Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Disturbing report indicates Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s requests for a lawyer were ignored

From:  Activist Post

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

A recent report reveals a disturbing fact about the treatment of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: his multiple requests for a lawyer during his interrogation were ignored.

While reports indicating that Tsarnaev’s Miranda rights were being withheld were disturbing enough, this new aspect pointed out today by Glenn Greenwald is far worse.

Apparently, Tsarnaev was Mirandized only because a federal magistrate decided to hold an in-hospital hearing for the suspect during which he was advised of his right to remain silent and appointed a lawyer.

This hearing interrupted an interrogation that had lasted some 16 hours up to that point. The Mirandizing of Tsarnaev upset former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani who called it “mind-boggling” and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers who called the decision to intervene a “God-awful policy.”

Yet even more insane is that the Los Angeles Times reported, “A senior congressional aide said Tsarnaev had asked several times for a lawyer, but that request was ignored since he was being questioned under the public safety exemption to the Miranda rule.”

Greenwald points out that if this report is indeed accurate, it would be a much more serious violation of essential rights than delaying Miranda warnings under the “public safety exception,” even the expanded version pushed by the Obama Justice Department.

Denying the right to a lawyer during interrogation after repeated requests is “as fundamental a violation of crucial guaranteed rights as can be imagined,” according to Greenwald.

“The bottom line is this: not telling a suspect about his rights in order to try obtain brief, immediate and emergency public safety information is one thing,” writes the lawyer writing under the name “bmaz” for Empty Wheel. “Straight out denying and refusing a defendant constitutional rights he is legally entitled to, and has tried to invoke, is quite another. The government has issues on both fronts as to Tsarnaev.”

Invoking the public safety exemption to deny the right to a lawyer has only been accepted in cases where “the intrusion into the constitutional right to counsel [...] was so fleeting – in both it was no more than a question or two about a weapon on the premises of a search while the search warrant was actively being executed,” according to bmaz.

“Nothing whatsoever like the 16 hours of interrogation applied to Tsarnaev, across at least two sessions, over a period of at least two days,” bmaz adds.

Even the use of the public safety exception was dubious, according to law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky.

The public safety exception “does not apply here because there was no emergency threat facing law enforcement,” according to Chemereinsky’s article in the Los Angeles Times.

That issue aside, the possibility that Tsarnaev’s requests for a lawyer were actively blocked by the government is far more problematic.

“This is a US citizen arrested for an alleged crime on US soil: there is no justification whatsoever for denying him his repeatedly exercised right to counsel,” according to Greenwald.

Even more troubling, Greenwald highlights the fact that the Los Angeles Times report indicates that if the federal magistrate did not force herself into the situation, the interrogation could have continued for even longer.

That interrogation apparently would have continued along with the Miranda delay and the denial of Tsarnaev’s right to a lawyer. Meanwhile, lawmakers are actually saying that the judge actually should not have stepped in.

As of now, it appears that the only confirmation of the government ignoring Tsarnaev’s requests for a lawyer come from an anonymous congressional aide cited by the Los Angeles Times.

As such, it should be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism, yet the Los Angeles Times clearly believed the source to be credible and reliable enough to print the statement.

Glenn Greenwald sums up the importance of this issue quite nicely. This is not something we can brush aside simply because it’s a suspected terrorist, a Muslim, etc.

“If you cheer when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s right to counsel is denied, then you’re enabling the institutionalization of that violation, and thus ensuring that you have no basis or ability to object when that right is denied to others whom you find more sympathetic (including yourself),” Greenwald writes.

Indeed, how this simple fact is overlooked is beyond me at this point. The promotion of the erosion of civil liberties for one person or group just guarantees that it can and will be expanded to cover others eventually. There is no reason to believe that the exceptions to our most essential rights can’t be expanded to cover you as well.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. Please email me at Admin@EndtheLie.com

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

10 Tips to Make Sure Your Activist Group Isn't Set Up by the Feds

From:  Activist Post

Jason Charles Activist Post
The FBI and federal government have been caught red-handed setting up groups, staging terrorists attacks, staging drills, creating patsies, and infiltrating activist groups. Here are 10 good tips to avoid the embarrassment of your group ending up in the headlines as another excuse to further the police state agenda. No matter if you are a 9/11 group, anti-GMO, anti-war, Christian, Muslim or whatever the cause may be. If you run a group these tips are for you.

