Archive for the Ecuador Category

“Obama’s All-out Global War against an American Asylum Seeker” by Wayne Madsen [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Bolivia, China, China-bashing, Ecuador, Evo Morales, George W. Bush, Hong Kong, National Security Agency / NSA, Obama, Rafael Correa, State Department, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Wikileaks on July 12, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Some unnecessary racially discriminatory slants of the writer have been removed – Zuo Shou

11.7.2013

President Barack Obama has met his unlikely match in a former Army Special Forces recruit-turned CIA technician-turned National Security Agency contractor. Obama has issued what amounts to an «all-points-bulletin» for Edward Snowden who, in May, left his job at NSA Hawaii as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton and departed Honolulu for Hong Kong with a treasure trove of classified documents pointing to NSA’s massive electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant and billions of people around the world.

Obama, who fancies himself as a cool-under -fire seasoned politician from the rough and tumble south side of Chicago clearly did not like being upstaged by a young…privacy-minded intelligence specialist who grew up in North Carolina and the Maryland suburbs of Baltimore. After all, Obama inherited from George W. Bush the most intrusive surveillance powers ever amassed in a president of the United States and he was not about to have an impudent young man…embarrassing the…president…

…In the case of U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, charged with releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, including over 250,000 State Department cables, Obama personalized his war against whistleblowers by making the following pre-trial statement: «We are a nation of laws. We don’t let individuals make decisions about how the law operates. He [Bradley Manning] broke the law!» Once again, as he has shown with ordering drone murders of U.S. citizens abroad, Obama has shown he has no problem being judge, jury, and sometimes, executioner. By personalizing his attempt to snatch Snowden, Obama made his quest political, not criminal. That alone makes Snowden a political refugee worthy of being granted asylum by any reasonable measure of international law.

Obama, who has never mastered the intricacies of diplomacy, began making global demands that Snowden be returned immediately to the United States to face what Obama’s supporters called «justice». In the official request to officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for Snowden to be extradited to the United States, the U.S. State Department was so hasty it provided a wrong middle name for Snowden, James instead of Joseph, and no passport number. Hong Kong said it could not process an erroneous and incomplete extradition request from Washington. The Obama administration, acting like a Third World tin horn dictatorship, responded by threatening to cancel Hong Kong’s liberal mutual visa agreement with the United States and other unspecified sanctions.

The State Department immediately revoked Snowden’s passport but he managed to travel to Moscow on a safe conduct document issued by the Ecuadorian consul in London, Fidel Narvaez, which was a decision that earned a strong rebuke from Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa. The corporate media then reported that Correa rejected Snowden’s asylum request in Ecuador when no such decision had been made. What Correa said was what many other countries said. Snowden’s asylum request in Ecuador could only be considered if he were physically present on Ecuadorian soil. Correa would not guarantee safe passage from Moscow to Ecuador.

When Snowden flew to Moscow with an obvious wink and a nod from China, the United States threatened the Chinese with retaliatory action, even though Snowden’s revelations blew a giant hole in Washington’s propaganda about America being constantly subjected to Chinese state-sponsored computer hacking. In fact, Snowden’s revelations to the South China Morning Post provided evidence that NSA was targeting civilian networks and computers in China and Hong Kong, including those serving hospitals and universities. Hong Kong demanded an explanation from the United States. China was able to show Obama as a supreme hypocrite…

…Obama has maintained a personal vendetta against all national security whistleblowers but in the case of Snowden, Obama has become a driven Captain Ahab in search of his prey. Obama will stop at nothing to capture Snowden as he showed with his actions against[Bolivian President] Morales’s plane, reported Pentagon contingency plans to force the Moscow-to-Havana Aeroflot plane to land in Miami had Snowden been aboard, and threats of trade sanctions against various countries considering granting Snowden asylum.

Obama’s post-pubescent looking Press Secretary Jay Carney arrogantly declared that Snowden «should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel other than travel that would result in him returning to the United States».

