Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The world has taken quite a wobble in the past few years and the most significant truth I've found is that is that most of my neighbors are so uninformed as to assume that their 10% CD's are going to offset the loss of their real wealth by 18 % inflation.  Not to say that an increased money supply would not help if it was introduced from the bottom of the pyramid; but it is coming only to the top and they are just salting it away to UBS in Zurich and The Bank of Israel in Tel Aviv.  And Barack Obama is completely aware of this and is selling the shekel market to the Americans.  BO is the greatest actor of all time and should face the gallows. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lock 'em up, Danno!

American soldiers who come home will feel the need to kill Americans now that their blood lust has been stirred by Republican scum and "Liberals" who couldn't carry the jockstrap of a real progressive hero or heroine.   

to wit:

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.
The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.
The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.
I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?
The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.
But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendmentdeletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fightwithout worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.
The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.
UPDATE: Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1013 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.
But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors,Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
There you have it — indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. And the Senate is likely to vote on it Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lines Drawn: Difficult weekend with Hades and Zeus Sunday 30th Oct

Not a great time for a revolutionary act but it never really is.

hades zeus

Grave viciousness. Destruction by fire. Burns. War atrocities. Villainous, mean trick. Industry. Lack of coal. Strike. Lockout. Destructive fire. Outbreak of hate. Causing a disaster. Incendiary. Idleness and vice. Unable to pursue one's objective. Lack of purposeful behavior. Prevented to act, paralyzed (in respect to action). Compelled toward inaction. Cramp (to restrain or confine the action of as with a cramp).  Crimp.  Cuffing.  Kettling. 

Last conjunction heliocentric: 10 August 780;  284° 14' (14 Capricorn 14)

Next conjunction heliocentric: 31 Dec 2510; 235° 17' (25 Scorpio 17)

MARS HADES ZEUS End of the procreative activity. A soldier. Military service. War service. Death caused by machines, by auto, firearms (murder). Burned to death. Aggravated work through deficiencies. Lack of fuel. Ashes. Losses though warlike circumstances. Abortion. Death by fire or through serious injury. Suicide by firearms. End of holidays. Start of a new work. Very dangerous acute illness or bad injury. A deed born out of hate. Strikers (work). Target practice. Battle actions. Fires, conflagrations.

Friday, February 04, 2011


John Wayne!! ohmigd you have returned from the well of souls...with your game bag filled with goat herders and cow-milking maidens !!

One thing you need to get firmly in mind about intelligence is that it is a full-duplex circuit. Both ways >> Always. Intelligence always goes both ways. So it is a useless waste of taxpayer resources. We pay to be compromised. Just keep these double agents somewhere where they can't muck up the works like the DIA.

