrainian people suffer hunger, cold and instability under the onslaught from Poroshenko and NATO's Nazi stormtroopers.

The Ukrainian government have directly targeted the civilian population, through shelling, cutting of pensions, bombing of infrastructure such as power stations, water purification plants, bridges and the like, shelling hospitals, schools, residential buildings, use of phosphorous bombs and cluster munitions. The list of war crimes goes on and the Western presstitute mass media remains not only silent about it, they actively support the fascism on display in Ukraine, by willfully turning a blind eye to these war crimes and Kiev's reign of terror.

Just for the record, let's sum up previous top US officials' visits to Ukraine and the consequences:

In the November last year, the McCain and US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria 'F**k the EU' Nuland were in Kiev encouraging protesters. Shortly afterwards violence spiralled out of control.

End of February this year, top US and EU officials signed a deal with the previous elected president and the opposition. Before the ink was dry, a coup occurred and a new regime backed by the EU and the US took power.

John Kerry then went to Ukraine straight after the coup to show US support for this undemocratic and lawless act.

CIA godfather John Brennan went to Kiev in the beginning of April, which was immediately followed by the beginning of the so-called anti-terror operation against the 7 million people in the Donbass region.

Less than two weeks later vice president Joe Biden visited to encourage and give US backing for this war on the people of South-Eastern Ukraine, who dared to not recognize the new fascist coup regime. That meeting was followed by the appointment, in nepotistic fashion, of Biden's substance addicted son, Hunter Biden, to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, the biggest Gas company in Ukraine.

In June 2014 Victoria Nuland and VP Biden went to Ukraine and were both present at the Inauguration of Poroshenko in early June. It worked its magic and Poroshenko came out swinging for war in his inauguration speech:

  • No federalization

  • No state status for the Russian language

  • No recognition of the Novorossian political leadership

  • Full and unconditional surrender of the Novorossian Defense Forces

  • Crimea will forever belong to the Ukraine.

We all know how that ended. Shortly afterwards a full scale assault by the Ukrainian junta on the Donbass region, which was supposed to lead to decisive victory within weeks, was launched, and Kiev's shock troops were eventually routed after murdering thousands of East Ukrainians.

This is by no means a complete list of the many 'top' Western officials that visited Kiev in the last year, but you get the idea. US officials have not given up on engaging Russia in a war with Ukraine and every time one of them goes to Kiev to talk to their fellow pathocrats and puppets there, the Kiev regime is emboldened for more bloodletting and escalation, instead of seeking a diplomatic solution and abiding by international law.

Putin and Abbott

© Unknown

Putin decides to leave early. What's the point staying, when all they want is war and human suffering?

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin is aware of this geopolitical play and has stated that he will not allow the Donbass to be taken over by the fascists in Kiev. The recognition of Crimea by China and their support for the Russian position regarding Ukraine shows that Russia is not alone and has the backing of powerful friends. The fact that Putin left the G20 meeting early has by some analyst been taken as a sign that the US was not open to even the slightest compromise on Ukraine. This could mean a much broader escalation of the war and something that will cost hundreds of thousands of lives. All to satisfy the pathological deviants lust for power, greed and human suffering.


Aeneas Georg (Profile)

I'm a train manager and ticket inspector on international train routes in Europe. I've been reading SOTT since 2003 and first joined the editorial team in 2007 after realizing I had to do something about the deteriorating state of our world. I'm particularly interested in 'following the money' to track the machinations of the deceptive ones in high places. I suppose you could say I've taken my chosen profession to a new level, and now with SOTT I'm "inspecting the flows" of people and money in more ways than one.

NYPD cop beats unarmed man after 'pepper spraying'

Man beaten by NYPD

© PIX11

In video captured by a bystander in a Brooklyn subway station, a New York City police officer can be seen hitting a young man in the head with his baton after the young man allegedly attempted to avoid paying the fare by jumping the turnstiles.

According to 11 - which obtained the video - the man who filmed the altercation said the struggle began after the officer used pepper spray against the young man, identified as 20-year-old Donovan Lawson of Brooklyn.

In the video, which starts following the reported pepper spraying, the NYPD officer can be seen pushing Lawson up against a wall before striking him with his baton across his legs. As Lawson drops his hands to protect his legs from the officer, the policeman strikes him on his unprotected head. The officer then shoves the bleeding Lawson through the turnstiles and out of the subway station, hitting walls on the way.