Ironically, people around the world, regardless of ethnicity, began cheering for [Snowden] against the…bully [Obama]. Obama’s personalization of his war against a single American citizen has not only made Snowden a political refugee but an American folk hero.

Excerpted; full article link here: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/07/11/obama-all-out-global-war-against-american-asylum-seeker.html

http://www.strategic-culture.org

A New Beginning Without Washington’s Sanctimonious Mask [PaulCraigRoberts.org]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Assassination, Black propaganda, China, China-bashing, CIA, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Hong Kong, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Russia, State Department, US drone strikes on July 11, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Article’s confusion of Gestapo and DDR Stasi fixed – Zuo Shou

A New Beginning Without Washington’s Sanctimonious Mask

Paul Craig Roberts

June 25, 2013

…We have known for a long time that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying for years without warrants on the communications of Americans and people throughout the world. Photographs of the massive NSA building in Utah built for the purpose of storing the intercepted communications of the world have been published many times.

It is not clear to an ordinary person what Snowden has revealed that William Binney and other whistleblowers have not already revealed. Perhaps the difference is that Snowden has provided documents that prove it, thereby negating Washington’s ability to deny the facts with its usual lies.

Whatever the reason for Washington’s blather, it certainly is not doing the US government any good. Far more interesting than Snowden’s revelations is the decision by governments of other countries to protect a truth-teller from the [Gestapo] in Washington.

Hong Kong kept Snowden’s whereabouts secret so that an amerikan black-op strike or a drone could not be sent to murder him. Hong Kong told Washington that its extradition papers for Snowden were not in order and permitted Snowden to leave for Moscow.

The Chinese government did not interfere with Snowden’s departure.

The Russian government says it has no objection to Snowden having a connecting flight in Moscow.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino responded to Washington’s threats with a statement that the Ecuadorian government puts human rights above Washington’s interests. Foreign Minister Patino said that Snowden served humanity by revealing that the Washington [Gestapo] was violating the rights of “every citizen in the world.” Snowden merely betrayed “some elites that are in power in a certain country,” whereas Washington betrayed the entire world.

With Hong Kong, China, Russia, Ecuador, and Cuba refusing to obey the Stasi’s orders, Washington is flailing around making a total fool of itself and its media prostitutes.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been issuing warnings hand over fist. He has threatened Russia, China, Ecuador, and every country that aids and abets Snowden’s escape from…Washington…Those who don’t do Washington’s bidding, Kerry declared, will suffer adverse impacts on their relationship with the US.

What a stupid thing for Kerry to say. Here is a guy who once was for peace but who has been turned by NSA spying on his personal affairs into an asset for the NSA. Try to realize the extraordinary arrogance and hubris in Kerry’s threat that China, Russia, and other countries will suffer bad relations with the US. Kerry is saying that amerika doesn’t have to care whether “the indispensable people” have bad relations with other countries, but those countries have to be concerned if they have bad relations with the “indispensable country.” What an arrogant posture for the US government to present to the world.

Here we have a US Secretary of State lost in delusion along with the rest of Washington. A country that is bankrupt, a country that has allowed its corporations to destroy its economy by moving the best jobs offshore, a country whose future is in the hands of the printing press, a country that after eleven years of combat has been unable to defeat a few thousand lightly armed Taliban is now threatening Russia and China. God save us from the utter fools who comprise our government.

The world is enjoying Washington’s humiliation at the hands of Hong Kong. A mere city state gave Washington the bird. In its official statement, Hong Kong shifted the focus from Snowden to his message and asked the US government to explain its illegal hacking of Hong Kong’s information systems.

China’s state newspaper, The People’s Daily, wrote: “The United States has gone from a model of human rights to an eavesdropper on personal privacy, the manipulator of the centralized power over the international internet, and the mad invader of other countries’ networks. . . The world will remember Edward Snowden. It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington’s sanctimonious mask.”

China’s Global Times, a subsidiary of The People’s Daily, accused Washington of attacking “a young idealist who has exposed the sinister scandals of the US government.” Instead of apologizing “Washington is showing off its muscle by attempting to control the whole situation.”