The 1936-1939 Revolt in Palestine by Ghassan Kanafani

The 1936-1939 Revolt in Palestine

Between 1936 and 1939, the Palestinian revolutionary movement suffered a severe setback at the hands of three separate enemies that were to constitute together the principal threat to the nationalist movement in Palestine in all subsequent stages of its struggle: the local reactionary leadership; the regimes in the Arab states surrounding Palestine; and the imperialist-Zionist enemy. The present study will concentrate on the respective structures of these separate forces and the dialectical relations that existed among them.
The intensity of the Palestinian nationalist experience, which emerged since 1918, and was accompanied in one way or another with armed struggle, could not reflect itself on the upper structure of the Palestinian national movement which remained virtually under the control of semi-feudal and semi-religious leadership. This was due primarily to two related factors:
  1. The existence and effectiveness of the Zionist movement, which gave the national challenge relative predominance over the social contradictions. The impact of this challenge was being systematically felt by the masses of Palestinian Arabs, who were the primary victims of the Zionist invasion supported by British imperialism.
  2. The existence of a significant conflict of interests between the local feudal-religious leadership and British imperialism: It was consistently in the interest of the ruling class to promote and support a certain degree of revolutionary struggle, instead of being more or less completely allied with the imperialist power as would otherwise be the case. The British imperialists had found in the Zionists "a more suitable ally."
The above factors gave the struggle of Palestinian people particular features that did not apply to the Arab nationalist struggle outside Palestine. The traditional leadership, as a result, participated in, or at least tolerated, a most advanced form of political action (armed struggle); it raised progressive slogans, and had ultimately, despite its reactionary nature, provided positive leadership during a critical phase of the Palestinian nationalist struggle. It is relevant to explain, however, how the feudal-religious leadership succeeded in staying at the head of the nationalist movement for so long (until 1948). The transformation of the economic and social structure of Palestine, which occurred rather rapidly, had affected primarily the Jewish sector, and had taken place at the expense of the Palestinian middle and petty bourgeoisie, as well as the Arab working class. The change from a semi-feudal society to a capitalist society was accompanied by an increased concentration of economic power in the hands of the Zionist machine and consequently, within the Jewish society in Palestine. It is significant that Palestinian Arab advocates of conciliation, who became outspoken during the thirties, were not landlords or rich peasants, but rather elements of the urban upper bourgeoisie whose interests gradually coincided with the expanding interests of the Jewish bourgeoisie. The latter, by controlling the process of industrialization, was creating its own agents.
Ghassan Kanafani
In the meantime, the Arab countries surrounding Palestine were playing two conflicting roles. On the one hand, the Pan-Arab mass movement was serving as a catalyst for the revolutionary spirit of the Palestinian masses, since a dialectical relation between the Palestinian and overall Arab struggles existed, on the other hand, the established regimes in these Arab countries were doing everything in their power to help curb and undermine the Palestinian mass movement. The sharpening conflict in Palestine threatened to contribute to the development of the struggle in these countries in the direction of greater violence, creating a revolutionary potential that their respective ruling classes could not afford to overlook.
The Arab ruling classes were forced to support British imperialism against their counterpart in Palestine, which was in effect leading the Palestinian nationalist movement.
Meanwhile, the Zionist-Imperialist alliance continued to grow; the period between 1936 and 1939 witnessed not only the crystallization of the militaristic and aggressive character of the colonial society that Zionism had firmly implanted in Palestine but also the relative containment and defeat of the Palestinian working class; this was subsequently to have a radical effect on the course of the struggle. During that period, Zionism, in collaboration with the mandatory power, successfully undermined the development of a progressive Jewish labor movement and of Jewish-Arab Proletarian brotherhood. The Palestine Communist Party was effectively isolated among both Arab and Jewish workers, and the reactionary Histadrut completely dominated the Jewish labour movement. The influence of Arab progressive forces within Arab labour federations in Haifa and Jaffa diminished, leaving the ground open for their control by reactionary leaderships that monopolized political action.

[Ghassan Kanafani was killed by the Mossad in 1972 in Beruit by a car bomb]

