Aafia Siddiqui: Victim of US Injustice

Stephen Lendman

She's one of thousands of US political prisoners. She's well known. She committed no crimes. She's been brutalized in captivity. Mercy isn't in America's vocabulary. Rogue states operate that way. Washington's by far the worst.

It reportedly agreed to Pakistan's extradition terms. Both sides will swap prisoners. Previous articles discussed her 2003 abduction, detention, torture, false charges, prosecution, and conviction. More on that below.

On July 20, the Pakistan Observer headlined "US agrees on Aafia's Siddiqui's extradition," saying: "In a major breakthrough, the US has offered Pakistan to sign prisoner swap agreement for the extradition of Dr Aafia Siddiqi, after which the Pakistani scientist will be allowed to serve the remaining part of her imprisonment in homeland." Pakistan foreign office spokesman Uman Hameed said terms include other prisoner swaps.

Washington offered Pakistan two deals. They include the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad.

On July 20, Justice for Aafia Coalition (JAC) headlined "The Family of Aafia Siddiqui and the Aafia Movement welcomes development on Aafia issue," saying: "(I)t appears some steps are finally being taken towards" repatriating her. She's called "the daughter of our Nation." Previous steps forward ended up two back. "We are hopeful" what's announced is genuine.

America can't be trusted. It's duplicitous. It's uncertain what's next. Promises made are broken. Aafia's been in limbo for years. It remains to be seen what follows. Will she or won't she be extradited? Nothing's guaranteed. Not in deals with America. Promises made are broken. It's standard rogue state practice. Both prisoner exchange conventions are similar. The Inter-American one is simpler. If both sides agree, Aafia can be returned in weeks.

College Girls, Bottled Water and the Emerging American Police State

John W. Whitehead

UVA student Elizabeth Daly was
booked on three felony charges after
an encounter with ABC agents in the
Harris Teeter parking lot.
(The Hook)

What do college girls and bottled water have to do with the emerging American police state? Quite a bit, it seems.

Public outcry has gone viral over an incident in which a college student was targeted and terrorized by Alcohol Beverage Control agents (ABC) after she purchased sparkling water at a grocery store. The girl and her friends were eventually jailed for daring to evade their accosters, who failed to identify themselves or approach the young women in a non-threatening manner.

What makes this particular incident significant (other than the fact that it took place in my hometown of Charlottesville, Va.) is the degree to which it embodies all that is wrong with law enforcement today, both as it relates to the citizenry and the ongoing undermining of our rule of law. To put it bluntly, due in large part to the militarization of the police and the equipping of a wide range of government agencies with weaponry, we are moving into a culture in which law enforcement officials have developed a sense of entitlement that is at odds with the spirit of our Constitution—in particular, the Fourth Amendment.

The incident took place late in the evening of April 11, 2013. Several University of Virginia college students, including 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly, were leaving the Harris Teeter grocery store parking lot after having purchased a variety of foodstuffs for an Alzheimer’s Association sorority charity benefit that evening, including sparkling water, ice cream and cookie dough, when they noticed a man staring at them as they walked to their car in the back of the parking lot.

What's Next for Syria?

Stephen Lendman

Imagine the worst ahead. Survival's up for grabs.

Conflict drags on interminably. Dozens or more die daily. Syrian forces outmatch Western-backed death squad terrorists. They're not rebels. They're lawless invaders. They're US proxy fighters. They're imported from dozens of countries. They're waging war against sovereign Syrian independence. Don't expect duplicitous Western politicians or media scoundrels to explain.

Assad's military outguns and outflanks Washington's shock troops. Reinforcements keep coming. Libya 2.0 looks possible. Perhaps likely.

Russia hopes for a September international peace conference. Originally a June one was planned. Why bother when Washington prioritizes war. It spurns peace. Last year's conference failed. Expect nothing different this time. Peace remains elusive. Advocates have no partners.

According to European Council president Herman Van Rompuy: "A military solution to the crisis is impossible. (T)he solution is only diplomatic." Conflict can end soon. It can happen if Washington calls off its dogs. It shouldn't have unleashed them in the first place. Syria is Obama's war. He began it. He can end it.[*]

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