Spectators watching the arrest can be heard yelling, "What are you doing" at the arresting officer as he wrestles with the young man.

According to NYPD policy, striking a suspect in the head with a baton is against policy.

The NYPD recently announced that all officers "top to bottom" would undergo retraining in the use of force following the death of Eric Garner in July. Garner died on the street after an officer used his a chokehold on the Staten Island man.

According to the NYPD, Lawson has no prior arrests to his name, but now faces charges of fare beating, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and disrupting government administration in this case.

The 20-year-old Lawson was taken to a hospital along with the officer, who was treated for hand and wrist injuries, police said.

[embedded content]

Hundreds report mystery 'explosion' in Manchester

A mysterious explosion heard across parts of Manchester and Salford remains unexplained.

Hundreds of people took to social media to describe hearing a "loud bang" at about 22:30 GMT on Monday.

Firefighters were called after a report in the Weaste area of Salford but later admitted they could find no evidence of a fire, or any other disturbance.

Shinydan Howell posted on Twitter: "Everyone in Manchester ok? Loud bang in Salford could be anything."

Lana Habbal posted: "Everyone is talking about a loud bang in Manchester I hope nobody is hurt."

Francis Jenkins, another Twitter user, said there had been disturbances to television and mobile phone networks.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said they had found no evidence of any disturbance.

Elderly apple grower killed by bear in Japan

A 74-year-old man was found dead Thursday morning at his apple orchard in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, after having apparently been attacked by a bear.

Police said Kazuo Harada told his wife Wednesday night he was going out to see if there were any bear tracks near the apple trees, TBS reported. Harada's wife went to bed early and found her husband's body at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Harada's face and throat had injuries and claw marks consistent with a bear attack, police said, adding that bear tracks were found near Harada's body.

Police said there have been numerous bear sightings in the area recently. Authorities said that in autumn, bears aggressively search for food before hibernating for the winter.  

Father and son killed in elephant attack, Sri Lanka

A father and his six-year-old son were killed after being attacked by a wild elephant in the Paludeniya area in Aralaganwila this morning, the Police Spokesman's Office.

The 45-year-old victim, who is employed as a security guard at a private company in Paludeniya, was with his son at his occupation when the elephant attack took place.

They were both rushed to the Dehiattakandiya Hospital with critical injuries following the attack, however were pronounced dead on admittance, police said.

NATO's handiwork: Libya then and now

American freedom and democracy comes to Libya.

In 2011, as the entire world watched the Arab Spring in amazement, the US and its allies, predominantly working under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), militarily overran the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

The peaceful civilian protesters they claimed to be intervening to protect were not really what the US and its cohorts presented to the world. Many of these so-called "protesters" were armed, and when this became apparent they eventually began to portray themselves as "rebel forces." These so-called "rebels" in Libya were not a military force that emerged spontaneously for the most part, but an insurgency movement cultivated and organised before any opposition activities were even reported in Libya.

[embedded content]

After Libya's rapprochement with the US and the European Union, it was unthinkable to many that Washington and any of its allies could even have been preparing to topple the Libyan government. Business and trade ties between Libya and the US, Britain, Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey had bloomed since 2003 after Colonel Muammar Qadhafi opted for cooperation with Washington. No one imagined that Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi's "New Libya" with its neo-liberalism could be on a collision course with NATO.

Yet, the US and its EU partners for several years made preparations for taking over Libya. They had infiltrated the Jamahiriya's government, security and intelligence sectors. Longstanding imperialist objectives existing since the Second World War, aimed at dividing Libya into three colonial territories, were taken out of government filing cabinets in Washington, London, Paris and Rome, and circulated at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

In league with these colonial plans, the US and its allies had been cultivating ties with different members of the Libyan opposition and had always reserved the option of using these opposition figures for regime change in Tripoli. Putting together their colonial designs and mobilising their agents, the US and its allies began organising the stage for establishing the Transitional National Council (TNC) - simply called the Transitional Council - and similar bodies to govern Libya as its new puppet leadership. The British and French even held joint invasion exercises months before the Libyan conflict erupted with the Arab Spring in 2011, while various intelligence services and foreign military commandos from NATO and GCC countries were also on the ground in Libya helping to prepare for the destabilisation of the North African country and the toppling of the Jamahiriya's government and institutions.