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that Snowden’s revelations had placed “Washington in a really awkward situation. They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age.”

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it clear that Russia’s sympathy is with Snowden, not with the amerikan…state…RT’s Gayane Chichakyan reported that Washington is doing everything it can to shift attention away from Snowden’s revelations that “show that the US has lied and has been doing the same as they accuse China of doing.”

Ecuador says the traitor is Washington, not Snowden.

The stuck pig squeals from the NSA director–”Edward Snowden has caused irreversible damage to US”–are matched by the obliging squeals from members of the House and Senate, themselves victims of the NSA spying, as was the Director of the CIA who was forced to resign because of a love affair. The NSA is in position to blackmail everyone in the House and Senate, in the White House itself, in all the corporations, the universities, the media, every organization at home and abroad, who has anything to hide. You can tell who is being blackmailed by the intensity of the squeals, such as those of Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) and Mike Rogers (R, MI). With any luck, a patriot will leak what the NSA has on Feinstein and Rogers, neither of whom could possibly scrape any lower before the NSA.

The gangster government in Washington that has everything to hide is now in NSA’s hands and will follow orders. The pretense that amerika is a democracy responsible to the people has been exposed…

Let’s quit calling the NSA the National Security Agency. Clearly, NSA is a threat to the security of every person in the entire world. Let’s call the NSA what it really is…the largest collection of Gestapo in human history. You can take for granted that every media whore, every government prostitute, every ignorant flag-waver who declares Snowden to be a traitor is either brainwashed or blackmailed. They are the protectors of NSA tyranny. They are our enemies.

The world has been growing increasingly sick of Washington for a long time. The bullying, the constant stream of lies, the gratuitous wars and destruction have destroyed the image hyped by Washington of the US as a “light unto the world.” The world sees the US as a plague upon the world.

Following Snowden’s revelations, Germany’s most important magazine, Der Spiegal, had the headline: “Obama’s Soft Totalitarianism: Europe Must Protect Itself From America.” The first sentence of the article asks: “Is Barack Obama a friend? Revelations about his government’s vast spying program call that into doubt. The European Union must protect the Continent from America’s reach for omnipotence.”

Der Spiegal continues: “We are being watched. All the time and everywhere. And it is the Americans who are doing the watching. On Tuesday, the head of the largest and most all-encompassing surveillance system ever invented is coming for a visit. If Barack Obama is our friend then we really don’t need to be terribly worried about our enemies.”

There is little doubt that German Interior Minister Hans Peter Friedrich has lost his secrets to NSA spies. Friedrich rushed to NSA’s defense, declaring: ”that’s not how you treat friends.” As Der Spiegal made clear, the minister was not referring “to the fact that our trans-Atlantic friends were spying on us. Rather, he meant the criticism of that spying. Friedrich’s reaction is only paradoxical on the surface and can be explained by looking at geopolitical realities. The US is, for the time being, the only global power–and as such it is the only truly sovereign state in existence. All others are dependent–either as enemies or allies. And because most prefer to be allies, politicians–Germany’s included–prefer to grin and bear it.”

It is extraordinary that the most important publication in Germany has acknowledged that the German government is Washington’s puppet state.

Der Spiegel says: “German citizens should be able to expect that their government will protect them from spying by foreign governments. But the German interior minister says instead: ‘We are grateful for the excellent cooperation with US secret services.’ Friedrich didn’t even try to cover up his own incompetence on the surveillance issue. ‘Everything we know about it, we have learned from the media,’ he said. The head of the country’s domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, was not any more enlightened. ‘I didn’t know anything about it,’ he said. And Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger was also apparently in the dark. ‘These reports are extremely unsettling,’ she said. With all due respect: These are the people who are supposed to be protecting our rights? If it wasn’t so frightening, it would be absurd.”

For those moronic amerikans who say, “I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t care if they spy,” Der Spiegal writes that a “monitored human being is not a free one.” We have reached the point where we “free americans” have to learn from our German puppets that we are not free.

