Saturday, January 23, 2010

FKN Newz: Haiti Terror

Satire from Deek Jackson:

Woman escapes jail for breaching sex Asbo

Caroline and Steve Cartwright's sex life was so loud, the local postman and a woman taking her child to school complained.

Cartwright, 48, was first hit with a noise abatement notice, and then when she breached that the tougher Asbo was imposed, ordering her to quieten down in the bedroom.

Almost immediately after it was imposed she broke it and then failed in an appeal to have it overturned.

Jobless Cartwright used Article 8 of the Human Rights Act to argue she had a right to ''respect for her private and family life''.

[ ... ]

Their love making was described as ''murder'' and ''unnatural'' and drowned out their neighbours' televisions.

Neighbours said the Cartwrights' sex sessions would usually start around midnight and last for two or three hours, every night of the week.

Specialist equipment installed in a neighbour's flat by Sunderland City Council recorded noise levels of between 30 to 40 decibels, with the highest being 47 decibels.

At an earlier hearing Mrs Cartwright explained she was unable to control the noise she made during sex.

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Guantanamo guard reunited with ex-inmates

Why would a former Guantanamo Bay prison guard track down two of his former captives - two British men - and agree to fly to London to meet them?

"You look different without a cap."

"You look different without the jump suits."

With those words, an extraordinary reunion gets under way.

The last time Ruhal Ahmed met Brandon Neely, he was "behind bars, behind a cage and [Brandon] was on the other side".

The location had been Camp X-Ray - the high-security detention camp run by the US in Guantanamo Bay. Mr Ahmed, originally from Tipton in the West Midlands, was among several hundred foreign terror suspects held at the centre.

Mr Neely was one of his guards.

The scene of this current exchange of pleasantries couldn't be more different from where they last met - a television studio in London. Also here is Shafiq Rasul, a fellow ex-Guantanamo prisoner, without whose Facebook page the reunion would never have happened.

The journey of reconciliation began almost a year ago in Huntsville, Texas. Mr Neely, 29, had left the US military in 2005 to become a police officer and was still struggling to come to terms with his time as a guard at Guantanamo.

He felt anger at a number of incidents of abuse he says he witnessed, and guilt over one in particular.

Highly controversial since it opened in 2002, Guantanamo prison was set up by President George Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to house suspected "terrorists". But it has been heavily divisive and President Barack Obama has said it has "damaged [America's] national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda".

Mr Neely recalls only the good publicity in the US media.

"The news would always try to make Guantanamo into this great place," he says, "like 'they [prisoners] were treated so great'. No it wasn't. You know here I was basically just putting innocent people in cages."

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Texas schoolkids tagged With GPS tracking devices

A judge has ordered 22 students at Bryan Highschool in Texas to carry GPS tracking devices in the name of preventing truancy, another example of how schools are now youth internment centers – preparatory camps for brainwashing kids to accept the prison planet.

“Bryan High students who skip school will soon be tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” reports KBTX.

“It's called the Attendance Improvement Management Program or AIM, and it has been used across Texas and the United States.”

Students who skip class are now forced to attend “truancy court” and be lectured by a judge before being mandated to carry a GPS tracking device.

“Students on the program are tracked with a hand-held GPS device between the time they leave for school in the morning and the time they check in for curfew at night.”

Not only are children being treated as criminals if they skip class, parents too are being targeted if they turn up late to collect their kids. A story we broke back in 2006 highlighted how a junior high school in Indiana threatens parents with police and child protective service involvement if they fail to pick up their child on time after mandatory Friday classes for missed homework.

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Battle over Franz Kafka archive kept for decades in cat-infested flat

The decision by an Israeli court to issue the order has raised hopes among Kafka scholars that the papers will cast new light on the life and work of the great Czech writer.

The court order marks the end of the first chapter in a battle for control of his literary legacy, whose absurd twists could have ended up in one of his angst-ridden works.