Realities have been turned upside down and the victims were grossly portrayed as the aggressors in the conflict. While the Transitional Council's forces, augmented by mercenaries and foreign fighters, were torturing, raping, and murdering civilians and those that were standing in their way with the aid of NATO and the GCC, Muammar Qadhafi was inflexibly and exclusively blamed for all the violence inside Libya. Nor were the atrocities an exclusively Libyan versus Libyan matter. During the conflict, NATO committed serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in its effort to overrun and control the North African country. Not only did foreign journalists help justify and sustain the war, but they played major roles in assisting NATO's war effort by passing on information about Libyan targets and checkpoint locations to the Jamahiriya's enemies. The war, however, did not go as planned and Libyan resistance proved far stronger than the Pentagon and NATO initially imagined.

In the course of the confrontation and at the international level, a series of human rights organisations and think-tanks were utilised for preparing the stage for the conflict in Libya and the toppling of its government. These organisations were mostly part of a network that had been working to establish the mechanisms for justifying interventionism and creating the net of individuals and public faces needed for creating a proxy government in Libya in the false name of "democracy." When the time came, these bodies coordinated with the NATO powers and the mainstream media in the project to isolate, castrate, and subjugate the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. These so-called human rights organisations and the mainstream media networks worked together to propagate lies about African mercenaries, Libyan military jet attacks on civilians, and civilian massacres by Muammar Qadhafi's regime.

International news networks extensively quoted these human rights organisations in what would amount to a self-fuelled cycle of misinformation, while the same human rights organisations continued to make claims on the basis of the media's reports. In other words, each side fed the other. It was this web of lies that was presented at the Human Rights Council in the United Nations Office at Geneva and then handed to the United Nations Security Council in New York City as the basis for the war in Libya. These lies were accepted without any investigation being launched by the United Nations or any other international bodies. Any Libyan requests for international investigation teams were ignored. It was from this point onward that NATO used the UN Security Council to launch its war of aggression against Libya under the pretext of protecting civilians and enforcing a no-fly zone over the Arab country. Although not officially accepted by the United Nations Security Council, the "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) doctrine was being showcased as a new paradigm for military intervention by NATO.

All known advocates of Pentagon militarism and global empire demanded this war take place, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Elliott Abrahams, Leon Wieseltier, John Hannah, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol. The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the neo-conservative crowd was aligned with the realist foreign policy camp in Washington. The entire US establishment lined up to pick off Tripoli and reduce it to a weak and divided African protectorate.

Libya and the New "Scramble" for Africa

To put NATO's war in Libya within the framework of historic analysis, one only needs to be reminded that the main thrust of the sudden physical European colonisation of Africa, called the "Scramble for Africa," started when an economic recession originally called the "Great Depression," but in retrospect renamed as the "Long Depression," hit much of Europe and North America from roughly 1873 to 1893. In this period the entire tempo of Western European contact with African nations transformed.

Prior to this economic recession, Western European companies and enterprises were content dealing with African leaders and recognising their authority. Few Western European colonies in Africa had existed aside from a few coastal strips based on strategically-placed trading posts in Sierra Leone and Lagos in the possession of Britain; Mozambique and Angola in the possession of Portugal; and Senegal in the possession of France. At this time the biggest external force in Africa was the Ottoman Empire, which was beginning its long decline as a great power.

Even with Western European colonial incursions into Africa by Britain, France, and Portugal, most of the African continent was still free of external or alien control. Intensified European economic rivalries and the recession in Western Europe, however, would change this. Britain would lose its edge as the world's most industrialised nation as the industrial sectors of the USA, France and Germany all began to increasingly challenge British manufacturers. As a result of the recession and increased business rivalries, the corporations of Western European countries began to push their respective governments to adopt protectionist practices and to directly intervene in Africa to protect the commercial interests of these corporations. The logic behind this colonial push or "scramble" was that these Western European governments would secure large portions of Africa as export markets and for resource imports for these corporations alone, while these African territories would effectively be closed off to economic rivals. Thus, a whole string of Western European conquest began in Africa to secure ivory, fruits, copal (gum), cloves, beeswax, honey, coffee, peanuts, cotton, precious metals, and rubber.