#1 Make everybody introduce themselves each meeting
When meeting as an activist group always have new people stand up and introduce themselves at the start of each meeting. This is a huge deterrent to would-be federal operatives who have to go to great lengths to create back stories in order to appear harmless and friendly to the cause of the group.

#2 Assign trusted group members to check on every new member
Assign a trusted individual to meet with the new people after the group or before if possible. Take down their names, email addresses, phone numbers and then have that person go home and research the new person, email them a welcome letter with the group rules, find their Facebook profiles and just do your due diligence to make sure that individual is exactly who they say they are.

#3 Always ask a ton of questions to new people
Ask new members many questions such as, do they have a family? Do they live in town? Where or what part? How did you hear about the group? Have they participated in other activist networks, etc., etc. The more questions you can fire at them in rapid succession gives you more opportunity to check their back story, motives, intent and sincerity toward the cause.

#4 Every meeting and rally give a 'non-violent disclaimer' at the very start
Make sure you state at the beginning of each group that this is a non-violent group, that you never condone illegal or violent actions, and if anyone makes suggestions of violent acts or anything illegal that they will be immediately warned and no longer welcome.

#5 Look out for more vulnerable members
One thing federal agents are always doing is trying to find the weak person in the group, the dumb one who has great intentions but is not as smart as the rest. These are the ones that agents will cozy up to and start to gradually radicalize towards violence. As leadership, you must recognize not everyone is hip to the fact that there are wolves in their midst, so always be on the lookout for people who make it their business to friend your friends and fellow activists both inside and outside the group.

#6 Make friends with local politicians, judges, police and sheriffs whenever possible
Don't be afraid to develop relationships with your local law enforcement and public servants. You are not a violent group so make sure the officials in your town know it. This means schedule sit-downs with a sheriff, talk to your politicians as much as you can, befriend police officers at every rally you hold; and, most of all, be polite and respectful at all times. These people will be your greatest allies if the feds through DHS, the FBI, ATF or any other federal agency moving in on their jurisdiction are looking to set you up.
#7 Familiarize yourself with the federal Fusion Centers
Every region in America is under the control of federalized Threat Fusion Centers now and they are charged specifically with the task of gathering information on what they perceive as dissident groups. They are constantly being fed propaganda demonizing groups in America. They try to get local law enforcement to take federal money, equipment, training, and information to instill a sense of fear about your group. Identify your local fusion center, go to their websites, anonymously call them, ask questions, look for alerts, drills, and anything they are being fed or are feeding your local township about your group. Beware when dealing with them; it does no good to put yourself on their radar, so try to gather this information as covertly as possible.

#8 Step up security
Have people designated as official security representatives of your group. This means they don't participate; they are charged with watching doors, backpacks, cars, trucks, cell phones, bulges under clothes anything and everything that could be deemed a threat to the safety of the group. These people should regularly meet together and discuss security procedures. Every new setting, whether a meeting hall or rally, should be probed early and often for security holes and lapses. They also should have the means to protect the group -- meaning a legal, permitted, concealed handgun that nobody knows about except the top group leadership.

#9 Run your own safety drills
Have evacuation plans that every once in a while you go over with group members. Check fire exits, have first aid kits, fire extinguishers handy, and rendezvous points in case any federal informant or patsy decides to harm you or others in the group. Prepare for these situations; as unlikely as it may be, always err on the side of caution. The more high profile and impacting your group becomes in the community the more it becomes a potential target for a staged provocateured action. You are responsible for your members lives; take this very seriously, it will go a long way towards instilling confidence in the membership base.