Kafka scholars hope that unseen original work by the author of The Trial, perhaps even an unfinished novel, might be buried among the papers that were for decades left to rot by the former secretary of Kafka's friend and executor, Max Brod.

For now only Eva Hoffe and her sister Ruth Wisler know what is in the treasure trove, which they have tranferred to bank deposit boxes. The elderly sisters inherited the archive from their mother, Mr Brod's secretary, Esther Hoffe. Her will is being contested by the National Library of Israel, which insists she had no right to pass the documents to her daughters.

A judge gave the sisters 15 days to reach a deal with the library or the vault would be opened without their consent and the papers catalogued.

The Kafkaesque wrangle over the contents of the safe deposit boxes - five held in Israel and one in Zurich - stems from an intrigue stretching back 80 years.

Kafka, who was born in Prague in 1883, was a little-known Jewish author when he died in 1924 from complications connected to tuberculosis. He had only a handful of published short stories to his name but left an array of unpublished writings, many of them unfinished.

In his will he famously ordered Mr Brod to gather up all his diaries, letters and manuscripts which "should be burned unread and without remnant".

Brod chose to ignore his friend's wishes and set about editing and publishing Kafka's work. He rescued the handwritten papers once again in 1939 when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia, stuffing them into suitcases bound for Tel Aviv, where Brod made his new home.

Without him such influential works as Metamorphosis, The Castle and Amerika would have been lost forever.

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PEN celebrates victory in Tariq Ramadan case

Press release from PEN American Center:

State Department Lifts Ban on Prominent Muslim Scholar

New York City, January 20, 2010—PEN American Center welcomed the news today that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has signed orders effectively ending the exclusion of Swiss Scholar Tariq Ramadan from the United States, calling the move “a step towards restoring the First Amendment right of American citizens to seek a full range of information and ideas.”

In a statement released today, PEN President Kwame Anthony Appiah commended the Obama administration for granting a visa waiver to Tariq Ramadan, saying the action “sends an important signal about our country's commitment to preserving a free and open exchange of information and ideas with the rest of the world.”

“At a time when a number of countries seem intent on limiting the access of their own citizens to the international conversation, it is especially crucial for the United States of America to take a strong and clear stand against censorship at the border,” Appiah added in the statement.

The action by Secretary Clinton should resolve a lawsuit that PEN and the ACLU, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Academy of Religions filed in January 2006 challenging Ramadan's exclusion from the U.S.

In August 2004, a Department of Homeland Security official cited a Patriot Act provision barring those who “endorse or espouse terrorism” as the basis for revoking Ramadan's visa, a move that effectively stopped him from assuming a tenured position he had been offered at the University of Notre Dame. One of the most prominent scholars of Islam in Europe, Ramadan has consistently condemned terrorism in his public statements and extensive writings, and he traveled to the United States frequently before and after September 11, 2001, even participating in a conference on “Islam and America in a Global World” that former President Bill Clinton hosted in 2002.

PEN and its co-plaintiffs challenged his exclusion and the Patriot Act provision U.S. officials had cited as the grounds for denying his entry, arguing that such exclusions violate the First Amendment rights of Americans to hear international voices and engage and debate with foreign colleagues face to face. In court proceedings, the government quickly abandoned its claim that Ramadan espoused terrorism, insisting instead that it needed more time to process Ramadan's visa application. The court disagreed in June 2006, and ordered the government to issue the visa or give the reason for its refusal within 90 days.

Just before the deadline, Ramadan was informed that his visa application was being denied because he had donated small amounts of money between 1998 and 2002 to French and Swiss organizations that provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians. PEN and its co-plaintiffs challenged this denial as well, and last year a federal appeals court ruled that Ramadan must be permitted to show that he could not have known that the charity, which was placed on the U.S. watch list after he had made the donations and still operates legally in Switzerland, had affiliations with any terrorist organizations. A hearing in the case was to have been held this week.