Letter from Gaza by Ghassan Kanafani

Dear Mustafa,
I have now received your letter, in which you tell me that you've done everything necessary to enable me to stay with you in Sacramento. I've also received news that I have been accepted in the department of Civil Engineering in the University of California. I must thank you for everything, my friend. But it'll strike you as rather odd when I proclaim this news to you -- and make no doubt about it, I feel no hesitation at all, in fact I am pretty well positive that I have never seen things so clearly as I do now. No, my friend, I have changed my mind. I won't follow you to "the land where there is greenery, water and lovely faces" as you wrote. No, I'll stay here, and I won't ever leave.
I am really upset that our lives won't continue to follow the same course, Mustafa. For I can almost hear you reminding me of our vow to go on together, and of the way we used to shout: "We'll get rich!" But there's nothing I can do, my friend. Yes, I still remember the day when I stood in the hall of Cairo airport, pressing your hand and staring at the frenzied motor. At that moment everything was rotating in time with the ear-splitting motor, and you stood in front of me, your round face silent.
Your face hadn't changed from the way it used to be when you were growing up in the Shajiya quarter of Gaza, apart from those slight wrinkes. We grew up together, understanding each other completely and we promised to go on together till the end. But...
"There's a quarter of an hour left before the plane takes off. Don't look into space like that. Listen! You'll go to Kuwait next year, and you'll save enough from your salary to uproot you from Gaza and transplant you to California. We started off together and we must carry on. . ."
At that moment I was watching your rapidly moving lips. That was always your manner of speaking, without commas or full stops. But in an obscure way I felt that you were not completely happy with your flight. You couldn't give three good reasons for it. I too suffered from this wrench, but the clearest thought was: why don't we abandon this Gaza and flee? Why don't we? Your situation had begun to improve, however. The ministry of Education in Kuwait had given you a contract though it hadn't given me one. In the trough of misery where I existed you sent me small sums of money. You wanted me to consider them as loans. because you feared that I would feel slighted. You knew my family circumstances in and out; you knew that my meagre salary in the UNRWA schools was inadequate to support my mother, my brother's widow and her four children.
"Listen carefully. Write to me every day... every hour... every minute! The plane's just leaving. Farewell! Or rather, till we meet again!"
Your cold lips brushed my cheek, you turned your face away from me towards the plane, and when you looked at me again I could see your tears.
Later the Ministry of Education in Kuwait gave me a contract. There's no need to repeat to you how my life there went in detail. I always wrote to you about everything. My life there had a gluey, vacuous quality as though I were a small oyster, lost in oppressive loneliness, slowly struggling with a future as dark as the beginning of the night, caught in a rotten routine, a spewed-out combat with time. Everything was hot and sticky. There was a slipperiness to my whole life, it was all a hankering for the end of the month.
In the middle of the year, that year, the Jews bombarded the central district of Sabha and attacked Gaza, our Gaza, with bombs and flame-throwers. That event might have made some change in my routine, but there was nothing for me to take much notice of; I was going to leave. this Gaza behind me and go to California where I would live for myself, my own self which had suffered so long. I hated Gaza and its inhabitants. Everything in the amputated town reminded me of failed pictures painted in grey by a sick man. Yes, I would send my mother and my brother's widow and her children a meagre sum to help them to live, but I would liberate myself from this last tie too, there in green California, far from the reek of defeat which for seven years had filled my nostrils. The sympathy which bound me to my brother's children, their mother and mine would never be enough to justify my tragedy in taking this perpendicular dive. It mustn't drag me any further down than it already had. I must flee!
You know these feelings, Mustafa, because you've really experienced them. What is this ill-defined tie we had with Gaza which blunted our enthusiasm for flight? Why didn't we analyse the matter in such away as to give it a clear meaning? Why didn't we leave this defeat with its wounds behind us and move on to a brighter future which would give us deeper consolation? Why? We didn't exactly know.
When I went on holiday in June and assembled all my possessions, longing for the sweet departure, the start towards those little things which give life a nice, bright meaning, I found Gaza just as I had known it, closed like the introverted lining of a rusted snail-shell thrown up by the waves on the sticky, sandy shore by the slaughter-house. This Gaza was more cramped than the mind of a sleeper in the throes of a fearful nightmare, with its narrow streets which had their bulging balconies...this Gaza! But what are the obscure causes that draw a man to his family, his house, his memories, as a spring draws a small flock of mountain goats? I don't know. All I know is that I went to my mother in our house that morning. When I arrived my late brother's wife met me there and asked me,weeping, if I would do as her wounded daughter, Nadia, in Gaza hospital wished and visit her that evening. Do you know Nadia, my brother's beautiful thirteen-year-old daughter?
