Archive | November 13, 2014

The U.S. – ISIS Story They Can’t Get Right!*

The U.S. – ISIS  Story They Can’t Get Right!*

A tweet from Jordanian intelligence raises questions about ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and President Obama increases the number of troops in Iraq for murky reasons…

Related Topics:

CIA Fabricates ISIL Intelligence*

Above the Law: Israel Denies U.N. Team Entry to Investigate Operation Protective Edge*

Above the Law: Israel Denies U.N. Team Entry to Investigate Operation Protective Edge*

Others have worked faster than the U.N. in what was a massacre that the whole world bore witness to two month ago.. So is a P.R. stint to make the rest of us believe they actually care? Or is it because they fear a third Intifada?

12390-chuckman-netanyahu-speaksongazaoperationBy Jack Moore

Israel has denied entry to members of a UN inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.

Members of the investigation committee, including its lead investigator Prof. William Schabas, were left stranded in the Jordanian capital, Amman, after being refused entry into Israel because the country would not cooperate with the commission.

The decision not to cooperate with the investigative team was approved and supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Schabas has been criticised within Israeli circles as anti-Israel after previously stating that he wished to see Netanyahu “within the dock of the International Criminal Court”, he countered the accusation by saying that he had visited the country “many times”.

The Israeli foreign ministry have criticised the investigation led by Schabas as “one-sided” and a “rigged game”, claiming that “the report has already been written and they just chose who would sign it.”

“While Hamas fired thousands of rockets toward Israel, the UN Human Rights Council decided it would determine in advance Israel’s ‘guilt’ and set up an investigative committee to serve as a rubber stamp to its known positions,” a ministry statement said.

“Since the Schabas commission is not an inquiry but a commission that gives its conclusions in advance, Israel will not cooperate with the UN Commission on Human Rights over the last conflict with Hamas,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement.

Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip since Hamas gained control of the territory in 2007 and restricts the movements of goods through its border because of perceived security concerns emanating from the Islamist militant factions.

In July, the UN’s top human rights chief, Navi Pillay, condemned the Israeli military for their actions during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, where she said war crimes may have been committed and there was a high possibility that “international law has been violated”.

In the recent seven-week Gaza conflict, over 2,100 Palestinians – mostly civilians – lost their lives. All but five of the 68 Israeli fatalities were soldiers.


Related Topics:

Operation Protective Edge: The Dead Have Names*

Rasmea Odeh: Another Political Prisoner of the U.S.*

Not in our Name: 225 Jewish Survivors of Nazi Genocide Condemn Israel*

For Greater Israel: Israeli Legal Jurisdiction to be Extended to Judea and Samaria*

World’s Leading Medical Journal Sends an Open Letter to Gaza*

Israel’s ‘Eid Gift to Palestinians*

Egypt Blocking Egyptian Humanitarian Aid to Gaza*

Celebrities and Activists Remember Gaza’s Dead*

Over 100 Gaza Civilians Killed When Missing IDF Soldier Died in Battle*

Military Expert: Israel is Using Three Internationally Banned Weapons*

Israel Changes Bar Code To Avoid Boycott*

Trial of Murder Most Horrid of Palestinian boy starts in Israel*

Former Israeli Combat Soldier’s Life Threatened for Speaking the Truth*

Mother Ashkenazi, Father Muslim – Dahlia Wasfi Argues Against Illegal Occupation

Global #GazaDayofRage as Israel Resumes Destruction of Gaza*

Evidence Immaterial: Netanyahu’s wants to be Added to the Bush-Blair Club of War Criminals*

The not so Peaceful Jerusalem*

Ignoring all Agreements Israeli Pathocracy Continues Unabated*

Banksters Could Face Justice in Switzerland*

Banksters Could Face Justice in Switzerland*

Before imprisonment, how about paying back every penny they have swindled to those they have swindled….

By Lianna Brinded

Switzerland has launched a criminal investigation into several bankers that are allegedly involved in the manipulation of the currency markets.

