Connect with us

Alternative News

Calling For Justice: Snowden Calls For Prosecution Of CIA Torturers

Published

on

NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of classified pieces of information from the National Security Agency, told Amnesty International that Americans committed “inexcusable crimes” when they conducted torture on detainees.

advertisement - learn more

The former system administrator for the CIA, who still resides in Russia under an asylum request, spoke from Moscow to an event in Paris about the recent release of the U.S. Senate intelligence committee’s report on CIA torture during the George W. Bush administration. He described the CIA’s brutal techniques as “deeply corrosive to the morals of the United States.

Snowden reportedly said during a recent video conference for Amnesty International’s celebration of the International Day of Human Rights:

“A government could say that rape has a positive effect because we have a declining demographic crisis in the country… Efficiency has no place in the debate about right and wrong.”

He added:

Individuals actually lost their lives — they died — after being chained to a concrete floor in an unheated room, half naked. And rather than having the officer who ordered that behavior be prosecuted, he actually received a monetary bonus from the Central Intelligence Agency of $2,500. These are things that leave a stain on the moral authority of the United States government.

advertisement - learn more

Facts Revealed in the Report

The recently-released U.S. Senate intelligence committee’s report on the CIA, which was based on the examination of more than six million internal CIA documents and cost more than $40 million, had revealed the brutal use of torture on prisoners in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The executive summary of the report exposed that the treatment in secret prisons a decade ago was worse than the government told Congress or the public.

The NY Times reported that five hundred pages were released, representing the executive summary and conclusions of a still-classified 6,700-page full investigation. The released pages included the names of CIA personnel, countries that hosted the agency’s secret prisons and some other details blacked out.

The report also uncovered the facts about what is called the “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” program to torture the prisoners. The program included weeks of sleep deprivation, slapping and slamming of detainees against walls, confining them to small boxes, keeping them isolated for prolonged periods and threatening them with death, claiming that former U.S. President George W. Bush was never briefed by the agency on specific techniques such as waterboarding (a simulated drowning technique) until 2006.

The CIA misled Congress and the White House about the harsh methods of torturing and insisted, in the same time, that the interrogations had helped save lives!

The BBC reported these facts as they revealed in the report:

  • Detainees were subjected to repeated waterboarding, slapping, stress positions and sleep deprivation.
  • Saudi al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah was kept confined in a coffin-sized box for hours on end.
  • Suspects were threatened with severe harm – psychologically and physically.

Read more: Q and A About the C.I.A. Torture Report

The world-famous National Security Agency leaker says he is “deeply saddened and to a great extent angered” both by what he read and by the tone of the conversation. He also talked about his work at the CIA and suspicions of agency actions during his tenure.

No_one_is_reading_the_CIA_torture_report,_so_we_turned_it_into_11_fun_memes._NONTELEVISED_TRUTH_-_2014-12-13_20.33.27

Snowden regretted that “this does nothing in terms of holding the officials who ordered this behavior, and the officers who actually directly engaged in torture, to account.

He reportedly said:

The Senate’s report is a good step forward in terms of acknowledging the reality of what we have done. But this does nothing in terms of holding the officials who ordered this behavior and the officers who actually directly engaged in torture to account.

Snowden criticized torture defenders,  he called for accountability rather than apparent rewards for undertaking actions tantamount to torture – and some even bringing about death.

Watch the full video:

The UN and prominent human rights groups have demanded prosecution of the responsible US officials listed in the Senate’s report.

Edward Snowden’s lawyer, Wolfgang Kaleck, called on prosecutors across Europe to “get active” and prepare to seize any CIA agents and US officials involved in torture who enter their territories, according to The Guardian.

He reportedly said:

“We’re preparing reams of dossiers, and demanding of prosecutors that they do the same for those who are named in the report and those known as the higher-ups who directed and conducted this system.”

Kaleck is the director of the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin. He also added:

“If these people enter European territory, they need to know that they’ll run into severe trouble.”

Lately, “CitizenFour,” a documentary about Edward Snowden and NSA spying, has won the International Documentary Association top award for best feature, after it was named the best non-fiction film of 2014.

Snowden’s release of NSA files has been called the most significant leak in US history.

Sources:

  1. The Daily Dot
  2. RT
  3. The Guardian

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Alternative News

Highest Court In South Africa Legalizes Cannabis Use

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    South Africa has now legalized the use of cannabis for adults, but only in private places. The law also allows citizens to grow their own for personal consumption as well.

  • Reflect On:

    Times are changing, this may be a small victory in natural freedom, but it just goes to show that the people do have power.