Here, read it for yourself: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/europe-must-stand-up-to-american-cyber-snooping-a-906250.html

…If Germany were to throw off its amerikan overlord and depart NATO, amerikan power in Europe would collapse. If Germany and Russia were to unite in defense of truth and human rights, Europe and the world would have a new beginning.

A new beginning is desperately needed. Chris Floyd explains precisely what is going on, which is something you will never hear from the presstitutes. Read it while you still can: http://www.globalresearch.ca/follow-the-money-the-secret-heart-of-the-secret-state-the-deeper-implications-of-the-snowden-revelations/5340132

There would be hope if Americans could throw off their brainwashing, follow the lead of Debra Sweet and others, and stand up for Edward Snowden and against the Stasi State. http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=167695

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/06/25/a-new-beginning-without-washingtons-sanctimonious-mask-paul-craig-roberts/

US ‘stole’ Chinese statistics [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Cuba, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Iceland, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Russia, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on June 25, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)

June 24, 2013

– Internet whistle-blower leaves HK for unknown destination –

Cyberattacks on China that originate in the United States may be partly backed by the US government, Chinese experts have said, a situation they would like Washington to explain.

Their call came after US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden told a Hong Kong newspaper that US spies have hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies and a backbone Chinese network to steal text messages and data of millions of Chinese citizens.

The South China Morning Post revealed Snowden’s claims on Sunday, a few hours before the former contractor for the US National Security Agency left Hong Kong.

“The scale and scope of US monitoring of China’s Internet information is shocking, it is beyond expectation,” said Jia Xiudong, a senior researcher of US studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

“The US is the largest source of foreign cyberattacks on China. Now Snowden’s claims show that many such attacks may be backed by the US government.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is concerned with reports of US government hacking on China and has made representations to the US.

The National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China has told China Daily that in the first five months of this year, 13,408 overseas trojan horses or bot control servers — two popular hacking tools — hijacked around 5.63 million mainframes in China. Of those, 4,062 US-based control servers hijacked 2.91 million mainframes in China.

Snowden said that “the NSA does all kinds of things like hacking Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data”. The NSA also made sustained attacks on network backbones at Tsinghua University and computers at the Hong Kong headquarters of telecom service provider Pacnet, he said.

In one single day in January, at least 63 computers and servers at Tsinghua University were hacked by the NSA, he said.

Tsinghua is home to one of the Chinese mainland’s six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network, known as CERNET, from where Internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined.

Pacnet owns one of the most extensive fiber-optic submarine cable networks. It recently signed major deals with China’s top mobile phone companies, and owns more than 46,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables. The cables connect its regional data centers across the Asia-Pacific region, including the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

The Post said Snowden provided the information on June 12. The documents listed operational details of specific attacks on computers, including Internet protocol addresses, dates of attacks and whether a computer was still being monitored remotely.

“What is the connection between Tsinghua’s CERNET and terrorism?” Jia asked.

“Obviously US Internet attacks against China are not for anti-terrorism efforts, as Washington has argued, but for other reasons that might include commercial and strategic motives,” Jia said. “The US owes an explanation to China, and the world.”

However, Jia said Washington might, as always, avoid facing the problem and he did not expect it to stop hacking China.

“(Snowden’s) claims sounded the alarm for Beijing to beef up Internet security efforts,” he said.

A commentary published on Sunday by Xinhua News Agency said Snowden’s disclosures of US spying activities in China have “put Washington in a really awkward situation”.

“Washington should come clean about its record first,” it said. “It has to share with the world the range, extent and intent of its clandestine hacking programs.”

The Hong Kong government said on Sunday that Snowden has left Hong Kong voluntarily and that Hong Kong has updated Washington with the situation.

The post said Snowden boarded a flight for Moscow on Sunday and his final destination may be Ecuador or Iceland. It did not give any source of the information. Other reports said Cuba, Ecuador or Venezuela may be his choice of destination.