#10 Never work with informants or do anything illegal
Do not be naive, never take things from random strangers like drugs, never talk about explosives, illegal firearms, etc, etc. Familiarize yourself with the laws in your state, even obscure ones. Anything can be used to set you up and demonize your group these days and it is best that you stay outside of the grey zone. When traveling as a group to locations or events, only allow trusted individuals to carpool group members. The ability for death squad operatives to pick you up, drug you, and leave you somewhere with a bomb, a gun, or in the middle of a school shooting spree is a very very real possibility.

The tactics being leveled against genuine, honest, activist groups these days are especially nasty. It is your duty to keep informed and on high alert continuously to avoid a bad situation. Know that any mistake you make can be instantly turned into a media frenzy by the powers-that-be in order to step up the security state. This cannot be over emphasized and must be on the radar as a very real possibility for anyone who is looking to right the evils we are now facing in our country. Keep these rules in mind, never lose hope, and know that there are many out there who are fighting for a better future in the hope that America can recover from the tyranny and oppression we face. God speed!

This article first appeared at Truth Alliance Network
Hat tip: North West Liberty News

GMO multi-toxin crops continue to backfire as more insects become resistant to crop chemicals

From:  Natural News 

Monday, April 29, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

 (NaturalNews) Promises made by the biotechnology industry about the alleged robustness of its genetically modified (GM) crops are proving to be false, as research out of the University of Arizona (UA) uncovers a growing resistance by pests to even the most advanced crop chemical technologies in use today. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new study explains how multi-toxin GM crops are quickly losing their ability to fend off pests, which could lead to a complete GMO failure in the very near future if alternate interventions are not enacted.

The study evaluated specific GM crops like corn and cotton that have been infused with a genetic mutation involving the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), as well as several other toxins that grow inside the plant to target pests. This so-called "pyramid" strategy, which involves using multiple GM toxins to target the same pests, is said to have been designed for the purpose of thwarting pesticide and insecticide resistance by targeting pests with two or three different toxins all at once rather than just one at time.

But according to the UA report, insects and other pests are outsmarting this approach. After evaluating a series of laboratory experiments they conducted, as well as various computer simulations and other published data on the subject, the team learned that multi-toxin GM crops do not necessarily kill pests redundantly -- that is, if a pest is resistant to one toxic GM trait, it does not necessarily respond automatically to the other toxic GM traits. In fact, the pest response to multi-toxin GMOs is so complex and unpredictable that it is already shaping up to be a complete failure.

"[T]he team's analysis of published data from eight species of pests reveals that some degree of cross-resistance between Cry1 and Cry2 toxins occurred in nineteen of twenty-one experiments," explains Homeland Security News Wire about the study's findings. Cry1 and Cry2 are two types of GM toxins used in conjunction with each other in some multi-toxin GM crops. "Contradicting the concept of redundant killing, cross-resistance resistance means that selection with one toxin increases resistance to the other toxin."

GMO technology will never overcome pests and weeds, and will only make the problem worse over time

What this means, of course, is that the practice of combining multiple toxins into a single GM crop has actually made pest resistance worse rather than better. This is particularly true in light of the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), taking its cues from the biotechnology industry, has been lax in requiring that pest "refuges" be established in crop fields to mitigate the spread of pest resistance.

"Our simulations tell us that with 10 percent of acreage set aside for refuges, resistance evolves quite fast, but if you put 30 or 40 percent aside, you can substantially delay it," says Yves Carriere, a professor of entomology at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and lead author of the study. "Our main message is to be more cautious, especially with a pest like the cotton bollworm," he adds, referring to a common crop pest that has already developed resistance to both Cry1 and Cry2.

Earlier research out of UA that was published in the Journal of Economic Ecology warned that western corn rootworm beetles are also growing resistance to multi-toxin GMOs. Like the new paper, this previous study urged that larger acreages of pest refuges be installed to help slow the problem, although this intervention admittedly will not solve the problem forever.

Sources for this article include:




Police stake out hydroponics shops, harass customers who grow their own food

From:  Natural News

Monday, April 29, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes

 (NaturalNews) Apparently Americans who employ hydroponics are the newest targets in an insane "drug war" that has gone from bad to ludicrous since it was first "declared" in the early 1980s.