Although appropriating Libya's financial and material wealth were objectives of the NATO war in 2011, the broader objectives of the criminal war were part of the struggle to control the African continent and its vast wealth. The "Scramble for Africa" was repeating itself. Just like the first time, recession and economic rivalries were tied to this new round of colonial conquest in the African continent.

The emergence of Asia as the new global centre of gravity, at the expense of the nations of the North Atlantic in North America and Western Europe, has also primed the United States and its allies to start an endeavour to close Africa off from the People's Republic of China and the emerging centres of power in Russia, India, Brazil, and Iran. This is why the Pentagon's United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM/AFRICOM) played a major role in the war.

The London Conference on Libya, where the Libya Contact Group was formed on 29 March 2011, was a modern version of the Berlin Conference of 1884, which attempted to solidify the gains made by European colonial powers in their first rush to control African societies and territory. The Istanbul Conference on Libya, where the Libya Contact Group met for the fourth time on 15 July 2011, was virtually a declaration of the intentions of the US and these countries to appropriate Libya's vast wealth. This is a template for usurping the wealth of other countries in Africa and beyond. In this regard, the Transitional Council has served as nothing more than a proxy that was designed to help embezzle Libya's vast wealth.

Moreover, Libya had to be neutralised in line with the intentions of this project to reclaim Africa, because of Qadhafi's pan-African ambitions to unify the African continent under Libyan leadership. Libya and its development and political projects were effectively erecting a barrier to the re-colonisation of the African continent. In this regard, the war was launched by "Operation Odyssey Dawn." This name is very revealing. It identifies the strategic intent and direction of the campaign in Libya. The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic by the poet Homer that recounts the voyage and trails of the hero Odysseus of Ithaca on his voyage home. The main theme here is the 'return home.' In other words, the military assault's codename meant that countries like the US, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Turkey were on their own odyssey of 'return' into Africa.

The Crown of Africa

Libya is a lucrative prize of massive economic value. It has immense oil and gas resources, vast amounts of underground water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, important trade routes, substantial foreign investments, and large amounts of liquid capital. Up until 2011, Libya was blessed with a rare gift in regard to its national revenue in that it saved a significant amount. In fact Libya possessed more than US$150 billion in overseas financial assets and had one of the largest sovereign investment funds in the world at the start of 2011.

Until the conflict in Libya ignited, there was a very large foreign work force in the Jamahiriya. Thousands of foreign workers from every corner of the globe went to Libya for employment. This included nationals from places like the Philippines, Turkey, sub-Saharan Africa, China, Latin America, Belarus, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, and every corner of the Arab world. For years, these jobs inside Libya were an important source of economic remittances in the cases of some African economies, such as Niger. Moreover, many foreign workers from places like the Philippines and Italy even chose to make their lives in Libya and open their own local businesses.

Before the NATO war, Libyan society had come a long way since 1951 when it became an independent African country. In 1975, the political scientist Henri Habib described Libya on the dawn of its independence as a backward country saying: "When Libya was granted its independence by the United Nations on December 24, 1951, it was described as one of the poorest and most backward nations of the world. The population at the time was not more than 1.5 million, was over 90% illiterate, and had no political experience or knowhow. There were no universities, and only a limited number of high schools which had been established seven years before independence."

According to Habib, the state of poverty in Libya was the result of the yoke of Ottoman domination followed by an era of European imperialism in Libya that started with the Italians. He explained that, "[e]very effort was made to keep the Arab inhabitants [of Libya] in a servile position rendering them unable to make any progress for themselves or their nation." This colonial yoke, however, began its decline in 1943 after Italy and Germany were defeated in North Africa during the Second World War.

In 1959 Libya's oil reserves were discovered. Despite political mismanagement and corruption, since 1969 these Libyan oil reserves were used to improve the standard of living for the country's population. In addition to the revenue from Libyan energy reserves, the Libyan government played an important role in maintaining Libya's high living standards. Although never fully nationalised, Libya's oil would only, in progressive steps, fall under the control of Libyans after the 1969 coup against the Libyan monarchy by Qadhafi and a group of young military officers. Before 1969 most of the country's oil wealth was actually not being used to serve the general public. Under Qadhafi's leadership this changed and the National Oil Company was founded on 12 November 1970.