Shi Yinhong, a senior expert on US studies with Renmin University of China in Beijing, said the Snowden case must be handled properly to avoid hurting ties between China and the US.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90883/8295861.html

Assange: Snowden “a hero to all humanity” [Xinhua]

Posted in Australia, China, CIA, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Julian Assange, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, US Government Cover-up, USA, Wikileaks on June 23, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

SYDNEY, June 13 (Xinhua) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called whistleblower Edward Snowden “a hero to all humanity”in a live video address to the University of Sydney on Thursday.

“Men like Snowden have shown extreme degrees of civic courage,” he told a packed auditorium of delegates on the closing night of the 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art.

“Edward Snowden revealed something that I have been speaking about for a long time. .. That as the internet has penetrated every aspect of society, riding on with it is mass surveillance.

“He provided a clear direction so that we can understand where we are now, and for that he is .. a hero to all in fact of humanity. Because this phenomena is something that affects all of humanity,” said Assange.

Snowden is understood to be hiding out in Hong Kong after coming forward on Sunday as the source of leaked classified material exposing U.S. spy agency data collection program PRISM. Assange has previously expressed support for the ex-CIA contractor, calling on the international community to offer him protection.

Assange’s address to Australia also comes during the ongoing trial of U.S. Army private Bradley Manning, accused of leaking military intelligence to WikiLeaks.

Assange called on international citizens to show the same courage displayed by Snowden and Manning to achieve a more free and transparent society.

“We feel and live keenly because of the risks we take. Every day that we do not live up to our principles is a wasted day,” he said.

Assange also spoke about his plans for an Australian WikiLeaks party, backing his campaign to be elected to the Australian Senate- – which he hopes will allow him to escape extradition to Sweden from Britain.

Assange has now been closeted away in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly a year, but the Australian hacker said his self- imposed imprisonment has only helped his cause.

“The way the situation is going is actually helpful for our cause for me to be in prison. For a while, not forever, but for a small while.

“The situation is very useful for projecting the principles that I believe in. And every day that we are able to project our principles into the world, every day that we are able to operate in such a way that we follow our beliefs .. is a day that has been truly lived,” he said.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-06/13/c_132453193.htm

“Why Disinformation Works” – Why Chinese dissident / émigré Chen Guangcheng is a sucker [Paul Craig Roberts]

Posted in Assassination, China, Ecuador, Germany, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Julian Assange, Mao Zedong, Nazism, Police State, Russia, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USSR, Wikileaks, World War II on June 11, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Paul Craig Roberts

May 23, 2013

[Excerpted]

…In America, government statements have a unique authority. This authority comes from the white hat that the US wore in World War II and in the subsequent Cold War. It was easy to demonize Nazi Germany, Soviet Communism and Maoist China. Even today when Russian publications interview me about the perilous state of civil liberty in the US and Washington’s endless illegal military attacks abroad, I sometimes receive reports that some Russians believe that it was an impostor who was interviewed, not the real Paul Craig Roberts. There are Russians who believe that it was President Reagan who brought freedom to Russia, and as I served in the Reagan administration these Russians associate me with their vision of America as a light unto the world. Some Russians actually believe that Washington’s wars are truly wars of liberation.

The same illusions reign among Chinese dissidents. Chen Guangcheng is the Chinese dissident who sought refuge in the US Embassy in China. Recently he was interviewed by the BBC World Service. Chen Guangcheng believes that the US protects human rights while China suppresses human rights. He complained to the BBC that in China police can arrest citizens and detain them for as long as six months without accounting for their detainment. He thought that the US and UK should publicly protest this violation of due process, a human right. Apparently, Chen Guangcheng is unaware that US citizens are subject to indefinite detention without due process and even to assassination without due process.

The Chinese government allowed Chen Guangcheng safe passage to leave China and live in the US. Chen Guangcheng is so dazzled by his illusions of America as a human rights beacon that it has never occurred to him that the oppressive, human rights-violating Chinese government gave him safe passage, but that Julian Assange, after being given political asylum by Ecuador is still confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington will not allow its UK puppet state to permit his safe passage to Ecuador.