Consider this case in point: A couple of years ago, narcotics officers knocked on the door at the home of a man who had just purchased a seed starter kit from a local gardening shop. The police officers were demanding to know just what it was he was planning to grow.

"Tomatoes," he told them, and the officers finally left - but only after they were convinced he was not growing marijuana.

Since that day the gardener, who asked the Kansas City Star not to identify him over fears he would once again be hassled by police, began parking a block away from that same garden center, in order to avoid police stakeouts.

The harassment of hydroponic gardeners has only gotten worse since them.

In fact, owners of garden centers are increasingly complaining that police surveillance and stakeouts are hurting their businesses - sometimes even driving smaller garden centers out of business. Few people, it seems, are comfortable shopping under the watchful eyes of the Police State.

A number of customers, the paper said, have reported being followed home by police after making their purchases, regardless of what they were growing.

'You don't hear about when there is no case'

As is always the case, cops are defending this horrendous abuse of the public trust by saying, you know, such surveillance is necessary and prudent because it is keeping marijuana off the streets. To even believe such nonsense makes you wonder if the narcotics officers making that claim are smoking dope themselves.

Police say that local narcotics officers have been watching hydroponics shops - which sell equipment for growing produce indoors - for years. They write down license plate numbers of customers and then follow up with search warrants after first looking through their garbage for any evidence of drug use. They say all of this is justified because marijuana growers shop at hydroponic shops too - in addition to the vast majority of customers who grow flowers and crops inside their homes.

Sometimes such arrests become high-profile events. Many times, however, there are no cases to make.

"[What y]ou don't hear about are the cases where there is no case," attorney Cheryl Pilate told the Star. She added that she wonders how often innocent people are questioned by police just for shopping at a hydroponics gardening store.

She knows of what she speaks. She is currently representing a Leawood, Kan., family that was the target of an April 20, 2012 drug raid in which officers turned up no evidence - zero - of illegal substances. That family, Robert and Adlynn Harte, were raising tomatoes and other veggies that grow under lights.

They were never even told why they were targeted, so they have filed a suit against the Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's Department "to gain access to records that would reveal why they were initially under suspicion," the Star reported.

The couple, and their attorney, believe that they were suspected of growing illicit drugs in part because they shopped at Green Circle Hydroponics, one of three local stores that specialize in indoor gardening supplies.

The Police State is bad for business

That explanation would not surprise Jeffrey Hawkins, owner of a similar gardening center called Hooked On Ponics. His place, too, is under constant police surveillance; he knows this because his customers have told him of being questioned after they have shopped there, including one woman who grows orchids.

"What they do is target all the grow shops," Hawkins, who said he closed his original store in Liberty, Kan., after business dropped off due to police scrutiny, told the paper. He said he now operates on weekends at a northeast Kansas City flea market.

"It's a serious problem," he said. "They profile people."

The surveillance and harassment of customers "is getting more serious," said Sam Williams, the owner of Grow Your Own Hydroponics in Independence, Mo.

"It's not right. They're driving business away from me," he said.

Sources for this article include:




Benghazi Whistleblowers Were Threatened By Obama Administration

Bail-Out Is Out, Bail-In Is In

From:  Truth Dig

By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

This piece first appeared at Web of Debt.
“[W]ith Cyprus . . . the game itself changed. By raiding the depositors’ accounts, a major central bank has gone where they would not previously have dared. The Rubicon has been crossed.”
—Eric Sprott, Shree Kargutkar, “Caveat Depositor”  

The crossing of the Rubicon into the confiscation of depositor funds was not a one-off emergency measure limited to Cyprus.  Similar “bail-in” policies are now appearing in multiple countries.  (See my earlier articles here.) What triggered the new rules may have been a series of game-changing events including the refusal of Iceland to bail out its banks and their depositors; Bank of America’s commingling of its ominously risky derivatives arm with its depository arm over the objections of the FDIC; and the fact that most EU banks are now insolvent.  A crisis in a major nation such as Spain or Italy could lead to a chain of defaults beyond anyone’s control, and beyond the ability of federal deposit insurance schemes to reimburse depositors. 

