AIPAC Declares War

Philip Giraldi

The American people don’t particularly want a new war in the Middle East, but apparently Congress and Washington’s most powerful lobby do. Thirty-two senators have co-sponsored a resolution that will constrain the White House from adopting any policy vis-à-vis Iran’s “nuclear weapons capability” that amounts to “containment.” The senators include the familiar figures of Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both of whom have persistently called for military action. They and the other senators have presented their proposal in a particularly deceptive fashion, asserting that they are actually supporting the White House position, which they are not. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta repeated on Feb. 16 that Iran does not have and is not currently building a nuclear device. Before Christmas, he stated clearly that the “red line” for the United States is actual Iranian possession of a nuclear weapon. Even Israel’s intelligence services agree that Iran is not building a bomb. What we are seeing play out in Congress is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) position, which is that Iran has already crossed a “red line.” The AIPAC argument will no doubt be spelled out in more detail next month at the group’s annual convention in the nation’s capital, a meeting that will be addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will attract nearly all of Washington’s power brokers.

Rejection of containment in this context and as spelled out in the resolution means that the United States will be forced to go to war if Iran attains the capability to put together a nuclear weapon. Indeed, one might argue that the United States should be at war already, based on the resolution. “Capability” is one of those particularly useful expressions that is extremely elastic and can be interpreted subjectively. By most standards, Iran already has the technical know-how to make a nuclear bomb and has most of the materials on hand to put one together, assuming it can enrich the uranium it possesses to the required level. The Iranians may not, in fact, have the engineering skills to do so, and the task of creating a small, sophisticated device that can be mounted on a ballistic missile is certainly far beyond their current capabilities and probably unachievable given the costs involved and the poor state of their economy.

There are about 50 countries in the world that have the capability to produce a nuclear weapon if they chose to do so, making Iran far from unique but for its persistence as a thorn in the side of Israel and Israel’s powerful lobby in the United States. In other words, Iran does not have to actually produce a nuclear weapon for it to be subject to attack by either Israel or the United States. It only has to continue to be an irritant for Israel.


Khader Adnan's Struggle Continues

Stephen Lendman


Khader Adnan's daughter wanting to see her father...

Adnan symbolizes decades of merciless Israeli repression. He preferred death over living under its ruthless boot.

Now, after Israel's promised April release, he struggles to live. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) examined and him several times during Safed Hospital captivity. He's still there in deteriorated condition.

Sixty-six days without food left him perilously close to death. After he agreed to again ingest food, PHR-I said he's "expected to go through a long and complicated recovery process." Its outcome is far from certain. PHR-I will issue regular updates.

The Addameer Prisoner Support Group expressed these and others concerns. It said Adnan refused to stop fasting unless unconditionally released after his four-month administrative detention ended, dated from December 17, his arrest day, not January 8th ordered detention.

The agreed deal falls short. It states that if "secret material" unavailable to counsel "presents itself during the next two months, there would still be grounds" to renew his detention indefinitely.

This arrangement replicates many others. It permits indefinite detentions and re-arrests of those released. Numerous freed Palestinian prisoners, in exchange for Gilad Shalit, have been hounded, persecuted, and again arrested on spurious charges or none at all.

If Adnan's released as agreed, recovers, and returns to normal life, he's very much at risk for repeat treatment. Previously he was arrested and imprisoned eight times. His current detention is number nine. Will another be forthcoming when he's no longer a cause célèbre out of sight and mind?

He was detained but uncharged. Israel's deal confirms no legitimate grounds for holding him in the first place. Like thousands of other Palestinians, it reflects decades of ruthless persecution.


Lynne Stewart Appeal for Justice

Stephen Lendman

Lynne was wrongfully indicted, convicted, sentenced, and given a far harsher one unjustifiably on appeal.

On February 29, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguments will be presented. She won't be there, but hopes massive support will turn out for her at the:

US Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
Manhattan, New York

She can be reached as follows:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Ft. Worth, TX 76127

Her full appeal brief discusses all relevant facts about her and her case. It includes her character, commitment, honor, and dedication to justice as the law demands but didn't afford her.

She discusses her appeal as follows:

"After the disaster in July 2010, when Judge Koeltl, following the directives of the Second Circuit increased my sentence from 28 months to 10 years, our righteous indignation fueled this appeal. The government’s argument will center on my testimony at trial and the alleged perjury. All of those facts were before the Court at the time of the 28 month sentence and were not the basis then of a double digit sentence."

"Our Brief attacks the increased sentence on two different fronts –one on a doctrine of “substantive unreasonableness” meaning it’s just too much of an increase, five fold — given the circumstances. Secondly, we argued that the only “new” information before the Judge were my statements after my first sentence in October of 2008 and remarks I made on the Courthouse steps before I surrendered to prison. We contend strongly that this is protected speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and cannot be used to increase or as a basis for sentencing. (even if they hate it !!!)"

"The same group of 3 Judges that heard and decided the original appeal will also hear the arguments on the 29th. The government is not asking for more time; they are satisfied with their pound of flesh but it is not likely that this Court will take any action that will help me. The times are askew for prisoners and their lawsuits."


Exit Free

William T. Hathaway

From the Book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

The following report was contributed by Naomi Golner, one of the founders of Exit Free, a collective in the USA that helps women leave the military by discharge or desertion.

I've become a criminal for peace. How I got there is a complicated story, beginning when the community college where I teach reduced most of its humanities faculty to adjunct status. It saved them a bundle on salaries. We now teach a maximum of three courses per semester, for a really miserable hourly wage with no benefits. They brought in other part-timers to fill the gaps. So the faculty are now mostly freelancers. I ended up with a lot less money but a lot more time.

Several other women I knew were also broke — laid off or dropped out of the McJob economy. We decided to share the misery and formed a collective to make ends meet. One of us had a big empty-nester house from her divorce settlement, so we all moved in. We buy food in bulk, share two cars, planted a big garden, help each other with the things each of us is good at, sometimes quarrel and cry, but mostly we like being together. We feel stronger now than before when it was each of us alone against the neo-con world.


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