Just a few short years ago the pursuit to legalize cannabis seemed futile at best, now it feels like just a matter of time before the majority of the world jumps on board! Most recently, South Africa’s highest court has legalized the use of cannabis by adults in private places only.

After a unanimous ruling, pro marijuana activists cheered in the public gallery chanting, “Weed are free now!” Judges also legalized the growing of marijuana for private consumption.

The government of South Africa had opposed the legalization arguing that the drug was harmful to people’s health. The Constitutional Court, however declared the law that criminalized the use of cannabis in the first place, unconstitutional and invalid and gave the government 24 months to come up with a new set of laws that respected South African’s right to privacy “in their private spheres.” It will no longer be a “criminal offence for an adult person to be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption.” It will however, still be illegal to use the drug in public places, sell it or supply it.

Prior to this ruling the laws regarding cannabis use were strict and could result in 15 years in prison and up to 25 years for selling it.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said, “It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption.”

Rastafarians rejoiced outside the court hall celebrating the huge success.

advertisement - learn more

Things Are Changing, And Fast

As more awareness continues to grow, we are seeing just how powerful the people really are by coming together and doing what they can to make a difference in the world. When compared to a substance like alcohol that is addictive, harmful, can cause rage and depression and often comes at a great cost to the user and their family, it really makes little sense as to why there would still be any prohibition on the use of cannabis. It seems as though the courts are starting to agree, and seeing why really, it makes little sense to ban the use of cannabis and send people to jail for it — now really, that’s just absurd.

As mentioned above, what once may have seemed impossible is now proving to be very possible in fact. This is just another reminder that we the people do have a say, and if there are aspects of our society that don’t align with our values, or don’t make any sense, we can do our part by speaking up and working towards changing them. Things aren’t always as concrete as they may appear, this is a great example of why we should never give up hope.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Alternative News

Where Does Donald Trump REALLY Stand On Syria?

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Recently, Democratic Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard lashed out against Trump for his rhetoric and policy in Syria that is the polar opposite of what he ascribed to in their meeting on Syria less than two years ago.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it possible that this whole Syria drama is playing out for the sake of awakening people to the larger reality behind these events?

In 2016, Democratic Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard met with Donald Trump to discuss Syria policy at a private meeting at Trump Tower in November, just ahead of then president-elect Trump being sworn into office. At the time the two appeared to be in complete agreement over Syria policy. Gabbard said this after the meeting:

“I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the President-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government—a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families.”

The following summer President Trump allegedly shut down the CIA’s clandestine efforts for overthrowing the Damascus government, a covert program called ‘Timber Sycamore’, after reports said he was increasingly disturbed by the brutal and jihadist nature of the armed opposition. All the way up until April 2018, he had appeared to be pushing toward withdrawing the over 2,000 US troops from Syria, against which advisers and neocon warmongers vehemently pushed back. Trump had proposed,

“Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out. We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

But that was then. Today, Trump’s stance has changed. Or has it?

Responding To Chemical Weapons False Flag

We all know what happened next. Just days after Trump’s statement touting the withdrawal of American troops, video emerged from Idlib purporting to show an Assad sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, to which Trump responded with a brief Tomahawk missile strike on a largely abandoned Syrian military airport in the center of the country. Trump launched an even bigger attack on Damascus the following April following more unverified opposition claims of another gas attack.

advertisement - learn more

Now, I would bet my bottom dollar that Trump knows very well that those two alleged chemical attacks were orchestrated false flags in order to promote a military response against Syria. If this is the case, then why would he have authorized the attacks, and why did he recently issue a warning against Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces against attacking al-Qaeda forces in Idlib?

Tulsi Gabbard Calls Out Trump

The way Tulsi Gabbard sees it, there are two reasons, which she elaborated upon in this video:

“One is because, if you look back over the last couple of years, the two times that President Trump has received vast positive reinforcement from the mainstream media, from Democratic leaders. from Republican leaders, have been the two times he has launched military attacks against Syria. His poll numbers are dropping. So he’s looking with a political calculation of what’s the thing that I know will make it so that people are saying nice things about me again?

The second reason is because there’s been this long, slow regime change war happening in Syria, we’ve been waging this long war since 2011, and the main ground force in that war has been al-Qaeda, and these other Jihadist terrorist groups. And so there have been both direct and indirect support of these groups fighting on the ground, to overthrow this regime, and, so their concerned that if these terrorist groups like al-Qaeda are taken out in Idlib, what happens to the ground force fighting to overthrow the Syrian government? And this leads us to the United States alliance with Saudi Arabia, who would like to see a Wahabi extremist government replace the government that’s in Syria.”