The new rules for keeping the too-big-to-fail banks alive: use creditor funds, including uninsured deposits, to recapitalize failing banks.
But isn’t that theft? 

Perhaps, but it’s legal theft.  By law, when you put your money into a deposit account, your money becomes the property of the bank.  You become an unsecured creditor with a claim against the bank.  Before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was instituted in 1934, U.S. depositors routinely lost their money when banks went bankrupt.  Your deposits are protected only up to the $250,000 insurance limit, and only to the extent that the FDIC has the money to cover deposit claims or can come up with it. 
The question then is, how secure is the FDIC?
Can the FDIC Go Bankrupt?
In 2009, when the FDIC fund went $8.2 billion in the hole, Chairwoman Sheila Bair assured depositors that their money was protected by a hefty credit line with the Treasury. But the FDIC is funded with premiums from its member banks, which had to replenish the fund. The special assessment required to do it was crippling for the smaller banks, and that was just to recover $8.2 billion.  What happens when Bank of America or JPMorganChase, which have commingled their massive derivatives casinos with their depositary arms, is propelled into bankruptcy by a major derivatives fiasco?  These two banks both have deposits exceeding $1 trillion, and they both have derivatives books with notional values exceeding the GDP of the world. 
Bank of America Corporation moved its trillions in derivatives (mostly credit default swaps) from its Merrill Lynch unit to its banking subsidiary in 2011.  It did not get regulatory approval but just acted at the request of frightened counterparties, following a downgrade by Moody’s. The FDIC opposed the move, reportedly protesting that the FDIC would be subjected to the risk of becoming insolvent if BofA were to file for bankruptcy.  But the Federal Reserve favored the move, in order to give relief to the bank holding company.  (Proof positive, says former regulator Bill Black, that the Fed is working for the banks and not for us. “Any competent regulator would have said: ‘No, Hell NO!’”) 
The reason this risky move would subject the FDIC to insolvency, as explained in my earlier article here, is that under the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005, derivatives counter-parties are given preference over all other creditors and customers of the bankrupt financial institution, including FDIC insured depositors. Normally, the FDIC would have the powers as trustee in receivership to protect the failed bank’s collateral for payments made to depositors. But the FDIC’s powers are overridden by the special status of derivatives.  (Remember MF Global?  The reason its customers lost their segregated customer funds to the derivatives claimants was that derivatives have super-priority in bankruptcy.)
The FDIC has only about $25 billion in its deposit insurance fund, which is mandated by law to keep a balance equivalent to only 1.15 percent of insured deposits.  And the Dodd-Frank Act (Section 716) now bans taxpayer bailouts of most speculative derivatives activities.  Drawing on the FDIC’s credit line with the Treasury to cover a BofA or JPMorgan derivatives bust would be the equivalent of a taxpayer bailout, at least if the money were not paid back; and imposing that burden on the FDIC’s member banks is something they can ill afford.
BofA is not the only bank threatening to wipe out the federal deposit insurance funds that most countries have.  According to Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup, most EU banks are zombies. And that explains the impetus for the new “bail in” policies, which put the burden instead on the unsecured creditors, including the depositors.  Below is some additional corroborating research on these new, game-changing bail-in schemes. 

How Big Pharma Is Killing Americans and Bankrupting the Country

From:  AlterNet 

Woman Faced 6 Months in Jail For Filming Slaughterhouse ... From Across the Street! (UPDATED)