The Swiss prosecutor confirmed in a statement that it is honing in on several traders that are said to have attempted to rig foreign exchange rates as well as colluding with other bankers at different institutions to benefit their financial positions.

However, the agency did not confirm how many people they were looking and at what banks are involved in the probe.

The public prosecutor said the investigation stems from claims of “unfaithful financial management” and “violation of professional secrecy”, both of which are punishable with a fine or up to five years or three years in prison, respectively.

On 13 November, the FCA and CFTC fined five banks – Citibank, HSBC, JPM, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and UBS – a combined total of $3.4bn (£2.1bn, €2.7bn) for their role in the manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

Other authorities have hit a number of these banks with extra penalties.

Citi has confirmed that it will pay around $1bn in fines to three separate authorities after the Office of the US Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) hit the group with another $350m fine.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) also concluded enforcement proceedings against UBS and ordered the lender to disgorge a total of $139m.

It has also initiated enforcement proceedings against eleven people involved in the case.

The US Federal Reserve has since confirmed that it is investigating a number of unnamed banks for improper conduct around the currency markets and is working with the Department of Justice and overseas authorities.


However in Afghanistan, two banksters didn’t get away with simply paying a penalty.

Hamid Shalizi and Jessica Donati

An Afghan judge tripled the jail sentences of two former heads of Kabul Bank to 15 years on Tuesday at the end of a re-opened court case into the bank’s collapse in 2010, which followed allegations of fraud and triggered a financial crisis.

Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani announced on Oct. 1 that he would re-open the inquiry into the theft of almost $1 billion from the bank, fulfilling a campaign promise to make fighting corruption a priority.

The case also involved Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of Ghani’s predecessor president Hamid Karzai. Mahmoud Karzai, a shareholder in the bank, has so far been spared jail but the judge on Tuesday ordered that his assets be frozen, along with those of others, until all the funds stolen from the bank have been returned. They face prosecution if the funds are not repaid.

The Afghan government was forced to bail out the country’s then biggest bank after a run on deposits in 2010. It was later re-launched as the state-run New Kabul Bank, but confidence in the banking sector has yet to fully recover.

Only about a third of the $935 million stolen has been recovered, according to the receivers.

The two former heads of the bank, founder Sher Khan Fernod and former Chief Executive Haji Khalil Ferozi, had been convicted in the initial inquiry of taking $810 million of the stolen money and were both sentenced to jail for five years. Their jail terms were tripled on Tuesday.

“The court sentences you both, Sher Khan Fernod and Haji Khalil Ferozi to terms of 15 years in jail for embezzlement and money laundering of the Kabul Bank money,” the judge, Mehrajuddin Hamidi, said, adding that they could appeal against the verdict.

Foreign donors, whom the Afghan government relies on to pay its bills, have welcomed Ghani’s decision to re-open the inquiry. The Afghan Attorney General’s office had said the initial sentences were too lenient given the amount of money stolen.

Mahmoud Karzai was spared a jail sentence after the initial inquiry, conducted when his brother was still president, thanks to a presidential decree that granted immunity from prosecution to those who returned funds.

However, while Karzai said he had returned funds that he owed the bank, Afghanistan’s anti-corruption watchdog said last month that Karzai was among individuals and companies that still owed the bank a total of $633 million.

“Their properties are to be identified and frozen. If they do not return the money, they will be prosecuted,” Judge Hamidi said on Tuesday.

Karzai was listed by the watchdog as having owed $22.2 million in loans from the bank and having paid back only $13.4 million.

He has denied that he still owes money and said last month that he had paid back all his loans with interest and had done no wrong.

On Tuesday, Karzai said the court’s verdict would not affect him as he did not owe any money.

“I don’t owe them any money, so it’s irrelevant. In fact, I made an overpayment (and) I am going to serve the Attorney General’s office tomorrow with orders to refund me the $450,000 I overpaid,” Karzai told Reuters.