Instead, on Friday, Secretary Clinton signed an order stating that Ramadan would not be denied a visa on the basis of these donations in the future. She signed a similar order for Adam Habib, a South African scholar who has also been excluded from the U.S. on ideological grounds. Both can now reapply for visas and should be free to travel to the United States soon.

“I am very pleased with the decision to end my exclusion from the United States after almost six years,” Tariq Ramadan said today in the U.K. “I want to thank all the institutions and individuals who have supported me and worked to end unconstitutional ideological exclusion over the years. I am very happy and hopeful that I will be able to visit the United States very soon and to once again engage in an open, critical and constructive dialogue with American scholars and intellectuals.”

PEN announced it would move quickly to organize such a forum in New York. “Since we first filed this lawsuit, the issues on which Professor Ramadan writes and speaks have only gained urgency,” Appiah said in his statement, noting in particular the recent vote in Switzerland to ban minarets and a push to ban speech deemed defamatory to religions. “The tensions behind these developments can only be addressed through engagement and dialogue,” Appiah continues. “We look forward to welcoming Professor Ramadan to the United States, and we will move quickly to do what we have not been able to do since he learned in 2004 that his U.S. visa had been cancelled: arrange a public program where he and his American counterparts can discuss these developments and debate some of the many issues of common interest to Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East.”

“This is a clear victory for the First Amendment, said Larry Siems, Director of the Freedom to Write and International Programs at PEN American Center. “We were very troubled to see our government resurrecting the discredited practice of ideological exclusion after 9/11, at time when we clearly needed more, not less, international dialogue and debate. We see the administration's decision to reverse the ban on Tariq Ramadan as a major step in reestablishing our country's leadership in defending the rights of its citizens to engage with the world.”

PEN American Center is the largest of the 145 centers of International PEN, the world's oldest human rights organization and the oldest international literary organization. PEN's Campaign for Core Freedoms works to: protect personal privacy; preserve public access to information and a full range of voices from the United States and around the world; and promote policies that reflect a core commitment to human rights. For more information, please visit www.pen.org

Oil in Haiti and oil refinery - an old notion for Fort Liberte as a transshipment terminal for US supertankers

A revealing article:

Another economic reason for the ouster of President Aristide and current UN occupation (See also - Haiti's Riches: Interview with Ezili Dantò on Mining in Haiti and Answers to media questions about Haiti.)

There is evidence that the United States found oil in Haiti decades ago and due to the geopolitical circumstances and big business interests of that era made the decision to keep Haitian oil in reserve for when Middle Eastern oil had dried up. This is detailed by Dr. Georges Michel in an article dated March 27, 2004 outlining the history of oil explorations and oil reserves in Haiti and in the research of Dr. Ginette and Daniel Mathurin.

There is also good evidence that these very same big US oil companies and their inter-related monopolies of engineering and defense contractors made plans, decades ago, to use Haiti's deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites or depots where crude oil could be stored and later transferred to small tankers to serve U.S. and Caribbean ports. This is detailed in a paper about the Dunn Plantation at Fort Liberte in Haiti.

Ezili's HLLN underlines these two papers on Haiti's oil resources and the works of Dr. Ginette and Daniel Mathurin in order to provide a view one will not find in the mainstream media nor anywhere else as to the economic and strategic reasons the US has constructed its fifth largest embassy in the world - fifth only besides the US embassy in China, Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany - in tiny Haiti, post the 2004 Haiti Bush regime change.

The facts outlined in the Dunn Plantation and Georges Michel papers, considered together, reasonably unveil part of the hidden reasons UN Special Envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton, is giving the UN occupation a facelift so that its troops stay in Haiti for the duration.