From:  AlterNet 

25-year-old Amy Meyer has become the first person prosecuted under Utah's "ag-gag" law after filming a slaughterhouse.
 April 30, 2013  |
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
A Utah woman has become the first person to be prosecuted under what are known as “ag-gag” laws, or laws meant to deter people from exposing animal rights abuses. 25-year-old Amy Meyer was charged in February after filming a slaughterhouse from what she says was public property. The case was first reported by Will Potter, author of the book Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege.
Meyer drove to the Dale Smith Meatpacking Company in Draper City, Utah to see the slaughterhouse for herself. And what she saw horrified her. Horns were scattered around the property. Cows struggled with workers. And she told Potter about one scene in particular that jarred her: “A live cow who appeared to be sick or injured being carried away from the building in a tractor, as though she were nothing more than rubble.” Meyer also told the Salt Lake City Tribune that “flesh” was “being spewed from a chute on the side of the building.”
Because she was filming all of this, the manager of the slaughterhouse told her to stop. Meyer refused, and insisted she was on public property. The manager claimed she had trespassed on the slaughterhouse’s property, but the police said that “there was no damage to the fence in my observation,” Potter reports.
Now, Meyer is being charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly interfering with agricultural operations. The charge is being brought under the new “ag-gag” law in Utah, and Meyer faces six months in jail. She has pleaded not guilty. Her defense attorney, Stewart Gollan, criticized the “ag-gag” law in an i nterview with the Salt Lake City Tribune.
“When you shield certain kinds of activities from public criticism, that raises some concerns,” said Gollan. 
"Ag-gag" laws like the one used to prosecute Meyer have proliferated around the country, fueled by model legislation crafted by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council. Potter notes they "are designed to silence undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms."
What makes the case even more striking is that the owner of the slaughterhouse is the mayor of Draper City, as Potter points out. The defense attorney for Meyer plans to ask the judge to recuse himself from the case since “judges in Draper’s justice court are appointed by the mayor with the advice of the City Council.”
Meyer’s next court date is May 23.

6 Horrifying Facts Every American Should Know About Guantanamo Bay and the Ongoing Hunger Strike

From:  AlterNet 

As the hunger strike grows, the U.S. is sending more medical personnel to help force-feed the prisoners. Here are some of the facts you should know about the protest and the prison camp.
 April 30, 2013  |  
Guantanamo Prison Flight
Photo Credit: Publik15/Flickr

The hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay continues to grow. The U.S. recently forced many prisoners into solitary confinement. The military now admits that 100 prisoners at the camp are refusing to eat. But lawyers for Guantanamo detainees say that more than 130 detainees are on hunger strike.
While the claims and counter-claims bounce back and forth, the situation continues to deteriorate. Here’s 6 facts you should know about Guantanamo Bay and the ongoing act of protest most of the prisoners are participating in.
1. U.S. Medical Reinforcements Have Arrived to Force-Feed Prisoners
One of the latest news items is that “medical reinforcements” from the U.S. Navy have arrived at Guantanamo Bay to cope with the growing hunger strike. The Naval nurses and specialists are there to help facilitate the process of force-feeding the detainees.
“We will not allow a detainee to starve themselves to death, and we will continue to treat each person humanely,” Guantanamo prison spokesman Samuel House told the New York Times. But the practice of force-feeding has been criticized by human rights groups.
When detainees are force-fed, they are shackled to a “restraint chair.” Then, U.S. military officials force a tube into their nose to pump nutrients into their body. The American Medical Association has come out strongly against the practice. “Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions,” AMA President Jeremy Lazarus wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Miami Herald reports.
In a harrowing New York Times Op-Ed, Guantanamo prisoner Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel described the process of force-feeding. “I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up,” he wrote. “I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.”
2. Hunger Strike Sparked By Raids, Fueled By Indefinite Detention
Detainees began the hunger strike in early February after they said personnel at the camp raided cells, confiscated personal items and treated the Qu’ran disrespectfully. The military disputes this narrative. But what is clear is that, as the New York Times reported, the strike is being driven by “a growing sense among many prisoners, some of whom have been held without trial for more than 11 years, that they will never go home.”
“The men are not starving themselves so they can become martyrs...They’re doing this because they’re desperate. They’re desperate to be free from Guantanamo. They don’t see any alternative to leaving in a coffin. That’s the bottom line,” Wells Dixon, an attorney for five Guantamano detainees, told AlterNet earlier this month.
3. 86 Detainees Have Been Cleared for Release--But They’re Still There
There are currently 166 detainees at Guantanamo. And over half of them--86--have been cleared for release out of the hellish prison camp. But they’re still there, a fact that is helping to drive the hunger strike.
The U.S. government has effectively put release efforts on hold. The last time a prisoner left Guantanamo was September 2012. Part of the problem is that 56 of the cleared men are from Yemen, a strong U.S. ally that also has a problem with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that has plotted attacks against the U.S. After a 2009 terrorist plot that purportedly originated in Yemen was halted, the Obama administration decided to halt repatriation of detainees to Yemen.