The problems at Kabul Bank are adding to a fiscal crisis, which along with fighting the Taliban insurgency, is one of the most urgent challenges facing President Ghani, who was sworn in just over six weeks ago after months of turmoil over who had won the election.

Afghanistan relies on aid for most of its income and, despite receiving billions of dollars in aid each year, was forced to delay payments to civil servants last month because it had run out of cash.

Related Topics:

New Zealand Rallies against Rothschild’s Trade Agreement*

‘I’ for Iceland and Now Ireland Collaring the Real Criminals, the Banksters*

British Banksters Admit to Making Savers Poorer and the Rich, Richer!*

Vietnam Sentences Banksters to Death – Effective Immediately!*

Debt-ocracy: Enslaving Entire Nations and Peoples*

Royal Bank of Scotland VP arrested on $10mn Fraud*

What Top Economists Said About Iceland’s Pull Out of the Global Banking System!*

NWO Banksters Buying out the Smaller Banks*

132 Nations Want Out of the Cabal’s Global Banking System*

Central Banks and those they Serve*

GCHQ and MI5 Exploit Lawyer-Client Privilege*

GCHQ and MI5 Exploit Lawyer-Client Privilege*

U.K. Government has been forced to release secret policies which show that GCHQ and MI5 have for years advised staff that they may “target the communications of lawyers,” and use legally privileged material “just like any other item of intelligence.”

The disclosure comes in response to a case brought in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) by the al Saadi and Belhadj families, who were subjected to rendition and torture in a joint CIA-MI6 operation.  Both families – assisted by legal charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day – have brought litigation about the kidnappings. The families allege that, by intercepting their privileged communications with Reprieve and Leigh Day, the Government has infringed their right to a fair trial.

Legal privilege is a central principle of British law, which protects confidential communication between a lawyer and their client.  If the Government is able to access such communications, it hands itself an unfair advantage in court.

The Government documents show that there is a real risk that private lawyer-client material intercepted by the agencies has been allowed to “taint” the case brought in the High Court against the Government by the victims of the 2004 rendition operation, which included four children aged 12 and under and a pregnant woman among its victims.

Because of a lack of effective information barriers between the intelligence officers carrying out interception and the agencies’ legal staff, Reprieve is concerned that Government lawyers  involved in the High Court case may have seen confidential communications between the families and their legal team.  The documents show that MI5 only put in place such barriers in January this year – once the IPT claim was already underway and a judicial review was threatened – while MI6 has almost no guidance for its officers on the interception and use of legally privileged material.

Although there is no indication that the documents released today contain any national-security sensitive material, the Government had previously claimed on three separate occasions that they could not disclose them on this basis – before agreeing to do so last week.

Cori Crider, a director at legal charity Reprieve and US counsel for the Belhadj and al Saadi families said:

“It’s now clear the intelligence agencies have been eavesdropping on lawyer-client conversations for years. Today’s question is not whether, but how much, they have rigged the game in their favour in the ongoing court case over torture.

“The documents clearly show that MI5’s and GCHQ’s policies on snooping on lawyers have major loopholes.  And MI6’s ‘policies’ are so hopeless they appear to have been jotted down on the back of a beer mat. This raises troubling implications for the whole British justice system. In how many cases has the Government eavesdropped to give itself an unfair advantage in court?”

Richard Stein, Partner at Leigh Day said:

“After many months’ resistance, the security services have now been forced to disclose the policies which they claim are in place to protect the confidential communications between lawyers and their clients.  We can see why they were so reluctant to disclose them.  They highlight  how the security services instruct their staff to flout these important principles in a cavalier way. We hope the Tribunal will tell the government in no uncertain terms that this conduct is completely unacceptable.”