Ezili's HLLN has consistently maintained, since the beginning of the 2004 Bush regime change in Haiti, that the 2004 US invasion of Haiti used UN troops as its military proxy to avoid the charge of imperialism and racism. We have also consistently maintained that the UN/US invasion and occupation of Haiti is not about protecting Haitian rights, security, stability or long-term domestic development but about returning the Washington Chimeres/[gangsters] - the traditional Haitian Oligarchs - to power, establishing free trade not fair trade, the Chicago-boys' death plan, neoliberal policies, keeping the minimum wage at slave wage levels, plundering Haiti's natural resources and riches, not to mention using the location benefit that Haiti lies between Cuba and Venezuela. Two countries the US has unsuccessfuly orchestrated regime changes in and continues to pursue. In the Dunn Plantation and Georges Michel papers, we find and deploy further details as to why the US is in Haiti with this attempted Bill Clinton facelift to the UN's continued occupations.

For, no matter the disguise or media spins it's also about Haiti's oil reserves, and about securing Haiti's deep-water ports as transshipment location for oil or for tank sites to store crude oil without interference from a democratic government beholden to its informed population's welfare. (See Reynold's deep water port in Miragoane/NIPDEVCO property- scroll to photos in middle of the page.)

In Haiti, between 1994 to 2004 when the people had a voice in government, there was an intense grassroots movement to figure out how to exploit Haiti's resources. There was a plan, where in the book "Investing In People: Lavalas White Book under the direction of Jean-Betrand Aristide (Investir Dans L'Humain), the Haitian majority "were not only told where the resources were, but that -- they did not have the skills and technology to actually extract the gold, to extract the oil."

The Aristide/Lavalas plan, as I've articulated in the Haiti's Riches Interview, was "to engage in some sort of private/public partnership. Where both the Haitian people's interest would be taken care of and of course the private interest would take their profits. But I think it was around that time we had St. Genevieve saying they did not like the Haitian government. Obviously, they didn't like this plan. They don't like the Haitian people to know where their resources are. But in this book, it was the first time in Haitian history, it was written in Kreyòl and in French. And there was a national discussion all over the radio in Haiti with respect to all these various resources of Haiti, where they were located, and how the Haitian government was intending on trying to build sustainable development through those resources. So that's what you had before the 2004 Bush regime change/Coup D'etat in Haiti. With the Coup D'etat now, though the people know where these resources are because this book exists, they don't know who these foreign companies are. What they're profit margins are. What the environmental protection rules and regulations to protect them are. Many folks, for instance, in the North talk about losing their property, having people come in with guns and taking over their property. So that's where we are." (Haiti's Riches: Interview with Ezili Dantò on Mining in Haiti.)

The mainstream media, owned by the multinational companies fleecing Haiti, certainly won't lay out for public consumption that the UN/US invasion and occupation of Haiti is to secure Haiti's oil, strategic position, cheap labor, deep water ports, mineral resources (iridium, gold, copper, uranium, diamond, gas reserves), lands, waterfronts, offshore resources for privatization or the exclusive use of the world's wealthy oligarchs and US big oil monopolies. (See, Map showing some of Haiti's mining and mineral wealth, including five oil sites in Haiti;Oil in Haiti by Dr. Georges Michel; Excerpt from the Dunn Plantation paper; Haiti is full of oil, say Ginette and Daniel Mathurin; There is a multinational conspiracy to illegally take the mineral resources of the Haitian people: Espaillat Nanita revealed that in Haiti there are huge resources of gold and other minerals, and Is UN proxy occupation of Haiti masking US securing oil/gas reserves from Haiti).

In fact, the current Haitian authority-under-the-US/UN-occupation that is in charge of regulating exploration licenses and mining in Haiti does not explain, in any relevant or systematic manner, to the Haitian majority about the companies buying up, post 2004, Haiti's deep water ports, what their profit shares with the Haitian nation are, where are the accounting of said shares owed to the people of Haiti, nor explain the environmental effects of the massive excavations of Haiti's mountains and waters going on right now. Instead, the Director of Mining in Haiti blithely maintains that "further research will be necessary to confirm the existence of oil in Haiti."

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