Under a False Flag

Justin Raimondo

Israel's "rebel group" in Iran, Jundallah, threatened to
execute 16 Iranian security workers, June 19, 2008.

Will Israel succeed in dragging us into war with Iran?

If not, it won’t be for lack of trying. Their influential lobby in the US has been agitating for a US strike since the last year of the Bush presidency, when they almost succeeded in pulling it off: fortunately for us, Bush demurred, perhaps because he didn’t want his legacy to be two unwinnable and disastrous wars instead of just one.

Israel was to be the spearhead, with the US providing back up support, as the Guardian reported at the time:

“Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites but was told by President George W Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian.”

Deterred from firing the first shots of World War III, the Israelis didn’t give up. Instead, they turned to other less direct means to achieve their goal. As Mark Perry reports on foreignpolicy.com:

“Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives – what is commonly referred to as a ‘false flag’ operation.”

You bet those memos are buried deep – lest Americans discover that their faithful “allies” are trying to implicate them in war crimes.

Jundallah is a terrorist organization, Sunni-oriented and linked to al-Qaeda, that has murdered Iranian civilians in bombings and other attacks within Iran: their ostensible goal is to “liberate” Iranian (and Pakistani) Baluchistan. According to the memos, the Israelis recruited these terrorists right out in the open in London, where Mossad operatives – posing as CIA officers – met with Jundallah officials. “It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” Perry quotes one intelligence officer as saying. “They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.”

Of course not – and why should they? After all, we’ve given them a pass every time: when Jonathan Pollard stole what US officials described as the intelligence community’s “crown jewels” and passed them off to the Russians; when they stole our trade and military secrets and passed them off to China: when they were tracking the 9/11 conspirators and didn’t tell us what Mohammed Atta and his crew were up to. They took our “foreign aid” with one hand, and stabbed us in the back with the other.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Stephen Lendman

The Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment." The legal dictionary defines it as:

"any cruel and degrading punishment not known to the Common Law, or any fine, penalty, confinement, or treatment that is so disproportionate to the offense as to shock the moral sense of the community."

Sentencing minors to life without parole qualifies. The ACLU says American children as young as 13 "are sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison without any opportunity for release." In fact, some as young as 11 are affected.

Around 2,570 are sentenced to juvenile life without parole (JLWOP). America treats them like adults regardless of age or circumstances.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons that sentencing juveniles to death was cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.

In 2010, the ACLU and its Michigan affiliate sued (in Hill v. Snyder) on behalf of nine Michigan inmates sentenced to life without parole while minors. They argued that doing so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. It also violates international law prohibiting JLWOP. On July 15, 2011, the judge allowed the case to proceed.

On May 17, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Graham v. Florida that juvenile offenders can't be sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide offenses committed before age 18. Although the Court held states needn't guarantee eventual release, they must provide a realistic chance.

Calling the practice "cruel and unusual" punishment, the decision stated:

"Life in prison without the possibility of parole give no chance for fulfillment outside prison walls, no chance for reconciliation with society, no hope."

"A young person who knows that he or she has no chance to leave prison before life's end has little incentive to become a responsible individual."

It also said America "adheres to a sentencing practice rejected the world over."

Sinai Torture Camps

Stephen Lendman

Palestinian child being tortured in Israeli custody.

A November 30 Physicians for Human Rights/Israel (PHR-I) report explains "chilling evidence" of atrocities committed against sub-Saharan African refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.

Titled, "Hundreds of Refugees Held Hostage in Sinai Torture Camps Need Rescuing," it discusses their horrific ordeal in captivity, including torture, other physical abuse, male and female rapes, and killings.

Human traffickers mainly hold Eritreans for ransom. Relatives are pressured to pay. Tactics include phoning them to hear loved ones cry out in pain. Survivors report starvation, punching, slapping, kicking, whipping, burial in sand, electric shocks, hanging by hands or legs, branding with hot irons, as well as rape or other forms of sexual abuse. Despite appeals for help, detention, extortion and torture continue. Hundreds remain captive.

A November 22 Amnesty International (AI) report discussed abuses committed against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, including:

• Egyptian security forces shooting unarmed individuals trying to reach Israel; deaths and injuries resulted, some serious;
• others face arrest and prosecution in military courts, as well as imprisonment for trying to emigrate;
• forcibly returning individuals to countries of origin where they risk "egregious human rights violations;" and
• others abducted, held captive, tortured, raped, or killed by human traffickers, "while authorities have done little to protect them."

Egypt is party to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, its 1967 Protocol, and the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. They require signatories protect refugees and prevent repatriation to countries of origin or third ones where serious human rights abuses may occur.

Criminalizing Dissent in America

Stephen Lendman

Thug deploys chemical agent on University of California,
Davis (UC Davis) students without any provocation other
than sitting peacefully on the ground, their arms linked.

America has a sordid repressive history.

Among others, First Amendment rights are violated. It guarantees freedom of religion, expression, to petition government for redress of grievances, and right to peacefully assemble.

The 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts restricted First Amendment freedoms.

So did 1919 anti-communist Palmer raids, the 1934 Special Committee on Un-American Activities, its House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) successor, secret FBI COINTELPRO crackdowns, the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the 2001 USA Patriot Act, and other post-9/11 measures.

These and other measures expanded government surveillance, eroded habeas, formalized military tribunals, permitted torture-extracted confessions, and instituted violence for national security.

FBI "terrorist profiles" can investigate anyone for any reason. So can local police working cooperatively or alone. Street protests can be criminalized. America's right to dissent is endangered.

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