Framing Julian Assange

Read in Independent Australia how the FBI tried to make Iceland a complicit ally in framing Julian Assange, Former Icelandic Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson says:

WikiLeaks was bringing out the truth, revelaing crimes which should have been taken to court. This has been prevented. So the charges brought against the publisher are, in reality, charges against free speech and freedom of the press. The American police and secret services are trying to create an atmosphere of impunity, where they can do anything. Even when they landed here, they were showing contempt for democracy.

What they are doing to Assange is in opposition to the American Constitution and the principles of human rights, they claim they are protecting.


The anthrax blame game

Do you remember the anthrax letters that terrorized the United States, in connection to the well known 9/11 attacks, 18 years ago? Someone obviously wanted to blame these deadly letters on Muslims. Some letters with anthrax incuded the following lines of text:

Death to [country name removed].
Death to [country name removed].
Allah is great.

Almost at once, Iraq was named as a prime suspect (not only for the anthrax, but also for somehow being involved in the 9/11 attacks) and Pentagon hardliners pressed for strikes on Saddam.

However, it was later concluded that the source of the anthrax was a U.S. bioweapons laboratory.

Finally, authorities blamed the anthrax letters on a single individual, Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, who worked at U.S. Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. After that, Ivins was hospitalized for depression and died in 2008, officially from suicide. In 2010, the FBI closed its investigation.

The FBI investigation results, claiming that Ivins carried out the anthrax attacks entirely on his own, have later been questioned, among others by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Government Accountability Office.

Watch the KenFM interview in German with Heiko Schöning (also available as MP3 for download), about his book on this subject.

When will there be real accountability for killing civilians?

The Intercept writes about the skyrocketing number of civilian deaths in the U.S. wars:

In the early years of occupying Afghanistan, the U.S. could rightfully claim that the Taliban insurgency was killing more civilians than the coalition. But, according to United Nations figures, the U.S. and its local allies have actually killed more civilians in Afghanistan this year than the Taliban.

The article also mentions Nancy Pelosi’s statement that “no one is above the law”, which sounds like a joke. However, the reality is so sad, that this is not anything to joke about.

Real accountability is in many cases very distant, also in countries we call western democracies. Mainstream media are also part of the problem. For example (the following links are to Swedish content): Swedish Radio reports that violence against children is increasing in the war in Afghanistan, but does not mention the issue of accountability of western leaders for the situation. The Swedish TV show Skavlan has been criticised regarding Afghanistan by Rune Lanestrand. Skavlan also gave an elite soldier, who has been in Afghanistan, the opportunity to explain why he does not regret killing people, and avoided critical questions to a top politician. It happens that demands for investigations are published by mainstrem media, but seldom, and too little is obviously done to follow this up.

You are welcome to contact us at Accoun, to join us to try to change this.

Edward Snowden’s memoir

This month, Edward Snowden’s memoir book, with the English title Permanent Record, has been released in 20 countries. In an interview on Democracy Now, Snowden comments on the US Justice Department’s new lawsuit against him, claiming his memoir violates nondisclosure agreements he signed:

Oh, well, I mean, in general, everyone can see what this is. The United States government, largely the intelligence community, agencies within it, very much don’t want to see books like this published. Any kind of true and honest accounting of the actual facts of the government’s unlawful or potentially unconstitutional behavior is always going to cause some friction.

And the first thing they go to is what they call a secrecy agreement. Now, this is not an oath of secrecy. A lot of people think it is. When you first join the CIA, you do swear an oath, but it’s not an oath of secrecy. It’s not to the agency. It’s not even to the government. It’s not to the president. It’s an oath of service, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against, as we all know, all enemies, foreign and domestic.

So, this raises the question, of course, of what do you do when your obligations come into conflict. To what do we owe a greater allegiance, the Constitution or the Standard Form 312, the classified nondisclosure agreement? My belief is the Constitution prevails in that kind of conflict.

The founder of Snowden’s Swedish publisher, Leopard förlag, has made a promise that no part of the revenue will land in the US Treasury.

The world’s most important political prisoner

Craig Murray calls Julian Assange “the world’s most important political prisoner” and reminds us that:

In imprisoning Assange for bail violation, the UK was in clear defiance of the judgement of the UN Working Group on arbitrary Detention

And after that, a British judge appears to have jailed Assange indefinitely, despite end of prison sentence, so Assange can be extradited to the USA. A Swedish appeal for Assange (also available in English) quotes Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:

In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.…

The evidence made available to me strongly suggests that the primary responsibility for the sustained and concerted abuse inflicted on Mr Assange falls on the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and, more recently, also Ecuador. Accordingly, these governments would be responsible jointly for the foreseeable cumulative effect of their conduct, but also each of them separately for their respective contributions, whether through direct perpetration, instigation, consent, or acquiescence.…

For that, Melzer is also smeared. Read Not in My Name by Suzie Dawson.

Michelle Wood asks: Is Orwell’s Ministry of Truth Alive?

Honour Jean Charles de Menezes, not his killers

In 2005, Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes was killed by police on a London tube train. The police is also believed to have mislead the pathologist. Nobody was prosecuted or disciplined for the killing or for the lies. Now, an officer who led the police operation has been honoured instead.

A letter on behalf of Menezes’ family states:

As a family, we have always felt that those at the highest level, the commissioner and those in operational command, should be held responsible for the mistakes and for the misinformation and lies that were told by the police.

Without that, how will it be possible for people to have confidence in the police?

World Trade Center Building 7 collapse not caused by fire

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) is a nonprofit organization of architects, engineers, and affiliates dedicated to establishing the truth about the events of September 11, 2001.

Over three thousand architects and engineers have signed AE911Truth’s petition, demanding a truly independent investigation, including a full inquiry into the possible use of explosives that might have been the actual cause of the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7.

Read the new study, prepared by University of Alaska Fairbanks for AE911Truth, about the World Trade Center Building 7 collapse. The report concludes that the collapse of Building 7 was caused not by fire but rather by the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.