A couple of days after commemorative speeches about 9/11 were presented by the Trump administration, Ms. Gabbard took the opportunity to contrast the rhetoric in those speeches with the current position of the administration on Syria, using the full minute afforded general speeches in the House of Representatives:

Are They Just Role-Playing?

A speech like that seems to me to be addressed not to Congress, not to Donald Trump, but rather to the public in general, to wake up and realize that all that’s going on is pure theatre, and that without the public waking up none of us can move forward. Bringing up the specter of “Al-Qaeda”, which seems to be the tried and true boogeyman of terrorism that everyone recognizes, is one clue. The suggestion the 9/11 was the fault of al-Qaeda is another. It seems like there is a need to wake people up with a narrative that has some familiarity, in order not to shock them.

Do we really think Donald Trump is a supporter of Jihadi groups trying to unseat Syrian president Bashar al-Assad? Of course not. His reasonable stance on withdrawing from Syria up until April of this year seems to be how he sincerely feels, but for some reason those feelings have to be shelved for the moment. Indeed, he has limitations in terms of what his ‘character’ in this drama is allowed to say. Notice these two almost contradictory remarks about the Syria situation that came out within a few days of each other:

Optics

You will note that while the first tweet condemning radical Jihadis garnered a little over 4K likes, his condemnation of Syria, Iran and Russia got almost 72K likes. In a way, this might actually explain why he has turned against Russia and Syria of late. Does he need to reconnect to his base and those who still believe the full weight of the Russia-is-bad narrative? Tulsi Gabbard alluded to his poll numbers; one has to wonder if there are deeper reasons why a president’s popularity is an important aspect of his ability to get things done. The other theory one might hold is that he is under blackmail pressure from the Rothschilds and the Deep State. He goes ahead and unleashes fiery rhetoric against Assad, but then his retaliatory missile attack barely does any harm.

One way or another, the inconsistency and contradictions in Trump’s words and actions must be more than the vicissitudes of a bombastic blowhard. I think there is a method to the madness, though a method whose logic is currently difficult to pin down.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Alternative News

Real Life Hero: One Man Rescued 64 Dogs & Cats From Hurricane Florence In A School Bus

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the wake of Hurricane Florence many pets were left behind. Thanks to a real life hero, Tony Alsup, the lives of dozens of animals were saved.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you deeply inspired to assist those in need, whatever that may look like to you? If you are not taking action now, how can you begin taking action on that inspiration?

After officials announced their stern clear message to people living in the coastal towns of North Carolina, Leave, Now. “You put your life at risk by staying, don’t plan to leave once the rain and winds start.” More than 1 million people were told to leave. Unfortunately because of the rush and severity of the incoming storm many people panicked and left their pets behind.

Shelters across the southeastern coast have been struggling to make room for an influx of pets that have been dropped off. Thankfully, there are some real life heroes out there and because of these compassionate and courageous people the lives of dozens of abandoned animals will be saved and have the chance to find a new home.

Last week, a couple from North Carolina rescued around 20 pets from shelters in their “fluffy bus,” and a truck driver, Tony Alsup loaded up 64 cats and dogs in his school bus, eventually driving them towards safety, outside the hurricane warning zone.

“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup told the Greenville News. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”

Greenville News reported that the animal lover from Tennessee spent $3,200 on a school bus to collect all of the sheltered pet’s from disaster zones across the country. Several days before Hurricane Florence hit, Alsup drove through South Carolina and collected 53 dogs and 11 cats into the bus from various shelters across the state. He drove them to a private dog shelter in Alabama where many were adopted, others were sent to other adoption centers across the states who had a little room to spare for the un-adopted animals.

Pets Often Get Left Behind

It’s unfortunate, but in the days before a hurricane, pet shelters begin to fill up and government run shelters in some jurisdictions are not allowed to turn away new animals, but this sometimes means that they have to put down other animals to make space for the new ones. People become frantic and don’t know what to do with their pets, so they drop them off at shelters, even though there is little that these shelters can do to rescue all of these animals from disasters such as hurricanes.

advertisement - learn more

Some of the animals of South Carolina were truly blessed to have good samaritans like Alsup swoop in to save their lives. He aims to head back down to Wilmington North Carolina, an area where the flooding has caused road closures in order to save even more animals in need.

“Animals—especially shelter pets—they always have to take the back seat of the bus,” Alsup told the Post. “But I’ll give them their own bus. If I have to I’ll pay for all the fuel, or even a boat, to get these dogs out of there.”

Isn’t it amazing to see people performing such selfless acts to save the lives of those in need? Way to go Tony for your continued efforts to save the lives of countless animals. May he be an inspiration to us all to do what we can in times of need.

You can follow Alsup’s journey on Facebook and donate to his gas and upkeep funds through his Paypal.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

EL