Perhaps Chen Guangcheng and the Chinese and Russian dissidents who are so enamored of the US could gain some needed perspective if they were to read US soldier Terry Holdbrooks’ book about the treatment given to the Guantanamo prisoners. Holdbrooks was there on the scene, part of the process, and this is what he told RT: “The torture and information extraction methods that we used certainly created a great deal of doubt and questions in my mind to whether or not this was my America. But when I thought about what we were doing there and how we go about doing it, it did not seem like the America I signed up to defend. It did not seem like the America I grew up in. And that in itself was a very disillusioning experience.” http://rt.com/news/guantanamo-guard-islam-torture-608/

In a May 17 Wall Street Journal.com article, Peggy Noonan wrote that President Obama has lost his patina of high-mindedness. What did Obama do that brought this loss upon himself? Is it because he sits in the Oval Office approving lists of US citizens to be assassinated without due process of law? Is it because he detains US citizens indefinitely in violation of habeas corpus? Is it because he has kept open the torture prison at Guantanamo? Is it because he continued the war that the neoconservatives started, despite his promise to end it, and started new wars?

Is it because he attacks with drones people in their homes, medical centers, and work places in countries with which the US is not at war? Is it because his corrupt administration spies on American citizens without warrants and without cause?

No. It is none of these reasons. In Noonan’s view these are not offenses for which presidents, even Democratic ones, lose their high-minded patina. Obama can no longer be trusted, because the IRS hassled some conservative political activists.

Noonan is a Republican, and what Obama did wrong was to use the IRS against some Republicans. Apparently, it has not occurred to Noonan that if Obama–or any president–can use the IRS against opponents, he can use Homeland Security and the police state against them. He can use indefinite detention against them. He can use drones against them.

All of these are much more drastic measures. Why isn’t Peggy Noonan concerned?

Because she thinks these measures will only be used against terrorists, just as the IRS is only supposed to be used against tax evaders.

When a public and the commentators who inform it accept the collapse of the Constitution’s authority and the demise of their civil liberties, to complain about the IRS is pointless.

Full article: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/05/23/why-disinformation-works-paul-craig-roberts/#

“The pursuit of Julian Assange is an assault on freedom and a mockery of journalism” by John Pilger [New Statesman]

Posted in Afghanistan, Cameron, Ecuador, Egypt, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iraq, Julian Assange, NATO, Sweden, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., USA, Wikileaks on August 29, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

22 August 2012

[Excerpted]

The British government’s threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonour international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorism in London on 7 July 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.

Threatening to abuse a law designed to expel murderers from foreign embassies, while defaming an innocent man as an “alleged criminal”, Hague has made a laughing stock of Britain across the world, though this view is mostly suppressed in Britain.  The same brave news­papers and broadcasters that have supported Britain’s part in epic bloody crimes, from the genocide in Indonesia to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, now attack the “human rights record” of Ecuador, whose real crime is to stand up to the bullies in London and Washington.

Unclubbable

It is as if the Olympics happy-clappery has been subverted overnight by an illuminating display of colonial thuggery.  Witness the British army officer-cum-BBC reporter Mark Urban “interviewing” a braying Sir Christopher Meyer, Blair’s former apologist in Washington, outside the Ecuadorean embassy, the pair of them erupting with Blimpish indignation that the unclubbable Assange and the uncowed Rafael Correa should expose the western system of rapacious power.  Similar affront is vivid in the pages of the Guardian, which has counselled Hague to be “patient” and that storming the embassy would be “more trouble than it is worth”.  Assange was not a political refugee, the Guar­dian declared, because “neither Sweden nor the UK would in any case deport someone who might face torture or the death penalty”.