Related Topics:

How GCHQ Monitors Germany, Israel, the EU and Africa*

Elite Powerbrokers Behind Sweeping Censorship in U.K.*

The British Monarch Vetoes Legislation that Doesn’t Serve It’s Interests*

How Blair Conspired with Whitehall for Ownership of Scottish Oil Fields*

41,000 Kenyans to Sue Britain for Maltreatment*

The Curse of “Being Busy”*

The Curse of “Being Busy”*

By Omid Safi

I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.”

Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.”

The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.

And it’s not just adults. When we moved to North Carolina about ten years ago, we were thrilled to be moving to a city with a great school system. We found a diverse neighborhood, filled with families. Everything felt good, felt right.

After we settled in, we went to one of the friendly neighbors, asking if their daughter and our daughter could get together and play. The mother, a really lovely person, reached for her phone and pulled out the calendar function. She scrolled… and scrolled… and scrolled. She finally said: “She has a 45-minute opening two and half weeks from now. The rest of the time it’s gymnastics, piano, and voice lessons. She’s just…. so busy.”

Horribly destructive habits start early, really early.

How did we end up living like this?

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we do this to our children?

When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?

Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we have to love our children so much that we over-schedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?

What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?

Somewhere we read,

“The unexamined life is not worth living… for a human.”

How are we supposed to live, to examine, to be, to become, to be fully human when we are so busy?

This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.

Since the 1950s, we have had so many new technological innovations that we thought (or were promised) would make our lives easier, faster, simpler. Yet, we have no more “free” or leisurely time today than we did decades ago.

For some of us, the “privileged” ones, the lines between work and home have become blurred. We are on our devices. All. The. Freaking. Time.

Smart phones and laptops mean that there is no division between the office and home. When the kids are in bed, we are back online.

One of my own daily struggles is the avalanche of email. I often refer to it as my jihad against email. I am constantly buried under hundreds and hundreds of emails, and I have absolutely no idea how to make it stop. I’ve tried different techniques: only responding in the evenings, not responding over weekends, asking people to schedule more face-to-face time. They keep on coming, in volumes that are unfathomable: personal emails, business emails, hybrid emails. And people expect a response — right now. I, too, it turns out… am so busy.

The reality looks very different for others. For many, working two jobs in low-paying sectors is the only way to keep the family afloat. Twenty percent of our children are living in poverty, and too many of our parents are working minimum wage jobs just to put a roof over their head and something resembling food on the table. We are so busy.

The old models, including that of a nuclear family with one parent working outside the home (if it ever existed), have passed away for most of us. We now have a majority of families being single families, or where both parents are working outside the home. It is not working.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?

What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.

Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.

I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard” lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness — that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of over-stimulation. Our relaxation often takes the form of action-filled (yet mindless) films, or violent and face-paced sports.

I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life.

We need a different relationship to work, to technology. We know what we want: a meaningful life, a sense of community, a balanced existence. It’s not just about “leaning in” or faster iPhones. We want to be truly human.

B. Yeats once wrote:

“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”

How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy? How are we supposed to live the examined life?

I am always a prisoner of hope, but I wonder if we are willing to have the structural conversation necessary about how to do that, how to live like that. Somehow we need a different model of organizing our lives, our societies, our families, our communities.

I want my kids to be dirty, messy, even bored — learning to become human. I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart.

How is the state of your heart today?

Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”


Related Topics:

Technology-Free Play Still Available by the São Francisco River*

Reliving the Art of Communication

Media Multi-Tasking Shrinks the Brain and Causes Mood Swings*

Distractions of Life vs. God

Discovering Lost Values

Being Driven Insane, Mentally Ill Children Kept in U.K. Prisons*

The Power of Love: Four Women

Relationships and Stress

Time – Out of The Crazy Pace of Modern Life

The Psychology Behind Corporate Identity

Awakening the Aesthetic Within

Which Mask Did You Wear Today?

The Marketing of Madness

What Did You Plant Today?

What Men Live By!

Between Power to Choose or the Choice of Power?

Put the Glass Down

The Gift (Sunnah) of a Smile

The American Dream…