To a certain extent the isolation of Libya in the past as a pariah state played a role in insulating Libya economically and maintaining its standards of living. From an economic standpoint, most of the Arab world and Africa have become globalised as components of an integrated network of regional economies tied to the United States and the European Union. Libyan integration into this global economic system was delayed because of the past political isolation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya when Washington, London, and Paris were openly at odds with Tripoli.

Despite having vast sums of money stolen and squandered by Qadhafi's family and their officials, social services and benefits, such as government housing and numerous subsidies, were available to the Libyan population. It has to be cautioned too that the apparatus of a modern welfare state does not mean that neo-liberal restructuring and poverty were not afoot in Libya, because they very much were. What this means is that economics was not the driving force for the internal dimension of the fighting in Libya. For years, up until 2011, Libya had the highest standards of living in Africa and one of the highest in the Arab world. There is an old Libyan proverb, "if your pocket becomes empty, your faults will be many." In this regard, Libya's faults were not many in economic terms.

In 2008, Libya had protests that were reportedly caused by unemployment. Most protests in Libya from 2003 to 2011, however, did not have any real economic dimension dominated by breadbasket issues. This set the Jamahiriya apart from Arab countries like Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan where breadbasket issues were important factors behind the protests that erupted during the same period in 2011. This, of course, does not mean the protest movements in the latter Arab countries were strictly the result of breadbasket issues and economics either. Demands for personal freedoms and backlashes against corruption were major motivating factors behind the fuelling of public anger in all these Arab states. In Libya, if anything, the frustration tied to the rampant corruption rooted amongst Jamahiriya authorities and officials had created shifting tides of resentment towards the government.

As briefly mentioned, Libya also has vast amounts of underground water stored in the ancient Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, which is situated under the territories of Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. Libya and Egypt hold the largest shares of this water source. In a joint initiative, called the Nubian Aquifer Project, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the financial organisation Global Environment Facility (GEF), have all worked with the governments of these four African countries to study this vast source of underground water beneath the Sahara Desert. Using isotopes, the IAEA three-dimensionally mapped the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.

In the Jamahiriya, the Great Man-Made River Project was initiated under the orders of Colonel Qadhafi followed by the establishment of the Great Man-Made River Authority in 1983 to exploit the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System for the benefit of Libya and the other regional countries in the Sahara and the Sahel regions. The project was domestically funded mostly by taxes on fuel, tobacco, and international travel, with the remainder of funding provided directly by the Libyan state. Up until 2008 the Libyan government had spent about US$19.6 billion dollars on the water project.

According to the Isotope Hydrology Section of the IAEA, the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is the world's largest fossil aquifer system and will be "the biggest and in some cases the only future source of water to meet growing demands and development" amongst Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. As fresh water supplies become limited globally, it was forecast Libya's water supplies will be of greater value domestically and regionally. Huge water multinationals in the US, France and elsewhere were salivating at the idea of privatising Libyan fresh water and controlling the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had shares and invested in major international corporations such as oil giant British Petroleum (BP), the world's largest aluminium producer United Company RUSAL in Russia, the US conglomerate General Electric (GE), the Italian bank and financial giant UniCredit, the Italian oil corporation Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), the German engineering and electronic conglomerate Siemens, the German electricity and gas company Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE), British publishing giant Pearson, and British telecommunications giant Vodafone (UK). Libya had purchased Exxon Mobil's subsidiary in the Kingdom of Morocco, Mobil Oil Maroc, and bought half of Kenya's oil refinery. The LIA bought all of Royal Dutch Shell's service stations in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan in 2008. Tripoli announced in the same year that it was buying a major share of Circle Oil, an international hydrocarbon exploration company with operations in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. A Libyan agreement was also made with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build a pipeline in the western part of its territory. Large investments were made by Libya in agricultural, industrial and service projects in Africa from Egypt and Niger to Mali and Tunisia.