EU's Serious Gamble: 'There Will Be More Wealth Confiscation'

By Staff Report

There will be more wealth confiscation, without a doubt' ... Savers and investors face further "wealth confiscation" in Europe as the continent struggles to resolve the single currency's problems, a bank chief has said ... European politicians will take the "easy option" of taking money from the rich rather than raising taxes and cutting spending to deal with the continent's debt problem, Lars Christensen, the head of Saxo Bank, said. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Bank customers need to pay for banking inequity.

Free-Market Analysis: Whoops, there goes Lars Christensen running his mouth again. Christensen is one of the founders of the idiosyncratic Saxo bank, which began life online, apparently as an "Internet bank." When you read up on Saxo you will be surprised as to how much controversy it's attracted.

Most recently, it was subject to a comprehensive investigation by the Danish equivalent of the SEC, and perhaps out of frustration or perhaps because Christensen can't help himself, he spoke bluntly to the Telegraph about what is in store for Europe and perhaps the rest of the West.

And that is? ... More monetary confiscation as the Eurocrats struggle with ways to bail out a drowning financial system. Employing the same kind of "implacable rigor" as pre-war National Socialist functionaries, they will not acknowledge the fatal flaws in the euro. Half of Europe is to be thrown out of work and face starvation before this abortion of a currency is finally to find its grave.

In the meantime, confiscation is the theme of the day. Here's more:

Asked if the raid on uninsured savings in Cyprus would be repeated, [Christensen] told City AM: "There will be future bail-ins [loss of deposits] and other types of confiscation of wealth in the eurozone, without a doubt.

"There's no other realistic way forward if politicians continue to fail to deal with the basic indebtedness problem across Europe. They will either have to raise taxes and cut spending, or politicians will take the easier route and take money from the rich."

Earlier this week savers at Bank of Cyprus saw 37.5pc of their balances above €100,000 converted into shares, with a further 22.5pc at risk and 30pc frozen.

Following the Cyprus deal, several senior German economists proposed that wealth taxes be used to fund future bail-outs in the eurozone, with British owners of holiday homes potentially in the line of fire.

Senior advisers to Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for better-off households to pay towards the cost of any future bail-outs for the weaker members of the single currency. The proposals, from members of Germany's council of economic experts, raised the prospect of taxes being imposed on property in a country such as Spain if its government was forced to seek a bail-out.

Mr Christensen said confidence in currencies such as the euro, dollar and yen was being undermined and that the gold price would eventually recover as a result.

These are all fascinating comments from Christensen, and ... who knows ... perhaps they will get him investigated once again. The basic thrust of this argument is that as the Eurocrats have tried everything else, they are now turning to the easiest and simplest solution for the "debt crisis" ... outright theft of assets based on dubious legal assertions.

This is an extremely dangerous approach, of course, and Christensen diagnoses the problem fairly well. Toward the end of the article he is quoted as follows, "Trust in the fiat [paper] currency system will slowly begin to disintegrate. We've seen it in gold. The recent sell-off was driven by buy and sell pressures in a market that is not as big as many people think. Eventually gold will pick up and go higher."

The old principle of the "prudent central bank has disappeared. We now have overt political influence of central banks, and that's dangerous." This would seem to be an honest opinion from a financial maverick. It reinforces our belief that the Eurocrats are losing control. Their solutions aren't working and now they are using the brute force of confiscation.

Conclusion: In the past we've pointed out that such solutions increase European chaos and this is the last hope of these people, that the mass of Europeans begin to suffer so much that increased "rigor" and a political union looks increasingly preferable to the current mess. But in the age of the Internet Reformation, this is a serious gamble, indeed.