In 2015, a number of journalists and journalism associations requested access from the Parliament to documents relating to the subsistence allowances, travel expenses and parliamentary assistance allowances of Members of the European Parliament (‘MEPs’). Those requests were all refused by the Parliament, as were the confirmatory applications which followed them. The General Court confirms the Parliament’s refusal to grant access to documents relating to MEPs’ subsistence allowances, travel expenses and parliamentary assistance allowances.Read more . . .
MI5 has refused to answer the claimants’ questions about the scope of the policy, including whether it could in principle authorise murder, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, rape, kidnapping or false imprisonment. The security service’s lawyers said to answer such questions of law would reveal the facts of conduct they wish to keep secret.Read more . . .
The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won’t get academic appointments. You won’t win prizes. You won’t get grants. The New York Times, if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it—as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!Read more . . .
Run from secret operations centers in Turkey and Jordan, a CIA program pumped many hundreds of millions of dollars to many dozens of militia groups in Syria. This was revealed now by the Washington Post. The rise and fall of the Syria covert action program conveys some useful lessons about this most delicate weapon in the United States’ arsenal, writes the Washington Post, acknowledging the US major role in destabilizing Syria.Read more . . .
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Center for Constitutional Rights described how the Constitution had been shredded based on assumptions about the 9/11 attacks. By then, it had also become clear that the government was actually giving aid and comfort to the enemy (violating Article 3) through arming and training terrorists. One might think it obvious that stopping such actions would be the goal of all Americans but to do so one Congress member has had to spell it out in legislation.Read more . . .
As the news of murder of Libya’s revolutionary leader, Chairman of the African Union and defender of Africa from European neocolonial murderous exploitation was still fresh, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.
“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.”
Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, in August 2016:
“The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction… Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys… Moreover, instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change… The American administration does not appear capable of recognizing the fact that IS can be a useful tool in undermining Tehran’s ambitious plan for domination of the Middle East.”Read more . . .
Five years of devastating civil war and strict economic sanctions have plunged over 80 percent of Syrians into poverty, up from 28 percent in 2010. Ferdinand Arslanian, a scholar at the Center for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews, says that reduction in living standards and aid dependency is empowering the regime.Read more . . .
Turkey’s neoliberalism culminated in the new millennium with the rise of the AKP, a party with an Islamist background. The party wedded Islamist populism to neoliberalism, which has been critically dubbed “neoliberalism with a Muslim face.”4 By winning over liberal intellectual and economic circles, the AKP has built a historic bloc with Islamic sentiments; İlhan Uzgel calls it “the new hegemonic bloc.” Thus, in order to alter Turkey, the AKP initially had to alter itself.Read more . . .
It would be wonderful if the [Vietnam] war were critically studied and its glorification subjected to massive public opposition combined with teach-ins, multimedia presentations, marches, and demonstrations. These could be directly tied to the interminable and deadly war on terror and the ongoing conversion of the United States into a police state.Read more . . .
President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to Russian media in which he hailed the Russian initiative for inter-Syrian dialogue as positive and denied any direct dialogue between Syria and the US, stressing that there has been no real change in the American or Western policies on Syria so far. Following is the text of the full interview.Read more . . .
“Four senior judges have found that my rights have been violated unlawfully, whilst four others have disagreed. I cannot agree that the police in this country should be trusted with information about innocent people’s lawful political activities. In my view, without a new system of rules governing police surveillance, there is too much scope for the police to abuse their powers. I am therefore left with no option but to take this matter to the European Court of Human Rights for the sake of other innocent people whose lawful political activities are being monitored by the state.Read more . . .
Where does ISIS get its technical equipment and the know-how to produce videos and run Internet sites? These are not qualities commonly found among fanatical fundamentalists anywhere; indeed most true radical fundamentalists tend to eschew technology. A supply of advice, technical assistance, and equipment comes from somewhere. Where does ISIS get the money for food, gasoline, clothes, ammunition, and Japanese pick-up trucks? And I wonder, did one of those wild-looking jihadi types just show up one day at an Iraqi car dealership and order a fleet of Japanese pick-ups? Were they delivered out on the desert or did a gang of jihadists march in, waving their Kalashnikovs, to drive them away?Read more . . .
Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.Read more . . .
The intellectual, political, media, and field confrontation of this Takfiri current [Daesh, Al-Nusra, IS] must be considered a kind of defense – a defense of Islam. It is not anymore a defense of a definite axis or regime or state or faction or sect or minority. They are threatening everyone. They are threatening Islam above all…Those who bet on the Americans are bargaining on a mirage. How do you bet on the very side which robs you, conspires against you, and had fabricated these and dispatched them to you?Read more . . .
The deadliest conflict in the world since the Second World War and still raging is happening in Congo and the Western elite and its media couldn’t care less. That alone shows that military interventions are not intended to save lives. To understand why the media focuses on Boko Haram, we need to know what it is and who is behind it. What is the underlying context, what interests are being served?Read more . . .
The term legal imperialism was coined in relation to the Argentina’s public debt. A New York court admitted a number of private claims to hand down a verdict. By a stroke of hand a judge increased the country’s debt up to $120 billion, according to experts’ estimates. The essence of legal imperialism is the support rendered by Anglo-Saxon legal system to financial vultures.Read more . . .
The fate of Ukraine is now shifting from the military battlefield back to the arena that counts most: that of international finance. Kiev is broke, having depleted its foreign reserves on waging war that has destroyed its industrial export and coal mining capacity in the Donbass (especially vis-à-vis Russia, which normally has bought 38 percent of Ukraine’s exports). Deeply in debt (with €3 billion falling due on December 20 to Russia), Ukraine faces insolvency if the IMF and Europe do not release new loans next month to pay for new imports as well as Russian and foreign bondholders.Read more . . .
Was Turkey behind last year’s Syrian chemical weapons attack? That is the question raised in a new exposé by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh on the intelligence debate over the deaths of hundreds of Syrians in Ghouta last year. The United States, and much of the international community, blamed forces loyal to the Assad government, almost leading to a U.S. attack on Syria. But Hersh reveals the U.S. intelligence community feared Turkey was supplying sarin gas to Syrian rebels in the months before the attack took place — information never made public as President Obama made the case for launching a strike. Hersh joins us to discuss his findings.Read more . . .
As unusual as it may seem, the appointment of Natalie Jaresko, a US-born and educated businesswoman, is consistent with what looks more like a takeover of the Ukrainian economy by Western interests. In two reports – “The Corporate Takeover of Ukrainian Agriculture” and “Walking on the West Side: The World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict” – the Oakland Institute has documented this takeover, particularly in the agricultural sector.Read more . . .