In 2008 Goldman Sachs was given US$1.3 billion dollars by the Libyan Investment Authority. In unfathomable terms, Goldman Sachs told the Libyans that 98% of their investment was lost overnight, which means the Libyans lost almost all the money they gave Goldman Sachs. To Tripoli and other observers it was clear Goldman Sachs had merely appropriated the Libyan investment as a cash injection, because it needed the funds due to the global financial crisis. Afterwards, Jamahiriya officials and Goldman Sachs executives tried negotiating a settlement under which Goldman Sachs would give Tripoli huge shares in the Wall Street financial giant. These negotiations between Libya and Goldman Sachs for a settlement finally ended in 2009 with both sides failing to agree on a formula to replace the Libyan money that Goldman Sachs had effectively appropriated from Tripoli.

Goldman Sachs was not alone in filching Libyan investment funds: Société Générale S.A., Carlyle Group, J.P. Morgan Chase, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, and Lehman Brothers Holdings were also all in possession of vast Libyan investments and funds. In one way or another, NATO's war on Libya and the freeze of Libyan financial assets profited them all. They and their governments were also not happy with Qadhafi's ideas and proposal to the United Nations that the former colonial powers owed Africa almost US$800 trillion dollars.

The fact that Libya happened to be a rich country was one of its crimes in 2011. Oil, finance, economics, and Libyan natural resources were always tempting prizes for the United States and its allies. These things were the spoils of war in Libya. While Libyan energy reserves and geopolitics played major roles in launching the 2011 war, it was also waged in part to appropriate Tripoli's vast financial holdings and to supplement and maintain the crumbling financial hegemony of Wall Street and other financial centres. Wall Street could not allow Tripoli to be debt-free, to continue accumulating international financial possessions, and to be a creditor nation giving international loans and investing funds in other countries, particularly in Africa. Thus, major banks in the United States and the European Union, like the giant multinational oil conglomerates, had major roles and interests in the NATO war on Tripoli.

An Overview of the African Geopolitics of the War on Libya

NATO's operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya have helped erode Libyan political unity, which has had clear implications for the North African country's spatial unity and all the nations bordering Libya. Libya and its region have been destabilised. The domino effect can clearly be seen at work in Niger, Mali, and the Central African Republic where there has been fighting as a result, at least in part, of the NATO war on Libya.

Within a strictly African context, Libya sits at an important geographic point. The country is a geographic gateway into Africa and connects the northeast and northwest sections of the continent. Libya's national territory falls within the Sahara and Sahel regions and events in Libya directly influence Sudan, Egypt and the regions of the Maghreb, West Africa, and Central Africa. Libya is also one of the states that provide access to the open sea for landlocked Chad and Niger. Aside from Tunisia, all of the countries on Libya's borders touch and connect the bulk of Africa's regions with the exception of the southern region of the continent. Casting out the Tunisian Republic, these bordering African states are Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Algeria. Libya's position is very special in this regard and this territorial embrace with these other large African states bordering multiple countries and regions is very important and would be pivotal if the Libyan project to connect the continent through a north to south and east to west transportation and trade corridor were to be developed fully.

From a socio-cultural standpoint, Libya has tribal and cultural ties to all of the bordering countries. Ethnic differences in Libya exist too, but are minor in degree. Libyans predominately consider themselves to be Arabs. The largest Libyan minority are the Berbers, which can roughly be divided into northern groups and southern groups. There was always awareness that tribalism in Libya, if given antagonistic political connotations, could be a very dangerous thing for Libya and the bordering countries. The tribes that Libyans belong go beyond Libyan borders and form a chain in an overlapping tribal network extending all the way from Niger into Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Tribal fighting in Libya could destabilise countries like Senegal and Mali in West Africa, Chad in Central Africa, Algeria in North Africa, and Sudan in East Africa. It is in this context that NATO powers began speaking about an Arab-Berber divide in North Africa in 2011. Regime change in Tripoli has left a political vacuum where politics has fuelled tribalism and regionalism in Libya, which is now warily watched by all of the countries bordering Libya and affecting them.

"A New Beginning" in Cairo: Obama's attempts to Manipulate Islam

Identity politics and faith have also wound up as factors in the competing exchange of geopolitical currents governing the sea of events surrounding Libya. The questions of what is a Libyan and what is an ethnic Arab have been superimposed as factors in the war on the Jamahiriya as a means of attacking the pan-African movement and separating Libya, and North Africa in broader terms, from the rest of Africa. Faith and religiosity have also been mounted as dynamics that are being sought as geopolitical tools and weapons of influence.