That evening I bought a pound of apples and set out for the hospital to visit Nadia. I knew that there was something about it that my mother and my sister-in-law were hiding from me, something which their tongues could not utter, something strange which I could not put my finger on. I loved Nadia from habit, the same habit that made me love all that generation which had been so brought up on defeat and displacement that it had come to think that a happy life was a kind of social deviation.
What happened at that moment? I don't know. I entered the white room very calm. Ill children have something of saintliness, and how much more so if the child is ill as result of cruel, painful wounds. Nadia was lying on her bed, her back propped up on a big pillow over which her hair was spread like a thick pelt. There was profound silence in her wide eyes and a tear always shining in the depths of her black pupils. Her face was calm and still but eloquent as the face of a tortured prophet might be. Nadia was still a child, but she seemed more than a child, much more, and older than a child, much older.
I've no idea whether I was the one who said it, or whether it was someone else behind me. But she raised her eyes to me and I felt them dissolve me like a piece of sugar that had fallen into a hot cup of tea. '
Together with her slight smile I heard her voice. "Uncle! Have you just come from Kuwait?"
Her voice broke in her throat, and she raised herself with the help of her hands and stretched out her neck towards me. I patted her back and sat down near her.
"Nadia! I've brought you presents from Kuwait, lots of presents. I'll wait till you can leave your bed, completely well and healed, and you'll come to my house and I'll give them to you. I've bought you the red trousers you wrote and asked me for. Yes, I've bought them."
It was a lie, born of the tense situation, but as I uttered it I felt that I was speaking the truth for the first time. Nadia trembled as though she had an electric shock and lowered her head in a terrible silence. I felt her tears wetting the back of my hand.
"Say something, Nadia! Don't you want the red trousers?" She lifted her gaze to me and made as if to speak, but then she stopped, gritted her teeth and I heard her voice again, coming from faraway.
She stretched out her hand, lifted the white coverlet with her fingers and pointed to her leg, amputated from the top of the thigh.
My friend ... Never shall I forget Nadia's leg, amputated from the top of the thigh. No! Nor shall I forget the grief which had moulded her face and merged into its traits for ever. I went out of the hospital in Gaza that day, my hand clutched in silent derision on the two pounds I had brought with me to give Nadia. The blazing sun filled the streets with the colour of blood. And Gaza was brand new, Mustafa! You and I never saw it like this. The stone piled up at the beginning of the Shajiya quarter where we lived had a meaning, and they seemed to have been put there for no other reason but to explain it. This Gaza in which we had lived and with whose good people we had spent seven years of defeat was something new. It seemed to me just a beginning. I don't know why I thought it was just a beginning. I imagined that the main street that I walked along on the way back home was only the beginning of a long, long road leading to Safad. Everything in this Gaza throbbed with sadness which was not confined to weeping. It was a challenge: more than that it was something like reclamation of the amputated leg!
I went out into the streets of Gaza, streets filled with blinding sunlight. They told me that Nadia had lost her leg when she threw herself on top of her little brothers and sisters to protect them from the bombs and flames that had fastened their claws into the house. Nadia could have saved herself, she could have run away, rescued her leg. But she didn't.
No, my friend, I won't come to Sacramento, and I've no regrets. No, and nor will I finish what we began together in childhood. This obscure feeling that you had as you left Gaza, this small feeling must grow into a giant deep within you. It must expand, you must seek it in order to find yourself, here among the ugly debris of defeat.
I won't come to you. But you, return to us! Come back, to learn from Nadia's leg, amputated from the top of the thigh, what life is and what existence is worth.
Come back, my friend! We are all waiting for you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I think we need to tax stock market holdings while they are held maybe by averaging all the valuations of a stock over the course of a year and assessing an income tax on the mean average price in that year. The selling taxes could be eliminated and we would have a more stable income stream which would not be prone to sudden dumping as it is now on bad news. You couldn't park money in the speculative vehicle of the stock market without a tax. You would spend more and stimulate things around you.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Radical Centrism