The irresponsibility of this statement matches the Guardian’s perfidious role in the whole Assange affair.  The paper knows full well that documents released by WikiLeaks indicate that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the United States in matters of civil rights.  In December 2001, the Swedish government abruptly revoked the political refugee status of two Egyptians, Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed el-Zari, who were handed to a CIA kidnap squad at Stockholm airport and “rendered” to Egypt, where they were tortured. An investigation by the Swedish ombudsman for justice found that the government had “seriously violated” the two men’s human rights.

In a 2009 US embassy cable obtained by Wiki­Leaks, entitled “WikiLeaks puts neutrality in the Dustbin of History”, the Swedish elite’s vaunted reputation for neutrality is exposed as a sham. Another US cable reveals that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known” and unless kept secret “would open the government to domestic criticism”.

The Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, played a notorious leading role in George W Bush’s Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and retains close ties to the Republican Party’s extreme right.  According to the former Swedish director of public prosecutions Sven-Erik Alhem, Sweden’s decision to seek the extradition of Assange on allegations of sexual misconduct is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate”.  Having offered himself for questioning, Assange was given permission to leave Sweden for London where, again, he offered to be questioned.  In May, in a final appeal judgment on the extradition, Britain’s Supreme Court introduced more farce by referring to non-existent “charges”…

Full article link here

Human rights critics of Russia and Ecuador parade their own hypocrisy [Glenn Greenwald @ Guardian]

Posted in Assassination, Bahrain, Capitalist media double standard, China, Ecuador, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Iran, Iraq, Julian Assange, Libya, Media smear campaign, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.K., US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, Wikileaks on August 27, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

The media’s new converts to civic freedom over the Pussy Riot and Assange asylum affairs show a jingoism blind to US abuses

21 August 2012

by Glenn Greenwald

[Excerpted]

Readers of the American and British press over the past month have been inundated with righteous condemnations of Ecuador‘s poor record on press freedoms. Is this because western media outlets have suddenly developed a new-found devotion to defending civil liberties in Latin America?  Please.  To pose the question is to mock it.

It’s because feigning concern for these oppressive measures is a convenient instrument for demeaning and punishing Ecuador for the supreme crime of defying the US and its western allies.  The government of President Rafael Correa granted asylum to western establishmentarians’ most despised figure, Julian Assange, and Correa’s government then loudly condemned Britain’s implied threats to invade its embassy.  Ecuador must therefore be publicly flogged for its impertinence, and its press freedom record is a readily available whip. As a fun bonus, denunciations of Correa’s media oppression is a cheap and easy way to deride Assange’s supposed hypocrisy.

(Apparently, activists should only seek asylum from countries with pristine human rights records, whichever countries those might be: a newly concocted standard that was conspicuously missing during the saga of blind Chinese…activist Chen Guangcheng at the US embassy; I don’t recall any western media outlets accusing Guangcheng of hypocrisy for seeking refuge from a country that indefinitely imprisons people with no charges, attacked Iraq, assassinates its own citizens with no due process on the secret orders of the president, bombs funerals and rescuers in Pakistan, uses extreme force and mass arrests to try to obliterate the peaceful Occupy protest movement, wages an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, prosecutes its Muslim citizens for posting YouTube videos critical of US foreign policy, embraces and arms the world’s most oppressive regimes, and imprisoned Muslim journalists for years at Guantánamo and elsewhere with no charges of any kind.)

But this behavior illustrates how purported human rights concerns are cynically exploited as a weapon by western governments and, more inexcusably, by their nationalistic, self-righteous media enablers. Concern over a foreign regime’s human rights abuses are muted, often nonexistent, when those regimes dutifully adhere to US dictates, but are amplified to deafening levels when nations defy those dictates and, especially, when it’s time to wage war against them. This is why attacks on protesters by US-supported regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are typically described by western media outlets with the innocuous-sounding, both-sides-are-to-blame term "clashes with rebels", while villain-of-the-moment regimes in Iran, Syria or Libya are said to be slaughtering their own citizens. It’s why arming Syrian rebels to enable them to defend against regime oppression is conventional wisdom, whereas arming Palestinian rebels to defend against Israeli violence is criminal…

Full article link here