President Barack Hussein Obama was elected by tapping into the hopes of the US public and presenting himself as a "prince of peace" and "messiah of hope." Amongst his elegant speeches, he claimed to have a desire to reengage with the so-called Muslim World. Since 2009 Obama has consistently tried to utilise what he sees as both his African and Muslim credentials on the basis of having a Kenyan father who was a Muslim, to present himself as a "Son of Africa" and as someone sympathetic to Muslims. As part of his outreach to Muslims, President Obama gave a highly promoted speech at Cairo University on 4 June 2009. Obama's presidential speech was named "A New Beginning" and was supposedly meant to repair the damages in the relationship between the US and the so-called Muslim World. The speech is described as such by the White House:

"On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. Specifically, the President said that the U.S. would seek a more comprehensive engagement with Muslim-majority countries, countries with significant Muslim populations, and their people by expanding partnerships in areas like education, economic development, science and technology, and health, among others, while continuing to work together to address issues of common concern."

Many people in predominantly Muslim states were fooled by his pledges of peace and mutual respect. In his actions, Barack Obama proved to be no less of a war hawk than his predecessors in the Oval Office. His Cairo speech was significant because it actually marked the start of a new campaign by the US to geopolitically use Muslims and their hopes and aspirations. In the same timeframe as his speech, the US State Department began to engage with the Muslim Brotherhood and even prior to the speech asked for members to attend Cairo University to hear him. Almost as if foreshadowing the coming of the so-called Arab Spring, the speech in Cairo's fourth point was about the rise of democracy and the instability of regimes suppressing democratic values. Many of the organisations and figures that became involved in the Arab Spring and supportive of the war in Libya would all hasten to Obama's calls for a "New Beginning." Amongst them was Aly (Ali) Abuzaakouk, who helped found the Transitional Council.

From Jakarta, Indonesia, in late-2010, Obama would go on with his themes of engagement with the Muslim World and speak about democracy, faith, and economic development in his second speech addressing Muslims. From that point on Al-Qaeda faded from the spotlight of US foreign policy and, well into the upheavals of the Arab Spring, the US worked to put the ghost of Osama bin Laden to rest by declaring in statements that were altered several times that the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in Pakistan by a team of CIA agents and US Navy commandos on 2 May 2010. What this all amounted to was the preparations for the fielding of US agents amongst opposition groups in the predominately Muslim countries of the Arab world and an attempt to subordinate the faith of Islam as a tool of US foreign policy by using fighters and proxy political parties that used the banner of Islam. Thus, Washington's alliance with deviant militant groups claiming to fight under the banner of Islam was rekindled in 2011. This alliance manifested itself in the fighting in Libya and later further east on the shores of the Mediterranean in Syria and Lebanon.

Libya Now: Destitute, Divided and in Conflict

The historic project to divide Libya dates back to 1943 and 1951. It started with failed attempts to establish a trusteeship over Libya after the defeat of Italy and Germany in North Africa during the Second World War. The attempts to divide Libya then eventually resulted in a strategy that forced a monarchical federal system onto the Libyans similar to that established over Iraq following the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion. If the Libyans had not accepted federalism in their relatively homogenous society they could have forfeited their independence in 1951.

During the Second World War the Libyans aided and allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on 20 November 1942, and Tripoli on 23 January 1943. Despite its promises to allow Libya to become an independent country, London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, with Paris to be given control over the region of Fezzan, which is roughly one-third of Libya, the area to the southwest of the country bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad (see map on page 60). Following the end of the Second World War, the victors and Italy attempted to partition Libya into territories that they would govern as trust territories. The American, British, French, and Soviet governments referred the matter to the UN General Assembly on 15 September 1945. There, the British and the Italians made a last-ditch proposal on 10 May 1949, called the Bevin-Sfora Plan for Libya, to have Libyan territory divided into an Italian-controlled Tripolitania, a British-controlled Cyrenaica, and a French-ruled Fezzan. This failed because of the crucial single vote of Haiti, which opposed the partition of Libya.

The British then turned to King Idris to softly balkanise Libya through the establishment of a federal emirate. A National Assembly controlled by King Idris and an unelected small circle of Libyan chieftains was to be imposed. This type of federalist system was unacceptable to most Libyans as it was intended to be a means of sidestepping the will of the Libyan people. The elected representatives from the heavily populated region of Tripolitania would be outweighed by the unelected chieftains from Cyrenaica and Fezzan.