30 Day Eviction Notice:
All assets held by Israeli dual citizens are to be immediately frozen awaiting the resolution of their dual citizenship status by the following:

Those Israeli's with dual citizenship currently outside the US cannot ever officially return to the United States unless they turn in their Israeli passport and pledge their sole allegiance to the US while canceling their Israeli citizenship upon their return to the US. Failure to comply with this provision will result in immediate deportation and forfeiture of all their US holdings and assets and they shall forever be denied the right of return to the United States.

Any traveling Israeli within the United States shall leave the United States within two weeks unless they reject their Israeli citizenship; only then will be allowed to apply for US citizenship as a refugee fleeing the terrorist pariah state of Israel.

A most disturbing thing is that a majority of these IDF forces are just jejunely credulous American kids who drank the kool-aid of Israeli legitimacy from some organ-dealing Brooklyn rabbi and now murder equally and as brutally as American 18 year-olds murder in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Some of these IDF children soliders are dual citizens so they come home and play American citizen as returning GI's and then go back to the IDF and to double-dip murdering Arabs and we are expected to calmly accept this as Americans watching the madness on the sidelines. What happens when they wake up to their self-imposed schizophrenia while on leave, forgetting what national role they are playing today? Several million "Son of Sam" zombies seeking revenge on liberals in Berkeley, Austin, Seattle, Portland, and Ann Arbor ?

... Friend, I object to the actions and I clearly remember Meier Kehane who started this mess from Brooklyn along with encouraging decades of assassinations by the JDL and ADL murders into the present (ask Darryl Issa about that) and then spread the disease to Israel. This IS happening. Is it the exposure of the mechanism which makes you quibble, is it my uncomfortable historical framing? Maybe it is time to take of the kid gloves and speak truth to both the powerful and the meek seeking a backbone to solve these issues ? Have you forgotten the "two for one" t-shirts depicting pregnant Palestinian women as targets given out at the graduation parties of IDF forces? That is just the sort of jejunely credulous murderous brain-washing that occurs in the IDF. I have encountered these crazies right here in academic environments BCC and CSUEB bragging about what they are pulling off. Don't shoot the messenger !

... There is no redemption with these sorts they murder to instill fear and unfortunately fear is the only way they will heel to the will of the world's citizens. They continue to escalate and we must respond by exposing them at every step of the way. Any manner of opportunity to make their parents re-think their sending their beautiful children off to become murdering monsters in Israel should be explored. And plain talk is the first step.

... This is interesting tidbit but nothing more; in my opinion there will never be any prosecutions for these murders, no impartial investigations, and no relief for the people of the world from Israeli madness. Just whitewash and US "state secret privilege" invoked when it is revealed that Rahm Emanuel brokered and took part in the planning directly with Netanyahu during his "bar mitzvah" visit with his son he used as a theatrical prop...Israel does nothing without our covert approval..reminds me of the October Surprise manuever when Reagan sent George Bush to Iran to stall the hostage release to prevent Jimmy Carter from being re-elected. And since Rahm Emanuel is a Reserve Officer in the IDF, Netanyahu is his commander in chief.

... And to think that a great journalist just now is forced to retire for stating the truth..Helen Thomas I love you.

... Talk to Russell Bates the bumper sticker vendor on Telegraph Ave what these IDF/Mossad reservist types did to him recently. He's out there 5 days a week. Get down with the people Friend, get your hands dirty. I support your moderate bid for Congress when you feel it is appropriate to announce it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The fatal use of the cell phone by a journalist in Baghdad

What I want from the Pentagon

APR 21, 2010 15:30 EDT

This op-ed by Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger appeared in The Guardian.

When Wikileaks published the harrowing video of the deaths in Iraq of my colleagues Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his assistant and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, the world finally had the transparency it should have had about this tragedy.

It was impossible for me to watch and not feel outrage and great sorrow – but this is not about trying to tell anyone else what to feel. This is about trying to find out exactly what happened and how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

What I want from the Pentagon – and from all militaries – is simple: Acknowledgment, transparency, accountability.

Acknowledgment means both understanding at headquarters and training in the field that journalists have a right to be on the battlefield, and not just those embedded with a military unit. A journalist’s mission is to provide understanding, provide context and provide the reporting that citizens deserve. That mission requires journalists cover the story from multiple angles, including ones that potentially put them in harm’s way. A war prosecuted in darkness is a war without accountability. The journalist’s role is vital for a democracy and it must be acknowledged.