This did not sit well with many Arab nationalists. Cairo was extremely critical of what the US and its allies were trying to do and called it diplomatic deceit. Nevertheless, even with the opposition of most Libyans, federalism was imposed on Libya in 1951 by Idris. Libyans popularly viewed this as Anglo-French treachery. Idris was forced to abolish the federalist system for a unitary system on 27 April 1963.

The imperialist project to divide Libya was never abandoned; it was just temporarily shelved by different foreign ministries in the Western bloc and NATO capitals. In March 2011, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Jr. testified to the US Senate Armed Services Committee that at the end of the conflict in Libya, the North African country would revert to its previous monarchical federalist divisions and that it would have two or three different administrations. NATO's Supreme Commander, Admiral Stravridis, also told the US Senate Armed Services Committee in the same month that Libyan tribal differences would be amplified as the NATO war carried on. There were even multilateral discussions held about dividing the country, but the exact lines were never completely agreed upon and negotiations kept on waxing and waning with the frontlines in the desert and mountains.

US plans to topple the Libyan government that were put together in 1982 by the US National Security Council under the Reagan Administration were also revised or renovated for NATO's war in 2011. One can clearly see how these plans played out through the dual use of an insurgency and military attack. According to Joseph Stanik, the US plans involved simultaneous war and support for CIA-controlled opposition groups that would entail "a number of visible and covert actions designed to bring significant pressure to bear on Qadhafi." To execute the US plan, Washington would first have to encourage a conflict using the countries around Libya "to seek a casus belli for military action" while they would take care of the logistical needs of CIA-controlled opposition groups that would launch a sabotage campaign against the economy, infrastructure, and government of Libya. The code name for these secret plans was "Flower." In the words of Stanik:

"The NSC restricted access to the top-secret plans to about two-dozen officials. Flower contained two subcomponents: "Tulip" and "Rose." Tulip was the code name for the CIA covert operation designed to overthrow Qadhafi by supporting anti-Qadhafi exile groups and countries, such as Egypt, that wanted Qadhafi removed from power. Rose was the code name for a surprise attack on Libya to be carried out by an allied country, most likely Egypt, and supported by American air power. If Qadhafi was killed as a result of Flower, Reagan said he would take the blame for it."

It also just so happened that the Obama Administration's US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, who was the deputy director for intelligence at the time, endorsed Rose, the military subcomponent of Flower.

Since NATO toppled the Jamahiriya government, this is exactly what has happened in Libya. A free for all has come about, which has spilled over into neighbouring states such as Niger. There are multiple factions and different administrations including the Transitional Council in the District of Tripoli, the Misrata Military Council in the District of Misrata, several self-styled Emirates in Cyrenaica, and Jamahiriya loyalist and tribal governments in the Western Mountains and Fezzan. There have even been fusions where Jamahiriya loyalists and anti-Jamahiriya militias have joined to fight all others. The end product has been lawlessness and Somali-style civil war. The state has basically been "failed" by the US and its allies. Post-Jamahiriya governmental authority is only exercised by those in power inside of their offices and a few spaces. Violent crime has proliferated. Tripoli and other major cities are being fought for by different factions and Libyan weapons are being smuggled into different countries. Even US officials, which helped midwife the groups running rampant in Libya, have not been safe from the turmoil they helped create; the murder of US Ambassador John Christopher Stevens in Benghazi on 12 September 2012 is testimony to this.

Oil and gas production has been stopping. National assets have been sold off to foreign corporations and privatised. Libya is no longer a competitive economic power in Africa anymore. Nor is Libya a growing financial power. Tripoli virtually transformed from a debtless country to an indebted one overnight.

There is also a great irony to all this. The warplanes of the US-supported Libyan regime that has replaced the Jamahiriya began bombing Libyan citizens in 2014 as battles for control of Tripoli raged. The US, European Union, and NATO have said nothing about this whereas in 2011 they started a bombing campaign and war on the basis of false accusations the Jamahiriya government was doing exactly this. The deceit of these players is more than evident.

The above article first appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol. 8, No. 5, pp.59-66.

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