Then, there must be acknowledgment that true journalists come in every race, both sexes and a multitude of nationalities. Within Reuters, our 2,800 journalists come from 80 different nationalities. They all have a right to safety.

As too many tragic deaths, including those of Namir and Saeed, have proven, soldiers in tense warfare repeatedly mistake cameras and tripods for weapons. They’re not. There must be a way of training soldiers to distinguish the forms. It is imperative to have the consciousness that the shape in the scope might not be a threat.

Transparency is vital. This is the honesty for all to learn lessons from what has transpired. Soon after the incident, Reuters editors were shown only one portion of the video . We immediately changed our operating procedures – the first portion of the video made clear that anyone walking with a group of armed people could be considered a target. We immediately made it a rule that our journalists could not even walk near armed groups.

However, we were not shown the second part of the video, where the helicopter fired on a van trying to evacuate the wounded. Had we seen it, we could have adjusted our procedures further.

Transparency saves lives.

We have been trying for more than two and a half years to get this video from the military through formal legal means without success and in fact have an appeal to their last denial of our request still pending; now it transpires that officials who repeatedly told us that what the video contained was important enough for security reasons to withhold it from us, made no efforts to secure it and weren’t even clear where it was. It took a whistleblower to make sure the world had the transparency it needed and deserved.

I want the Pentagon to join me in a search for thorough and complete transparency.

Finally there is accountability. There are rules of war as there are in peace. The lack of transparency has meant there’s been absence of accountability.

Let’s dig behind the video. Let’s fully understand the rules the military were operating under. Let’s have a complete picture of what was going through the fliers’ minds. Let’s hear the Pentagon explain its interpretation of the rules of engagement and the Geneva Convention and how the actions either did or did not accord with them in its view. And importantly, let’s keep in mind that while we focus on this particular tragedy, it is the rare circumstance that when a journalist is injured or killed in a conflict area, there is a video of the death, and even more rare as this case demonstrates, for the public to see such a video.

And then let’s have the debate. Seeing the hundreds of articles and thousands of comments in the wake of the video’s release, it’s clear that people on every side of the issue have strong feelings. Let’s have a debate based on fact and not on emotion.

Acceptance, transparency and accountability – these add up to true justice. And that, in the end, is what I am after. I want justice for the journalists who lost their lives.

Justice is not vengeance. Justice is about holding all to account to make sure that proper lessons are learned, that mistakes aren’t repeated and that tragedies don’t happen again.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sarah McSherryThe legality of the use and abuse of foreign passports? The falsification of passports and identity theft are serious criminal offences under British law. No doubt they are too under Israeli law. Falsification of a British passport by a member of the Israeli intelligence services is therefore more than just a clear breach of diplomatic relations. Moreover, there would be serious implications were it to transpire that the British government was aware that falsified travel documents were being used by Mossad as has been suggested by one British security source.

What are the steps the governments of these foreign passport-holders should do in light of these revelations?

The respective governments should:

  • Condemn the extra judicial killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh as a breach of international law;
  • Unequivocally declare whether they were aware that falsified travel documents were being used by Mossad in relation to this operation and/or any other;
  • Require the Israeli government to confirm whether its intelligence services were involved in the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh;
  • Require the Israeli government to confirm whether or not their intelligence services used falsified passports for this or any other operation or whether they have done since any assurance that they would not do so;
  • Seek an assurance from the Israeli government that their intelligence operatives will never falsify passports for use in operations;
  • Require the Israeli government to condemn the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh as a breach of international law;
  • Seek an assurance from the Israeli government that they will extradite any of those identified by the Dubai authorities as having been involved in the killing to Dubai to face trial for murder and to Ireland, Britain, France and/or Germany to face trial for offences arising out of the abuse of passports issued by those countries.

What steps should be taken to prevent this from happening in the future? If the Israeli government fails to comply with any of the requests made of them, the government could expel the Israeli ambassador from the country, break off diplomatic ties and/or impose sanctions which could deter future occurrences.

Sarah McSherry,
Human Rights Lawyer and Solicitor at Christian Khan